The median annual wage of flight attendants was $37,740 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,930, and the top 10 percent earned more than $63,990.
According to data from the Association of Flight Attendants, the average annual wage for an entry-level position was $16,597 in 2011.
Attendants typically receive health and retirement benefits as part of their compensation package. Some airlines also offer incentive pay for working holidays, nights, and weekends. While working away from home, attendants also receive an allowance for meals and accommodations. Flight attendants are required to purchase their initial set of uniforms and luggage, but the airline companies usually pay for replacements.
Attendants typically fly 75 to 90 hours a month and generally spend another 50 hours a month on the ground, preparing flights, writing reports, and waiting for planes to arrive. On average, they spend about two to three nights a week away from home. Most work variable schedules.
Many flight attendants are members of a union.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition