By Beth 22 Sep 2022 5 min read

What qualifications are needed to become Cabin Crew?

For those who love to travel, meet new people, and explore places, a career path as cabin crew can bring exciting job opportunities. The aviation industry is full of employment opportunities for those who believe the sky is their home. Yet, a career as cabin crew is very demanding, especially in the UK. It comes with a lot of rewards and responsibilities. You might find their job very intriguing, as the air cabin crew we travel with always look sophisticated and glamorous. When it comes to perfection and neatness, they never fail. 

Pursuing a career as cabin crew is ideal for those who love to travel and have the ability to perform excellent customer service. The crew is primarily responsible for the welfare, safety, and comfort of the passengers during long and short-haul flights. Cabin crew employees can find employment opportunities in domestic, international, chartered, and commercial aircraft. 


Qualifying for cabin crew

Besides serving food and beverages during the flight, there are some essential requirements to pass the application process. They may differ between airlines but every airline has some generic recruiting criteria. 

  • GCSE qualification

Almost all airlines require a GCSE qualification, especially in English and Maths. That’s because airlines look for candidates with good educational backgrounds when they start their careers as cabin crew. It is important for them to be proficient in English so that they can communicate well, both internationally and domestically. Also, you must have a diploma or course in English qualification, including both written and spoken English. 

  • Swimming ability

One of the prerequisites to pass the application form is to demonstrate your swimming skills. Most airlines require the candidates to have the ability to swim 25meters. So if you’re planning to find a job as cabin crew, you must invest in your swimming lessons. Swimming plays an essential role in training as it is done for emergency measures. 

  • College courses 

Though it’s not a requirement, a college course or an online course can be very helpful as cabin crew. It will help you understand the aviation industry. The courses can help you all along the application process as well as the interviews. The interview takes place through different stages where you have to be shortlisted for group discussions and later get scheduled for the final stage interview. Courses related to customer relations and product knowledge are very beneficial. These courses will enhance your knowledge and help you get through the selection process. 

  • Online diplomas 

There are also online courses or diplomas that will help you understand relevant areas of your job and give you an advantage over other applicants during the interviews. Some of these courses include:

  • Diploma in Hospitality Management & Cabin Crew Services 

  • Diploma in Travel and Airline Management

  • Diploma in Tourism Management

  • Certificate Course in Air Hostess

Usually, the duration of these courses is between a year and a year and a half. 

  • A degree in the related field 

No airline would emphasise you to get a degree before applying as cabin crew, yet it is important to be a degree holder to secure your future. The reason is, you might not want to be a cabin crew permanently. Therefore, a degree can help you switch your career. If you hope for a quick promotion, your performance as well as the degree will help you achieve your goal. A degree in the aviation sector will enhance your critical thinking and polish your analytical skills and global knowledge. 

  • Apprenticeship program

Rather than directly hiring air cabin crew, some airlines launch apprenticeship schemes to allow the new employees to make their way into the aviation industry. This includes academic learning combined with on-the-job training. Once the apprenticeship is over, you get a certification, and sometimes, based on your performance, some airlines might offer you a job as cabin crew. 

  • Work experience 

Work experience, especially in customer care and resource management can help you hone some necessary skills required for cabin crew. With some relevant experience, you can also qualify for senior positions including senior flight attendant, purser or chief chef. Your career as cabin crew can also help you progress to a cabin management role or work in chartered flights for private aircrafts. 

Frequently asked questions 


Which course is best for cabin crew?

Usually, a diploma course or training isn’t necessary for candidates wanting to become cabin crew members. Yet they must exhibit great communication skills and must qualify for the eligibility criteria to pursue the career. However, those candidates willing to gain some industry-specific skills before joining must take up a Diploma in Professional Cabin Crew Services or Cabin Crew & Hospitality Training courses. 


What skills do I need for cabin crew?

One of the most important cabin crew skills includes good interpersonal skills. Such skills enable them to listen to their queries and solve the problems of the passengers. They must also exhibit tact and diplomacy to handle challenging passengers. This ensures that the crew has the ability to deal with emergencies and make the journey a pleasant one for all. The crew must also be fit and healthy so that they can help passengers in case of emergent situations and can swim. 


Is cabin crew a permanent job?

Pursuing a career as cabin crew member can be on contract basis as well as permanent. Based on the requirements of the airline and regulatory body, cabin crew jobs are offered. If you have contractual employment, you’ll have to abide by all the terms and conditions of the job role. Salary packages and employment perks differ for both permanent and contractual employees. 


What is cabin crew salary?

Some airlines pay their employees better than others. You can expect the starting salary to be between £12,000 and £14,000. The salary package is also based on their qualification and experience. Those with some experience have starting salaries between the ranges of £15,000 to £19,000 per year. Those employed at the senior level can expect their starting salary to be around £23,000 or more per year. 


How long is training for cabin crew?

Training is a necessary component of a cabin crew job. It usually takes place between four to seven weeks. The main purpose of their training is the safety of passengers which includes handling the safety equipment in an aircraft and ensuring emergency procedures, first aid, and security.