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How to Become a Personal Trainer

There is a growing trend toward attaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a regular program of fitness training along with proper nutrition. Personal trainers have the knowledge and expertise necessary to motivate clients and help them stick to a regimented workout plan to enhance overall wellness. If you are considering becoming a personal trainer, ask yourself if you have the required qualities of being highly dedicated, driven, and focused. If you have passed that first test, let’s move on the next level and explore your potential for a career as a personal trainer.

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

A personal trainer will examine and assess the level of individual fitness and work directly with their clients to develop a plan to help them reach their targeted goals. Additional duties include close observation to continually monitor the progress of their clients while motivating them with feedback, guidance, and support. Personal trainers can have their own business or work within health clubs, fitness centers, country clubs, or even within large corporations that have their own facilities.

Clients seek out personal trainers for a variety of fitness goals. Some individuals may want to include a workout program in conjunction with a diet to lose weight. Others may be interested in bodybuilding to enhance muscle tone. Strength endurance is another area where athletes may want the support and positive motivation provided by personal trainers. The job includes evaluating a client’s overall health history to ascertain any problem areas and or limitations that may result in injury during workouts.

Do You Have the Key Qualities of a Personal Trainer?

Key characteristics of a great personal trainer include a having a level of motivation that is similar passing boot camp—but with more compassion and patience. Before you can teach others to be fit and stay fit, you must have attained that goal yourself. Other essential characteristic traits that are necessary to be a successful personal trainer include the ability to lead a fitness program, whether it is a one-on-one session or a group program. You must have the ability to motivate and lead others. Management skills are also necessary to enforce rules for maintaining safety when using equipment to avoid injury.

Your personality must be customer-service oriented to such a level that you can inspire your clients to stick to a program and not give up. You must be able to generate positive reinforcement and support toward providing motivation. Personal trainers must also be able to create individual training programs to meet the unique needs of each client based on their current fitness levels and targeted goals. If you still are unsure whether to pursue a career as a personal trainer, then it is time to create a personal inventory list and ponder your accomplishments, motivations, and future career aspirations.

Reflect Upon Your Goals and Do Some Research

It is always wise to thoroughly research any plan before making a major investment of time and money. Ask yourself if a career as a personal trainer is the right choice for you. If you have maintained a high level of fitness all your life in conjunction with a healthy diet and regularly workout and exercise, you are already half way there. If you have a membership with your local health club and visit there on a regular basis that is even better. Bodybuilding or marathon enthusiasts that constantly strive for high levels of fitness are on the right path.

You need to look at your overall history when deciding if you want to pursue a training program, choose an area of specialization and then become certified. What are the reasons you want to become a personal trainer? Do you have experience motivating and leading others, while keeping them focused on long-term goals? If fitness is an important aspect of your life and the idea of helping others reach that same goal infuses you with inner inspiration, then you are making a good career decision to become a professional personal trainer.

Select an Area of Specialization to Pursue

There are many areas in which a personal trainer can offer specialized fitness programs. One option is to focus on one or two specializations depending on your interests and goals. There are some drawbacks to narrowing your area of expertise to just one category. The disadvantage of going this route is that when you own the business the amount of generated clientele may be limited by your choice. In other words, your income may suffer do to a lack of sufficient customers, plus you have to pay for your own insurance coverage. On the plus side, a solo business puts you in control with the potential for unlimited earnings.

If you are employed as a personal trainer for a large health club or onsite fitness center, you will more likely be working with a wide range of individuals and lead a variety of different fitness programs. A position within such a setting will also likely include a full plate of employee benefits such as health and dental insurance, disability coverage, vacation and sick days, plus a pension or retirement fund. These are definite pluses to going the route of working for someone else. Depending on your interests and goals, some examples of specialization include the following categories:

  • Endurance training
  • Resistance training
  • Senior fitness
  • Youth fitness
  • Women’s fitness
  • Men’s fitness
  • Conditioning
  • Weight loss
  • Fitness and nutrition
  • Group fitness training
  • Performance training

Enroll in a Program and Start Your Studies

Available programs to become a personal trainer can include pursuing a certificate or degree at your local college, university or vocational school. You can complete 1- year diploma and certificate programs at career training institutes and vocational schools. Many community colleges offer 2-year associate degree programs with a focus on fitness training as a major. A bachelor’s degree program is yet one more option to consider depending on your long-term career goals. A 4-year program may give you an edge if you want to pursue opportunities to advance to higher level positions.

Before you enroll in a training program, carefully examine your career aspirations. This includes envisioning the type of position and work you see yourself doing 5 to 10 years from now. Required credentials that employees will be looking for will depend on the type of organization that is hiring. If the open job is a specialized position beyond that of the training provided with a basic diploma or certificate, prerequisites may include coursework at more advanced levels in the areas of kinesiology as well as physical education and exercise science.

Depending on where you live, there are several ways you can track down a solid program to help you prepare for your career as a personal trainer. Recent high school graduates that knew long ago that a career as a personal trainer was the right choice for them can meet with a guidance counselor to help them select a good training program. Those already familiar with local vocational schools and colleges in their state are off to a great start. Aside from doing a Google search and entering the name of your state and programs for personal trainers, here are a few online tools to help you track down a good school:

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM): You can quickly and easily find a school to meet your needs by using the search tool provided by NASM. The drop-down menu includes options for selecting a country, state/providence, type of school, certification, and program delivery methods. The search results will include school names along with more information about training programs and services offered.

NCES College Navigator: This site is maintained by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This is an excellent resource that lets you search for a school based on location, level of award, types of programs, and much more. Clicking on the Browse for Programs button will open up a small window where you can enter the search terms such as “fitness” to bring up relevant results. After you save the info and close the window, click on Show Results to view a complete list of schools that offer training programs for personal trainers.

PersonalTrainerEdu.org: This site provides a search tool that allows you to locate schools based on the alphabetical listing of each state. Your options include clicking on a selected state icon or the link that says Find a School, which will direct you to a page that provides more information. Search results provide detailed school information including program overview, accreditation, admissions, and financial aid.

Select and Invest in a Certification Program

Finding the best personal trainer certification is an important step toward becoming a personal trainer. Recognized accredited certification for personal trainers is a major requirement for positions in most health clubs, fitness centers, and gyms. The reasoning for this is that insurance companies will not provide liability coverage to fitness centers that do not adhere to these standards. A complete list of organizations that offer certification within the category of Fitness and Wellness is posted on the website of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Programs recognized by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies NCCA are as follows:

Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (AAPTE)

ACTION Certification (ACTION)

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa)

International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)

National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)

PTA Global, Inc. (PTA Global, Inc.)

