Home Jobs & Education What Is the Average Flight Attendant Salary?

The average flight attendant salary in 2018 was $42,290, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Flight attendants, who are in charge of the comfort, security and safety of flight passengers earn around $28,820 if they are in the lower 10 percentile and over $72,560 if they are in the top ten percent.

The occupation is generally regarded as a well-paid profession that can easily reach six figure salaries. However, the flight attendant salary will greatly differ according to carrier, experience and industries.

The best paying industries for flight attendants are:


Industry Annual mean wage 
Management of Companies and Enterprises $81,120
Support Activities for Air Transportation $63,330
Oil and Gas Extraction $55,540
Nonscheduled Air Transportation $49,490
Scheduled Air Transportation $46,110

Flight attendant salary

Flight attendant salary by location

Geographic location also weighs heavily on the flight attendant salary. Most flight attendant jobs can be found in California: 11,130. The annual mean wage here is $45,530. First runner up in highest employment level is New York, with 10,380 jobs. The annual mean wage, however, is lower, at $43,690. Lower on the list of top employment states is Georgia. With 8,860 jobs, it boasts an annual mean wage of 52,200.

The top paying states for flight attendants offer monthly wages that exceed $4,000. The best paying states for this occupation are:

State Annual mean wage
Florida $55,870
Georgia $52,200
Texas $50,260
Wisconsin $47,190
South Carolina $47,010

Flight attendant base salary

As is the case with the majority of other professions, a steward or stewardess will be paid according to their experience. A beginner will start off with the base salary and will work their way up to better salaries over the course of a decade. The salaries will more than double in the course of 14 years.

Domestic hourly wages roughly follow this ascending pattern:

Year 2014 2015
First $21.23 $21.76
Second $22.44 $23.00
Third $23.87 $24.47
Fourth $24.54 $25.15
Fifth $27.83 $28.53
Sixth $36.59 $37.51
Seventh $38.57 $39.53
Eighth $39.53 $40.52
Ninth $40.82 $41.84
Tenth $42.12 $43.18
Eleventh $43.03 $44.11
Twelfth $44.06 $45.16
Thirteenth $45.01 $46.13
Fourteenth $45.72 $46.86

Per diems

The flight attendant salary is compensated with meals during layover times. Spending the night in a hotel is covered by the airline who is also meant to guarantee the meal of the flight attendant when the aircraft does not board meals.

Domestic layovers pay lower per diems than international layovers, which are also usually longer. Per diems are influenced by the currency, the duration of the layover and the carrier.

Flight attendant benefits

  • Stable and reliable life insurance;
  • 401k plan with 5%;
  • Vacation and sick days pay;
  • Paid off travel;
  • Employee discounts;
  • Dental, health and vision insurance;
  • Pension plan;
  • Maternity and paternity leave.

The average flight attendant salary will vary significantly according to experience and airline. However, seniors enjoy added bonuses and larger wages than beginners, which is why persisting in this career path is recommended.

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Gabrielle Moreno

Hi, my name is Gabrielle, but all my friends call me Gaby. Having a degree in foreign languages, I first intended to develop a career in translations, but then I realized human interaction is more satisfying and got engaged in educational projects. Writing is my second best skill after teaching. I started writing about jobs and education based on my experience of not knowing what career path to choose. Sharing my knowledge and experience is the most rewarding aspect of my work, especially when I see it really touches people. Therefore, I look forward to reading your comments, thoughts and opinions. Feel free to contact me.


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