Becoming a flight attendant is a romantic dream for thousands of Americans, but the hiring process is extremely competitive.
Delta Air Lines says last year, 150,000 people applied for the position. Only 1,200 of them landed the job – that's fewer than 1 percent of applicants.
"Based on those odds, it's easier to get into an Ivy League school than to become a Delta flight attendant," the airline boasts.
Those who didn't make it last year will have another chance though. Delta is now hiring more than 1,000 flight attendants for 2018.
Delta says on average, entry level flight attendants earn about $25,000 per year, plus benefits (which include worldwide travel privileges – arguably the biggest reason the career is so desirable).
What it takes
Flight attendants do a lot more than pointing out exits, demonstrating how to buckle seat belts, and pouring ginger ales.
It's a physically demanding job that requires a passion for service and helping others. Read the full job description here.
To give hopeful applicants an idea of what it takes to join Delta's crew, the airline has launched a miniseries called Earning our Wings.
The series follows five new hires as they make their way through the eight-week training program that each new flight attendant must complete at Delta's Atlanta headquarters.
"From CPR to putting out (literal) fires and water evacuations to Delta One meal presentation, these new recruits will be put to the test," Delta says. "With the support of their teammates, they will have to find it in themselves to accomplish each of the challenges they face. In the end, will they have what it takes to represent Delta and earn their wings?"
The first episode of Earning our Wings was released on Monday and focuses on orientation day for the new recruits. Watch it here.
A new episode will post each Monday and Thursday for the next 10 weeks.
The ideal candidate
Delta is looking for "the best of the best."
"There's no doubt we hire the best of the best because the caliber of people wanting to work for our great airline is top-notch. They see that what makes Delta different is our people and the unique culture we share together, and they want to be part of that winning team," Delta's Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service Allison Ausband said in a news release.
If you want to apply, you must have a high school degree or GED, be able to work in the U.S., speak fluent English and be at least 21 years old by Jan. 1.
The job is not for someone who wants to work 9-5. Since Delta flights operate 24/7, flight attendants must work a flexible schedule – which sounds downright exhausting at times, according to the flight attendants in this video:
The airline says the best resumes will include:
- More than one year of work experience in a personalized customer service, patient care or similar role.
- Experience in a role ensuring the safety and/or care of others (teacher, military, EMT, firefighter, coach, law enforcement, lifeguard, nurse, etc.)
- Education beyond high school.
- Fluency in a language other than English: These applicants are considered for "Language of Destination" flight attendant roles, which offer additional pay as well as special responsibilities.
Do you have what it takes? Start your application here.