Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

Occupation Outlook | Main MBIE Site

Flight Attendants

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Income
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Fees
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Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

Opportunities are influenced by the number of international visitors to New Zealand.

The growing tourism industry means Air New Zealand – the main employer of flight attendants – is flying to more destinations. The organisation is expanding its fleets in Auckland and Christchurch, where the largest domestic and international airports are based. Strong demand for entry-level and senior flight attendants is expected in these two centres for the next few years. Outside of these centres demand is poor.

How to become a flight attendant

What they do

Flight attendants work on passenger aircraft, looking after passengers during the flights. Their many duties include operating emergency equipment, assisting people with special needs on board and serving food and drinks.

Qualifications needed

To become a flight attendant in New Zealand you must:

  • be a New Zealand resident
  • be at least 18 years old
  • hold a current first aid certificate
  • hold a current passport without restrictions
  • pass aviation security clearance checks.

Individual airlines may have additional requirements including

  • be between 160cm and 187cm tall
  • pass a reach test and medical exam
  • have a certain standard of eyesight in order to carry out emergency procedures without glasses
  • be able to swim 50m unaided
  • be reasonably strong because they may have to lift heavy bags and emergency equipment.

There are also some personal grooming aspects to consider. The airlines tend not to want visible tattoos or piercings.

There are no specific secondary educational requirements, but a minimum of three years’ secondary education is required. Fluency in a second language is an advantage, particularly Cantonese, Fijian, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Samoan or Tongan.

Each airline has its own training programme. Once accepted, trainee flight attendants complete a training course and relevant assessments before starting work aboard an aircraft. Ongoing training or refresher courses also help to maintain and develop skills.

The three main airlines that operate within and from New Zealand are Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar.

Air New Zealand: careers.airnz.co.nz/explore-our-careers/career-areas/more-about-becoming-a-flight-attendant 
Qantas: www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/flight-attendants/global/en 
Jetstar: www.jetstar.com/nz/en/about-us/careers

Cost of study

Flight Attendant Training
$0

The cost of the study is usually borne by the airline, and your employment is conditional upon your successful completion of the training programme.

Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.

The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.

Tenancy Services: www.tenancy.govt.nz/rent-bond-and-bills 
StudyLink: www.studylink.govt.nz 
Sorted: www.sorted.org.nz/calculators/money-planner

Income and employment prospects

Income

In 2016, the estimated average income for a flight attendant was $51,000.

Estimated Average Income
$51,000 

Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index.

Employment and skill shortages

Flight attendants’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2020 2025
2,322 2,208 2,285 2,134
  -0.7% 0.5% -1.4%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are for the broader category “Personal Services and Travel Workers”.

Employment in the broader category, ‘Personal services and travel workers’ fell slightly from 2006 to 2013. Employment in that broader category is expected to be fairly stable until 2020, after which indications are that it will decline somewhat out to 2025.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Flight attendants are not on Immigration New Zealand’s skill shortage lists.

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz

Where to find job vacancies

The number of online job advertisements for the broader category travel attendants has grown quickly since 2008, although the growth seems to have levelled off over the last year. In April 2016, the number of online job ads for flight attendants was over three times what it was in April 2008. It is worth noting that the number of flight attendant ads recorded in this statistic is small as many vacancies are advertised directly through the airlines. Therefore, this graph might not be representative for the trend in all flight attendant ads.

Jobs advertised chart

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

Flight attendant vacancies are advertised through the airlines.

Air New Zealand: careers.airnz.co.nz/explore-our-careers/home 
Qantas: www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/job-search-current-vacancies/global/en 
JetStar: www.jetstar.com/nz/en/about-us/careers 
Virgin Pacific www.virginaustralia.com/nz/en/about-us/careers/cabin-crew-recruitment 

Or you may find vacancies on the Seek or TradeMe Jobs websites.

Trade Me Jobs: www.trademe.co.nz/jobs 
Seek: www.seek.co.nz

Career path

The biggest single employer of flight attendants in this country is Air New Zealand. Most years, the airline conducts recruitment drives and takes on new staff.

Flight attendants can work on short-haul (destinations no more than four hours away) or long-haul (international) flights. There are opportunities to progress to senior roles such as senior flight attendant or purser. There are also opportunities to transfer to ground-based jobs such as check-in agent or customer service.

Related occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level flight attendants.

  • Cabin Supervisor
  • Marine Steward
  • Travel Agent
  • Travel Attendant

Other information

Links

More information on becoming a flight attendant is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz

ANZSCO

The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.

The occupation of flight attendants has been coded to the following ANZSCO code for the purpose of this report:

4517 – Travel Attendants