The Cooper Institute (CI)

Maintain Your Certification with Continued Education

Certification is important both at the beginning of your career as a personal trainer and throughout it as well. Maintaining certification is done by successfully completing ongoing continuing education and learning. Continuing education credits, also known as CECs, enhance professional development and also provide you with a refresher relative to ongoing trends and changes within the industry. The specific requirements for the amount of CECs you need to complete will vary depending on the agency through which you sought and obtained the original certification.

Examples of ways to earn the necessary CECs include attending specialized workshops and seminars as well as taking additional classes and completing courses. You may need to pay a renewal fee and will have to provide documentation of the completed CECs to maintain your certification status. Each accrediting agency may have different intervals during which you will be required to submit and renew your certification as a personal trainer. If you are unsure as to how to maintain your certification, contact the organization that originally certified you for information and guidance.

Future Job Outlook for Personal Trainers

Career prospects and job opportunities for potential personal trainers is anticipated to increase at a rate of about 8 percent during the period from 2014 to 2024. These statistics, which correlate with data for fitness trainers and instructors, are maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The data also notes that the overall growth rate for this industry is “about as fast as the average for all occupations.” (BLS, 2015)

Salary and wage levels are determined by several factors that include specialized training and education, industry certification, skill level and experience, and the geographic location. Other elements that play a role in the overall earning potential of a personal trainer include the type of setting where one is employed. Examples provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) include the following categories:

  • Fitness and recreational sports centers
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Educational services; state, local, and private
  • Government
  • Civic and social organizations (BLS, 2015)

Future trends that contribute to the popularity of this industry include expanded areas of specialization based on increased levels of interest produced by consumers that are seeking alternative fitness programs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. CNN rated the top 100 jobs in America, ranking personal trainers up near the top, positioning it as #18 on the list. Average salary figures as posted on CNN can range anywhere from around $50,000 or more per year, with some individuals topping out with six-figure salaries.

The overall outlook for those considering a career as a personal trainer is both bright and promising. Job prospects abound across the country in a variety of settings. You can work within large health club or fitness center or start your own business, based on your unique goals and interests. The industry is projected to continue to grow, providing opportunities to motivated individuals in multiple areas of specialization.

Top 3 Best Personal Trainer Certification Programs Comparison

Congratulations! You have weighed various career options and thought about what interests you and what will provide good employment. After sorting through this information, you have decided you want to become a personal trainer. You like that you will be helping people achieve their goals, and you enjoy learning about health, fitness and the human body, so the field seems like a natural fit for you.

Now what? Where do you start? How do you actually become a personal trainer?

If you want to be a personal trainer who is actually hired by paying customers, you must become certified. However, there are any number of personal trainer certification programs out there to choose from. How in the wild, wild world of the Internet do you know which one will teach you what you you need to know at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time frame?

To help you decide, here is a list of three of the most popular personal training certification programs available, including their features, benefits and more. The programs are the following:

1. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
2. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
3. American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA)

Below is a comparison of each of the programs, along with our recommendation for the top program you should pursue to achieve your goal of becoming a personal trainer.

Requirements

Most programs require that you have several prerequisites before you actually begin the training. The most common requirements are that you must be 18 years old or older and completed hands-on CPR and AED (automatic external defibrillator) certification. If you have not done so, you can complete this through a community education program or the Red Cross.

ACE and NASM include these requirements.

AFPA only requires that you be 18 or older and have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. They do, however, recommend that you would do well to have completed some education in the field of human anatomy. This will give you a good start to any personal training program. Some of AFPA’s more specialized personal trainer certifications require that you have a minimum of a 400 documented hours of one-on-one personal training experience, but this will be down the road for you.

Study Materials and Courses

ACE has a several resources that to meet your various needs. These include Master the Manual, the Personal Trainer Manual set and the Essentials of Exercise Science Flashcards. If you like online training better, they offer several online programs to prepare you for the personal training exam, including exam review and practice tests. You can also obtain personalized help from the ACE Resource Center. This includes access to Study Counselors for questions about a certain topic, study question review or even just general test stress. If you need accountability, you can even schedule weekly check-ins with them.

NASM also offers a combination of resources, including in-person, online and print preparation guides. Options include interactive discussion questions, 1-day live workshops, flash cards, a 9-week online course and study guides.

AFPA is much the same, with comprehensive curriculum offerings whenever the timing is best for you. Their personal training certification is both practical and current, and is based on exercise science, sports medicine and nutrition guidelines. With their Distance Learning programs, you get the convenience of self-paced learning, giving you time to study. A fully-staffed customer service team is also available to answer questions and help you on your journey.

Other learning materials include certification course textbooks and an exercise textbook and DVD (including descriptions and demonstrations of more than 70 exercises). Course study guidelines and a completion schedule help you stay on track, while practice quizzes test your progress. You can take the final exam whenever you like up until six months after enrollment. You also get unlimited student support, a weekly newsletter and member discount offers.

Recertification and Continuing Education

Every personal training certifying body requires you to keep your CPR and AED certification current, and they also require continuing education credits (CECs), although the amounts are different. This generally includes conference, online courses, in-person training, webinars and more. Recertification also requires a fee. Here’s how the three programs handle the process:

ACE’s recertification is every two years, with a $129 fee. You must complete 20 CECs through ACE’s online courses, in-person workshops and the ACE symposium, held every year for ACE personal trainers. This is great connection and education time. The ACE Resource Center is also available for you to ask the counselors any questions about the industry in general.

NASM is similar, with 20 hours required every two years and a $99 fee. You also have the option when you first become certified to pay $299 for lifetime recertification. This is a good deal if you plan on staying in the personal training industry for six years or more. NASM offers online courses and live workshops to get your CECs.

AFPA’s recertification fee is $85 every two years, with 16 hours of CECs required. This education must be new activity that you have not previously completed, and a variety of courses and options are available through them as well.

Additional Certifications

Each of these three groups also offers additional certifications in addition to personal training. These can advance your career by helping you gain new and valuable skills. Some of these are general, such as group exercise instructor certifications, while others are more specific as becoming a cancer exercise trainer or a tactical strength and conditioning facilitator.

ACE gives you several good options, including group fitness instructor, health coach and advanced health and fitness specialist. ACE’s specialty certifications include youth fitness, fitness nutrition, functional training and mind-body training.

NASM offers several options as well, including mixed martial arts conditioning, women’s fitness, youth exercise, golf fitness and fitness nutrition.

AFPA has options as well, including twenty-four certifications such as Personal Fitness Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Senior Fitness, Youth Fitness, Yoga Instructor and Pilates Instructor. These programs are offered both online and through distance education.

Accreditation

Accreditation can be confusing, but basically, a program must undergo review by an accrediting body which sets standards for certification programs. This gives both you and your clients assurance that the development, implementation, maintenance and governance of the program meets their high standards. If a program is accredited, you can feel good that it is a program worth you time, energy and funds.

ACE and NASM are both accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA’s accreditation is thought of as the best and highest standard for the personal training field. Groups accredited by the NCCA must submit to comprehensive evaluation over regular periods of time in order to keep this accreditation.

AFPA’s Personal Trainer Certification program is accredited by Vital Research, which means they have met 14 Accreditation Standards set forth by Vital Research. AFPA’s Personal Trainer Certification program is not accredited by NCCA because AFPA chooses not to submit their program for consideration. NCCA is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to grant accreditation, although NCCA is held in high regard throughout the personal training industry.

Investment

While becoming certified as a personal trainer will not break the bank, it does require an investment. Think of it as investment and not a fee – you are making a deposit into your future earnings based on personal training. Once you have landed a few clients and they are actually paying you, you will realize how valuable your initial investment really is.

All three organizations offer study materials in bundles that are affordable. You will also have to pay an exam fee when it is time for the final test.

At ACE, several study bundles are popular, ranging from $499 to $799. The $699 option is the best seller, but all are good and all include the fee for the final certification exam, which helps you calculate the final cost. On the most expensive plan, free financing is available, which means you may have an easier time paying for the course.

The ACE bundles look even better when you consider that the test fee is $399 if you pay it alone. You can buy the study materials separately, but the bundles do save money – you would pay $110 for the ACE manual alone and $169 for the online test review.

NASM’s 9-week online course costs $349 and you get a test pass guarantee. This means the company will return your money if you finish the class and do not pass the test. (Students who actually complete the course have a 95% pass rate according to the NASM website.)

NASM’s half-day certification test prep workshop is cheaper at $199, but does not include the test pass guarantee. A CT super bundle, including online flash cards and information on exercise techniques and program design, costs $79. The test costs $599, which is most expensive of our list, but the test pass guarantee and the 95% pass rate mean you most likely won’t have to worry about passing the test, which is your end goal. The online course and the test together will cost about $950.

The AFPA’s online test cost $415, with an extra $30 fee if you would rather take a paper, hard copy version of the test. This price gets you full manuals, video lessons and a proctored exam. It also includes a free ebook called “How to Start a Successful Online Personal Trainer Business” which will show you how to increase your income through online training.

With the online test, you submit your assignments and final exam online. You will get your results back immediately. The hard copy mail-in test covers you if you prefer an old-fashioned paper exam. Just mail the test booklet back when you are finished.

Our Top Recommendation

Now that you have had a chance to read through all of the information above, you may be overwhelmed. To help you simplify, we are ready to make a recommendation as to the best personal trainer certification program out of the three we just reviewed.

Our recommendation for the best personal trainer certification program is the The American Council on Exercise (ACE).

We make this recommendation first because of the amount of study materials and support you receive as you go through an ACE personal training certification program. Their training packages are simply and understandably priced (and they include the exam fee!). Combine this with online support and a resource center available over the phone for answers, encouragement and accountability whenever you need it, and you have a proven winner. Even graduates of the program can call the resource center for help when they are out in the real world.

ACE also offers a huge variety of extra certifications and specializations for participants in their programs. Certifications such as group fitness instructor, advanced health and fitness specialist, and health coach are all valuable. The more specialized certifications can also increase your appeal and value for potential employers.

We also like ACE because it is a non-profit organization. As such, it is committed to its role of training the best fitness professionals out there. ACE can focus on this mission instead of having to please investors as they chase an ever-increasing profit margin.

If you earn an ACE personal trainer certification, you will be well-trained, your job prospects will be bright and you will be ready for whatever you face. If you run across a situation you are not sure about, you can always call the trusty resource center for answers. Don’t underestimate this benefit – not every program offers such a great resource for you.

NASM and AFPA are quality programs as well. You won’t go wrong if you choose either of these options – we just think ACE is a step above. This is how you start a personal training career – with a well-respected education from a quality institution.

Now that you are armed with this information, go forth and train!

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are a rare breed indeed. Marketing and selling properties is not an easy task. This type of work requires individuals to have innate qualities and characteristics that set them apart from the crowd in order to survive in a very competitive business and get ahead. You need to have an independent nature as you will be working alone most of time. This requires determination and the ability to plan and prioritize your work. Having an intuitive knowledge and understanding of how the real estate industry works will give you an edge. There are definite benefits and perks to learning how to become a real estate agent, including the potential for an unlimited income so you can enjoy all that life has to offer.

The Perks of Working as a Real Estate Agent – Benefits and Bonuses

Many are drawn to the real estate industry due to the prospect for a six-figure and above income. The perks and bonuses of being a real estate agent particularly appeal to those who like to be in charge and work solo.

A flexible lifestyle along with the opportunity to travel when showing properties adds a sense of adventure and spontaneity to one’s day. Some additional rewards that attract professionals to the field of real estate include the following benefits:

The Need for Real Estate Will Always Exist

Ongoing trends and developments will always have an impact on the business world particular in relation to the changing levels of supply and demand. Although the real estate market may slow somewhat when the economy is bad, the need for real estate agents will never completely go away.

Due to the variety of rental properties, there will always be the opportunity to expand into other areas. This is one industry that can survive even when the economy bottoms out. Conditions eventually improve and the real estate market makes a comeback and then flourishes once more.

There are Opportunities to Network with Others in the Profession

Connecting with other professionals within the field of real estate provides opportunities to network and make new business contacts. Real estate agents that have their own business and work independently also enjoy the social aspects and camaraderie of getting to meet others that share their passion for the industry.

Networking is particularly important for real estate agents that are just starting out. Reaching out to other professionals that have more experience is also beneficial for learning more about the real estate industry and gaining helpful support and guidance.

The Option of Working Independently and Having More Control is Attractive

Real estate agents and Realtors® may have their own business or work for independent agencies that specialize in marketing and selling a variety of properties. Even those employed by a real estate agency will have the perk of maintaining a more flexible schedule than that of a typical 9-5 work office setting.

Some real estate agents telecommute from their own homes with only the occasional need to visit their agency offices to check in. The benefit of going solo and working independently is a good choice for those real estate agents that want complete control and would prefer not work for someone else.

A Real Estate Agent’s Mobile Lifestyle Provides Flexibility to Relocate

Real estate agents have the benefit of being able to easily relocate to other regions. If the market for one particular area of real estate is slow but others are booming, the potential is there to keep working and still bring in the income.

Those that may have limited obligations with no family can go just about anywhere their heart desires. If better opportunities exist in large cities, beach-side communities, or in mountaintop resorts, being a real estate agent provides you with the flexibility to stay mobile and choose your next destination.

Behind the Scenes Responsibilities of a Real Estate Agent

There are a variety of duties and tasks that go into the day of being a real estate agent. Promotional efforts include marketing listings and properties by making them visible to potential buyers. When a property of any type is ready to be listed, the real estate agent will strategically place yard signs and then post the listing in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Advertisements to further market the property are created and then promoted through other forms of media such as brochures, newspapers and magazines.

Once the word is out and the public sees that a property is available, real estate agents will need to attract potential buyers. This is accomplished in a variety of ways that includes posting information and updates on your agency’s website and blog. If you are an independent sales agent, work solo, and have your own business, you should have your own unique website so you can connect with potential clients and market your listings.

Moving forward, the next task that real estate agents need to take care of is to install secure lockboxes at the sites of their advertised property listings. Potential buyers love open houses as it a low-pressure way to view advertised properties that they may be interested in purchasing. Interested clients will contact you to arrange showings, which will naturally progress to negotiating prices and closing a deal. Additional duties include onsite inspections, title searches, and providing necessary information to lenders.

Typical Work Environment and Work Schedule

Those that are employed by a real estate agency will have the luxury of a business office with all the amenities. Your typical office environment will usually come fully furnished with your own work station plus access to provided equipment such as computers, printers, and telephones. Depending on the size of the agency you work for, you may be provided with employee benefits such as health insurance plus vacation days, sick pay, and other perks.

Your employer may let you telecommute and work within the comfort of your own home office — with the understanding that you will need to make occasional visits to your primary office for meetings and other events. Although real estate agency offices have regular business hours, their sales agents will have more flexible schedules. A typical work schedule for a real estate agent that works for a company could include meeting with potential clients during the evening hours and showing properties on the weekends.

Real estate agents that have their own business can set their own schedules. Going this route shares some of the same elements as being employed by an agency. Solo real estate agents will still need to remain open to having to meet with clients at the end of the day and scheduling a showing of a particular property during the weekend. It is also common for independent real estate agents to sometimes put in hours during the holidays.

Essential Qualities of a Good Real Estate Agent

When a potential client will be spending a lot of hard-earned money and making a long-term investment in a home or property, they want and expect their real estate agent to be not only informative and helpful, but to also be honest and trustworthy. Home buyers and sellers do not like haggling along with high-pressure schemes to maneuver them into making a purchase.

To increase your chances for future clients and additional referrals for new business, you must be professional with a friendly personality to get ahead. Prompt and efficient service with a smile is also greatly appreciated. Key characteristics that are indispensable for succeeding as a real estate agent include the following essential qualities:

Have Strong Communication Skills

A primary aspect of your job as a real estate agent will be to interact with your clients. This may take place over the phone, via email, and through texted messages as well as in person. Having solid interpersonal skills is an absolute must. Whether your job involves representing a seller or buyer, both involve business transactions that require you to be able to effectively communicate with other people.

Be an Attentive and Patient Listener

Being a good listener and allowing others to express themselves is essential to becoming a successful real estate agent. Even though sales and commissions are an important aspect of the real estate industry, being pushy and forceful will not win you points. If you maintain a friendly yet professional approach when dealing with customers, the return investment will be referrals for additional business.

Have the Ability to Negotiate and Persuade

Negotiation and the art of selling are essential skills for success in the real estate industry. If approached with the needs of all parties in mind, the manner in which you persuade potential buyers and sellers will benefit you in many ways. If you get into the negative practice of haggling, future potential business prospects may decline as clients go elsewhere and seek out other real estate agents to represent them.

Be Skilled with Social Media and the Web

Real estate agents need to be computer savvy and skilled at navigating the Internet. MLS listings are now posted on the web, providing potential clients with details about available properties along with images. Social media networking tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook provide alternative ways to promote and market listings and to connect with potential clients.

What Types of Properties Do Real Estate Agents Sell?

The market for real estate includes a wide range of property types. Selections are just not limited to residential housing or commercial buildings. The variety is so extensive, which in itself is an added perk as you are not limited to just representing one particular type of unit. This can be a blessing in disguise when the market is slow. Depending on where you live, options include, but are not limited to, the following property types:

  • Apartments
  • Condominiums
  • Townhouses
  • Co-ops
  • Commercial properties including vacant buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Hotels and motels
  • Industrial complexes
  • Gasoline service stations
  • Bank buildings
  • Resorts
  • Investment properties
  • Manufactured homes
  • Modular homes
  • Residential homes
  • Shopping centers
  • Time share properties
  • Vacation homes
  • Vacant land and building lots

Real Estate Agents and Areas of Specialization

Choosing to focus on one or more areas of specialization is one option available for real estate agents to consider exploring. Many professionals in this industry opt for the choice of being both a buyer’s agent as well as a seller’s agent as it provides the opportunity for additional business and higher profits.

Some working within the industry may decide to primarily deal with residential properties whereas other real estate agents want the potential added income that can come from representing commercial properties. Property managers and land specialists provide additional pathways to consider.

Preparation for Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Working in the field of real estate does not require a college degree but the industry is regulated and has strict standards so preparation for entry into the field includes becoming licensed. Guidelines and requirements to obtain a license will differ within each state but essentials include that all individuals be at least 18 years of age, take several industry courses, and to have successfully passed the provided exam. Additional provisions may include having to submit to a background check.

There are a variety of ways in which you can prepare for your real estate license. Options include enrolling in courses at your local community college or university. Some educational institutions offer online, web-based instruction for those that have busy schedules and need a more flexible format in which to learn. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure that the school is accredited and authorized to instruct students.

Future Growth Opportunities for Real Estate Agents

Predicting future opportunities within the real estate industry is a little more difficult than some other fields. The supply and demand for properties is essentially controlled by the state of the economy. When the market is slow due to a downturn in the economy, some types of properties will not go as quickly and may sit for a time before a potential buyer comes along. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a slower than average growth rate for real estate agents at about 3 percent during the period of 2014 to 2024.

There will always be the need for some types of properties, even during the slow periods when some areas of the market may not be moving as fast. Real estate agents that take a more flexible approach to the industry can easily make the switch to another specialization. Another option is to focus on different types of properties in order to stay active and ahead of the competition while still bringing in an income. From a positive standpoint, there are always opportunities waiting to be had and profits to be made.

How to Become a Bartender

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A great bartender plays several key roles beyond just serving drinks to their clientele. A bartender will often times find themselves taking on the role of a best friend and having to lend a patient ear while many customers talk about their bad day at work or complain about the economy and politics. Most importantly, conversing with customers requires the ability to simultaneously juggle a multitude of other tasks in a very busy and hectic environment—all while maintaining a sense of calm composure and self-confidence. Additional key qualities of a great bartender include the following characteristics:

Have a Charming Personality

One of the most important aspects of being a bartender is the ability to socialize and effectively communicate with your customers. Depending on the size of the restaurant and the time of week, your job will involve contact with potentially several hundred customers each night. Your customers will want to converse with you, share stories, and tell tall tales, all while you are busy taking orders and mixing drinks. The ability to maintain your composure with a smile on your face is a key trait for becoming a great bartender and succeeding on the job.

Have the Ability to Multitask

Bartenders must be able to tackle several duties at one time, while being able to stay focused on each task. With several customers sitting at your bar, you will be getting requests for many different types of drinks while having to be able to accurately remember each order. Customers will be chatting with you while you are mixing the drinks, filling the glasses, and adding garnishes. Having a strong memory is essential for bartending as you must be able to keep track of each individual request while performing other duties and keeping the bar area organized.

Be Fast as Lightning

Speed is essential if you want to be a great bartender. Your job will require you to juggle many things all at the same time while providing fast service to your customers. You need to have heart and to really want to work in this business in order to not only last but to succeed as well. Your customers expect you to mix and fill their glasses in record time, and they do not want to wait forever to get their drinks. If you have a personality that is filled with spunk and drive and a never ending source of energy, you have already met one of the required prerequisites for becoming a great bartender.

Exhibit Stamina and Strength

If you are looking for a job where you can serve customers while sitting at a desk all day, bartending is not the right choice for you. As a bartender you will be standing all day, and the only time you may occasionally sit down is during your lunch or dinner breaks. Some duties you will perform as a bartender include having to lift hefty boxes of liquor and kegs of beer. A job as a bartender requires stamina and strength in order to also make it through a long day on your feet while serving customers their drinks, multitasking, and performing other duties.

Be Familiar with the Community

The social aspects of being a great bartender include having a solid knowledge of the community in which the establishment is located. Customers will often ask you for information about the area especially if they are traveling and are not familiar with the local offerings. Expect to be asked for suggestions as to the best places to stay and to go for entertainment such as theaters and casinos. Vacationers that visit your bar may ask you for directions to upcoming events and attractions. Providing guidance and suggestions should be easy if you live within the area of the bar where you work.

Be Good at Math

Part of your duties as a great bartender will be to ring up customers, provide change, collect tips, and keep an accurate balance of all transactions during your work shift. Depending on the rate of customer traffic and numbers served, some food and beverage establishments may also have a practice of only keeping a set amount of cash available in the register. You may be responsible for regularly depositing money within a safe throughout your shift and not just at the end of the night. Although you do not need to be an accountant or math geek, bartending does require solid math skills to succeed.

Have a Solid Knowledge of Liquor, Wine, and Beer

Becoming knowledgeable and familiar with all the many types of liquors, wines, and beers is not a feat that can be accomplished overnight. You will need to learn about the different types of liquors served in bars and the ingredients that go into making each unique drink. It takes time and practice to develop skill and expertise as a great bartender and there are several ways you can go about doing it. When exploring your options to learn about the business of bartending, possible pathways include acquiring experience through related jobs and completing a training course.

Exploring Alternative Pathways to Becoming a Bartender

The job of a bartender is one position that requires applicants to have at least some basic knowledge and understanding of alcoholic drinks or some exposure to the environment in which drinks are served. If you know nothing about making and mixing drinks or have never worked in a restaurant, your chances for getting a job as a bartender are minimal at best. Bar owners and restaurant establishments initially look at applicants that already come equipped with some skills that can be acquired through past positions working within the food and beverage industry.

Gain Experience in Other Restaurant Positions

If you have had a position within a restaurant and are familiar and comfortable working in this fast-paced business, you are already one step ahead of other applicants. When managers are interviewing for bartending jobs, if the pool of applicants does not include anyone who already has experience working in a club or bar, the next phase is to seek out individuals that already work in restaurants. Having worked in any of the following positions will definitely come in handy and tip the scales in your favor:

Food and beverage servers: Waiters and waitresses have a leg up when it comes to experience working in the fast paced environment of a restaurant or bar. You regularly deal with many customers, take orders, and serve meals – duties of which require you to speedily multitask while keeping a smile on your face.

Dining room attendants: Busboys and busgirls also acquire valuable experience in the food and beverage industry by removing dishes after customers finish their meals and then efficiently cleaning and resetting tables with skill and speed. They may also assist other food and beverage servers on very busy nights or when the restaurant is short of staff and needs a few extra hands.

Food Preparation Attendants: Workers in this position will acquire experience by assisting cooks and chefs during the preparation of meals. Tasks may include cleaning, cutting, and mixing meal ingredients. Other duties involve cleaning and maintaining equipment and storing food. This type of job teaches essential skills that can help prepare you for a future job as a bartender.

Barback/Bartender’s Assistant: A bartender’s assistant, often referred to as a barback, provides help by taking on many of the secondary duties beyond making drinks such as keeping the bar area clean and continually restocking supplies. This position is more often seen in restaurants and bars that are extremely busy with a high volume of customers.

The Pros and Cons of Bartending School

Deciding whether to attend bartending school is a personal choice and comes with its own set of pros and cons. Your past job experience in the food and beverage industry plus your acquired knowledge of liquor, wine, and beer and how to mix drinks all play into whether you should move forward and sign up for a training course. Some advocate against the cost of taking courses to learn the trade. What you need to remember is that on-the-job learning to become a bartender is a rarity in this industry, hence the potential benefits of pursuing an education.

Managers of bars and clubs generally do not want to hire an applicant for an open position who has absolutely no past experience nor any understanding of alcohol and how to make drinks. Bartending is a very fast paced business and the environment is not conducive to taking on a new hire and providing on-the-job training. That being said, bartending school can be a good option in some situations and a good place to start to learn more about the industry.

When choosing a bartending school, the hands-on approach is the best way to learn more about this business and to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. Bartending is one profession where you need to be onsite in an actual classroom to properly learn how to make drinks. Distance learning and web-based training options just don’t cut it when it comes down to learning a skill that requires the use of your hands to make and mix drinks—you can’t do that online.

If you are interested in attending bartending school, you will need to do some further research to find out what type of training is available in your region. One option you may want to explore is USABartendingSchool.com, which is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited. The site offers a listing of bartending schools within the U.S., which are state authorized institutions of learning. An additional resource to check out is the nationwide bartending schools directory posted on ABCBartending.com.

State Bartending Laws and Liquor Certification Requirements

Beyond meeting the basic requirement of being of age to drink alcohol, serving it within a bar, club, or other type of food and beverage establishment as a bartender comes with its own set of rules and regulations. The APIS (Alcohol Policy Information System), a site maintained by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, has various maps and charts that help to clarify the laws and any questions as they pertain to “underage drinking and minimum age for on-premises servers and bartenders.” (APIS, 2015) Regulations may vary in each state so it is important to become familiar with your region’s laws.

Guidelines for Liquor Certification

Do to the nature of the type of work involved in bartending and its associated legalities, many states require that those serving alcoholic beverages complete certification. Those that are new to the trade of bartending must become knowledgeable with the laws as they relate to areas such as overdrinking, requesting proof of ID, hours of service, and how to effectively deal with drunken customers that may be violent. Additional information is available online at ServerCertificationCorp.com, which provides an easy to use alphabetical listing of all the states and their certification requirements.

The Future of Bartending: Job Outlook and Potential Salary

The hourly wage rate for a job as a bartender will vary from state to state and will also reflect the experience level of the applicant. More luxurious resorts and hotels that charge more for their services may offer a higher wage or salary with added benefits, perks, and bonuses. Beginning positions for those just starting out may average at about minimum wage. However, even with a lower hourly rate, bartending can be a lucrative position due to the potential that comes from added income received in the form of tips. Some bartenders with experience working at busy high-end establishments can make six-figure incomes — so the potential is there.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future outlook for bartending is bright, progressing “faster than the average for all occupations” (BLS, 2015) with a projected growth rate in the range of about 10 percent during the period of 2014 to 2014. Positions can be found across the nation at a variety of places that include not just your typical bar but also jobs at hotels, resorts, clubs, taverns, inns, and any type of establishment that caters to travelers. Applicants that have the necessary knowledge acquired from formal training courses and or experience working in other types of positions within the food and beverage industry will have an edge on the competition when applying for jobs.

Flight Attendant Jobs: Here’s How to Get Hired

Becoming a flight attendant is challenging. Airline companies want to know that they are hiring an individual that can keep passengers safe and comfortable throughout the duration of their flight. In order to get hired as a flight attendant, you need to prove to airline recruiters that you are tough, intelligent and compassionate enough to handle any situation while up in the air.

Cover letter and resume

First impressions are everything in the airline industry. Your resume and cover letter should give airline recruiters a quick idea of who you are and why you would be an asset to their company. A memorable first impression is the key to securing an in-person interview.

Your cover letter should be short enough to read at a glance, and should briefly touch on any relevant skills or experience that you possess. Each cover letter that you write should be tailor made to suit a specific company. You can get a taste of what sort of language an airline uses by visiting its website. Using company jargon in your cover letter can help you to stand out as a candidate by showing that you understand and appreciate a company’s culture.

A short, well written cover letter is essential for capturing the attention of an airline recruiter. You can use your resume to showcase more details about your professional background and skills. Like your cover letter, you should keep your resume concise and use simple, elegant formatting. Recruiters have to read hundreds to thousands of resumes, and anything unnecessarily long winded or jumbled may end up in the garbage pile.

If you have an extensive work history, you should highlight past experience that would be relevant in an airline setting. For example, past work as a cashier shows that you have customer service experience, while employment as an EMT shows that you have medical training. It’s also a good idea to list relevant volunteer work, hobbies, or interests that might give the recruiters a taste of your personality. Airline companies are particularly interested in candidates that are good with people, such as those who volunteer with children or the elderly, along with candidates that stay fit by participating in sports or other physical activities.

All of the information that you provide in your cover letter and resume will be verified during a background check, so it is best to best to be perfectly honest about your employment history. Airlines won’t hire a candidate that later fails his or her background check.

Stand out during the interview process

Your goal during the interview process is to prove to airline recruiters that you have what it takes to become a flight attendant. They are looking for candidates that are well groomed, personable, intelligent and courteous. You will often be interviewed with a large group of other applicants, sometimes hundreds, in what is known in the industry as a “cattle call.” The cattle call is designed to quickly and efficiently weed out any unsuitable candidates. So much competition can feel overwhelming, but there are a few simple ways that you can make yourself stand out from the crowd.

The simplest way to make a good first impression is to dress appropriately. Women should wear wear a crisp navy blue or black suit, preferably with a skirt, along with formal black shoes. Makeup should be minimal and in natural tones only, while accessories should be kept small and tasteful. Men should wear dark slacks, a dress shirt, and a suit jacket along with black dress shoes. The idea is to look as much like the standard image of a flight attendant as possible.

Looking the part of a flight attendant is only half the battle. Throughout the interview process, you must show the flight recruiters that you have the personality and interpersonal skills necessary to handle the daily challenges that you will face while in the air. Act courteously towards both the recruiters and the other applicants, because your every interaction will be under close scrutiny.

Some airline companies subject applicants to a brief preliminary one-on-one interview. A recruiter will ask you a series of fairly standard interview questions, sometimes up to twenty, that you will have a set amount of time to answer. This is your opportunity to show off your communication skills. Answer questions truthfully, clearly and concisely. Avoid rambling so that you are able to answer every question within the allotted timeframe. It can be helpful to practice answers to common interview questions beforehand, such as:

  • How did you hear about this job posting?
  • Why do you want to become a flight attendant?
  • Why are you the best candidate for the job?
  • What kind of jobs have you worked in the past?
  • What are your future career goals?
  • How would you handle an unruly passenger?
  • How would you handle a dispute between two passengers?

It is important to be courteous and confident during the interview, since these are two qualities that are important in a flight attendant. Make eye contact, maintain a good posture, and avoid fidgeting. End the interview on a positive note by thanking the interviewer for his or her time.

Airline companies commonly use group interviews to assess the interpersonal and communication skills of applicants. Candidates are split up into teams and given a scenario to act out while being observed by the airline recruiters. This is not a competition nor a chance to outshine your teammates, but rather, a chance to show that you are able to work effectively as part of a team.

In the scenario that your team is given, you will face a problem that a flight attendant might encounter while on the job. For example, you may have to calm an unruly passenger, or settle a seating argument between two customers. You are expected to think on your feet and come up with creative and innovative solutions to the problem at hand. It may be helpful to practice role playing scenarios with friends and family members before your interview.

Take the medical exam seriously

The medical exam will assess if you meet the height and weight requirements necessary to become a flight attendant. You will also be put through a battery of tests to determine the health of your circulatory and respiratory systems. Serious medical conditions that could put you or your passengers at risk while in the air may bar you from becoming a flight attendant.

Candidates will also have their blood and urine analyzed during the company medical exam. You should disclose any past recreational drug use to the company upon taking the physical. This won’t bar you from becoming a flight attendant, but you will be subjected to random drug testing for two months after hire. You should also alert the recruitment staff if you take any prescription drugs, as these may show up in your blood or urine tests and affect your hireability.

Be personable, punctual and professional

Flight attendant training is an intense four to eight week course designed to weed out the weakest students. You won’t just be evaluated by just test scores and class rankings. Instructors will be watching trainees for grooming habits, punctuality, and disposition. Even small infractions such as unkempt hair or a rude comment can get you kicked out of the training program.

Flight attendants are expected to be the the paradigm of professionalism. Airlines are looking for candidates that will be an asset to the company. Throughout your training, take every opportunity available to show that you have the strength, compassion and intelligence necessary to become a flight attendant.

Flight Attendant School: The Ultimate Guide

Image: Imaginechina/Associated Press

The goal of every airline is to provide a smooth, safe and comfortable onboard experience for its passengers. Flight attendants are the single most important factor when it comes to onboard customer satisfaction. Flight attendant training school is designed to prepare you for any situation that you might encounter while in the air, from unruly passengers to medical emergencies.

Before You Apply

Every airline has a set of minimum physical requirements that its flight attendants must meet. Candidates have to be able to push, pull and lift heavy loads, endure long periods of time up on their feet, and power through fatigue and jetlag. Crew members must be healthy enough to take on their daily responsibilities and to pull their weight as a team member.

All airlines have height restrictions that flight attendants must meet, but these restrictions vary between airlines. Flight attendants can’t be too short, but they also can’t be too tall to walk comfortably around the cabin. While height restrictions vary from company to company, most airlines generally accept individuals between around 4’11”, or 150 cm, to 6’3”, or 190 cm. Airlines also have mandatory requirements for how high a flight attendant is able to reach. This ensures that all staff members are able to safely access the overhead bins without endangering themselves or passengers.

Most airlines do not impose strict weight restrictions on flight attendants, but candidates must be within the normal weight range for their height. You can check if you are within the normal weight range for your height by checking your BMI. Flight attendants that are either overweight or underweight may not be able to safely perform their onboard responsibilities.

In addition to height and weight restrictions, airlines around the world also impose age restrictions on flight attendants. All flight attendants must be 18 or older, although some companies require that their flight attendants be at least 21 years old. Flight attendants must be mature enough to cope with the daily pressures of air travel.

The Interview Process

Many interviews are performed in the fashion of a “cattle call,” which involves dozens to hundreds of qualified applicants all being screened at once. Unacceptable candidates are quickly weeded out by written, language competency, and vision tests. Flight attendants working for companies that operate within the U.S. must be able to prove that they can communicate fluently in English with passengers and other crew members. Applicants must also prove that they have at least 20/30 vision, which means that they are able to see clearly with the aid of corrective lenses.

Some airlines conduct a preliminary one-on-one interview with candidates. Applicants will be asked a standard series of interview questions and are given a set amount of time in which to answer. It is best to keep answers clear and concise in order to get through all of the questions in the allotted time frame. The more questions you are able to answer, the more the recruitment staff will know about your unique background and skills.

Group interviews are popular among airline companies, since they help to demonstrate a candidate’s communication and interpersonal skills. You will be split into a group along with other trainees and given a role play scenario to act out. Recruiters expect to see candidates demonstrating strong team building skills and creative problem solving techniques. Airlines are looking for flight attendants that are able to stay calm and focused in any given situation.

During your interview, it is important to dress and act professionally. Women should wear a dark suit, preferably with a skirt, while men should wear dark slacks, a suit jacket, and a dress shirt. The idea is to look as much like a flight attendant as possible. Applicants should stick to natural, conservative styles when it comes to hair and makeup.

Those that pass the interview process will then undergo a of a battery of tests that assess their cardiovascular and respiratory health, their hearing, and their vision. This company physical also includes urine and blood analysis. Candidates that pass the physical are deemed healthy enough to safely take on the responsibilities of a flight attendant.

The Classroom

Much of what you’ll be learning during your flight attendant training pertains to cabin safety. In the classroom, you’ll listen to lectures, learn about safety equipment and procedures, and take tests. This is no normal classroom, however. Supervisors will be keeping a close eye on your grooming habits and disposition. Dress and act as you would while on the job. An unkempt appearance or a rude comment to your colleague in the classroom could get you kicked out of the flight attendant training.

Trainees are expected to show up on time to every single class. Your punctuality will be regularly tested by sudden schedule changes such as a delayed lunch or a test date change. The flight attendant school classroom is designed to test how well you can adapt to stressors such as fatigue and hunger when your routine is shaken up. Flight attendants need to be prepared for the possibility of a schedule change at a moment’s notice.

The Simulator

Lectures and classrooms are only a small part of flight attendant school. Your practical training will take place in either a simulated aircraft cabin or an aircraft that is out of service. You will learn how to perform safety briefings, serve food, and operate essential equipment. Over the course of your training, this simulated cabin will be like a second home.

Your practical training will also help you to learn how to deal with a variety of emergency situations while in the air, from fires to hijackings. Towards the end of your training, you will be tested with the notorious “flight from hell.” Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong during this simulated flight. Your instructors will be watching closely to see how you handle yourself during an emergency. It is important to stay calm and to communicate clearly with your fellow crew members throughout the entire simulation. You must prove that, as a flight attendant, you can keep yourself and your passengers safe in an emergency.

After Graduation

After graduating from flight training, there is still one more step before you can call yourself a bona fide flight attendant. The familiarization flight, or line indoctrination flight, is the first flight on which a new attendant serves. Trainees observe and assist senior crew members with their in flight duties, and experience their first real interaction with customers. During this flight, you are expected to hone your skills with the help of an experienced flight crew.

When you’re up in the air, you’re not just a flight attendant. You are also a nurse, a plumber, a firefighter and a chef, just to name a few of the roles you will have to occupy. Flight attendant training will teach you a variety of skills that will prepare you to cope with any situation that you might face.

It takes time and commitment to become a flight attendant, but the job is worth the effort. After one to two months of intensive training, you will be well on your way down a rewarding and lucrative career path. Flight attendant school is an investment in a promising future.

How to Become a Flight Attendant

One of the first things that you have to realize if interested in becoming a flight attendant is that it is much more than what the job seems like on the surface. You have to have the psychological, emotional and mental qualities necessary to make it in this career field. When thinking about this career and if it is right for you, consider the following qualities, which are what are considered to be necessary for this position:

Flexible/Adaptable: In the airline business, things often change at a moment’s notice. You have to be able to adapt to these changes and embrace them.

Compassionate and caring: It is necessary that you have a soft spot for people who are on the flight. Being sympathetic and understanding is quite helpful.

Patience: Picky passengers, crying infants, demanding pilots, smelly bathrooms…if you are not patient, then you will not make it as a flight attendant.

Sense of humor: If you have a sense of humor toward passengers, as well as yourself, it can help to remedy even extremely awkward situations.

Focused and calm demeanor: You are the manager – you have to make sure that everything works as it should ensure a safe and comfortable flight for everyone.

Team player: The cabin crew is your team and everyone has to pull their weight. Be sure you are a team player.

Punctuality: Airlines rely on the clock to keep running as they should. You have to be on time, every time.

Tact and diplomacy: You are not going to be just another crew member. When it comes to the passengers, you are a representative of the airline. You have to make sure you are representing it in a proper way.

One of the things that you have to realize is that you should not take anything personally. In some cases, you will come across a passenger who wants to vent their frustration and while you may not be the right person to talk to, they want to be sure they are heard. Act with compassion and empathy and make sure that you don’t take the issues, blame, fault or anything else personally.

Basic Requirements for Flight Attendants

From the perspective of an airline, it is essential to find a person who has the right combination of talent and skills to ensure that the person is going to represent the company well while providing a quality on-board experience for passengers.

While each airline will have unique and specific requirements in regard to the type of aircraft, geography, culture, destinations, etc. there are some universal requirements that will be necessary to understand.

Regardless of if you are a flight attendant in New Mexico who can speak Spanish fluently or one in the Arctic who must load and unload cargo, you have to meet the specified criteria in order to fulfill the duties, you will have while on the plane. Your overall competency, personality, and skills have to be screened heavily so that the people hiring are sure you will meet and exceed the necessary requirements.

Now the question is, what is that magic formula that recruiters are looking for to find competent and qualified candidates? The answer is found in a few requirements. If you want to be considered seriously as a candidate for a flight attendant job, then you need to possess as many of the following requirements on this list.

Background and Citizenship Checks

In the U.S., you have to be a citizen or have received authorization to work in the United States and be allowed unrestricted, multiple entry out of and into the country. The majority of airlines are explicit in regard to these requirements.

Also, all members of the cabin crew have to apply for a Transportation Security Administration security clearance pass. If you are unable to satisfy the required background checks, then you will not be able to work for any of the airlines in existence.

In addition to seeking airline and government clearance, if you do not yet have a passport, you will have to also apply for that. If anything questionable or unsavory about your background is found out, then you will not continue on with the selection process.

Education

In the U.S., it is required that you have a diploma or a GED (Government Equivalency Degree). While most airlines specify that a high school degree is needed, this is typically considered to be the absolute minimum. In all reality, a higher level of education is going to be preferred.

There are quite a few flight attendants today who have earned university degrees. An airline will recognize when a flight attendant has the ideal combination of life experience and post-secondary education, which helps them be better equipped to handle any on-bard situation they may experience. It may also help them earn consideration for a management position down the road.

Experience in Customer Service

For those who have ever worked as a tour guide, in a clothing store or call center, or any other area where customer service experience was gained, then they may be able to have a competitive advantage when working toward the career goal of being a flight attendant. While there are some who think customer service goals are able to be learned while on the job, this is not something that most airlines are going to want to have to train new flight attendants in. In fact, once hired, 95 percent of all training a flight attendant receives will be in relation to cabin safety.

Language Skills

In the U.S., a fluency in the English language will be necessary, but carriers that go overseas will require flight attendants who also speak another language.

In some cases, airlines will hire flight attendants based mainly on language competency. In the United States, a language flight attendant is referred to as LOD/O’s. It can be difficult for companies to find people who speak certain languages, which means that the language requirements may override other criteria used to make a selection.

Also, a candidate who is able to pass the language fluency tests, but who does not have any customer service experience may still be hired instead of a candidate who has as much as two years of experience in regard to the service industry, based on the needs of the airline.

An advantage offered by being a language flight attendant is that they are often the very last ones that will be laid off during cutbacks.

Physical Competence

The beverage trolley that is used in most airplanes can weigh more than 200 pounds when they are fully loaded. Being able to pull the trolley up the aisle will require quite a bit of physical strength. Stamina physical well-being is necessary for this role.

If a person is not physically fit then they are not going to be as prepared to handle the often grueling tasks required of a flight attendant. Someone who knows how to take care of themselves and who leads a better lifestyle will be more capable of handling the effects of jet lag than others.

For most airlines, there is a height minimum for flight attendants of at least 5’2”. A person’s physical stature is crucial when they are working on a wide or narrow body aircraft and it is important they can reach the overhead bins.

Medical History

If a person is overweight, they have asthma, a heart condition, diabetes or some other significant health issue, they will likely not pass the medical exam issued by the airline. All airlines want to find healthy candidates who are able to look after their passengers, not the opposite.

Much like the background check, the medical exam will reveal the actual picture of a person’s physical health, even if they decide to embellish the truth. If a person has a history of alcohol or drug abuse it will be found during the tests that they are required to take. Some of the tests that are administered during this evaluation including eye, ear, heart, urine and blood tests. The person’s weight and height will be measured, as well.

Flexibility

If you are a person who makes concrete plans that can’t be changed, then the life of a flight attendant is not for you. Your travels may result in you being gone for up to seven days. This means that you need to have a flexible lifestyle and be willing to work at night, on the weekends and on holidays. In most cases, the recruiter you speak with will ask you if you are willing to relocate. It is essential to say yes. Adaptable and flexible candidates are the ones who will get hired first.

Appearance

Having a well-groomed and neat appearance is essential. In some cases, the pass or fail as a flight attendant may come down to a tattoo that is barely able to be seen on your wrist, or the three or four earrings you have in only one ear. While there is no need to be a supermodel, appearance matters when you are working with the public.

Passengers who are on the plane will expect the person who is hanging their coat or handing them their meal to appear professional and be a representation of the airline. Wrinkled uniforms make the statement that a person just doesn’t care.

Where to Apply?

There are a number of factors that should be considering when thinking about what airlines you should apply to. Factors such as the details of the aircraft that will be worked on, the city where you are going to be based and where you will be flying are all important.

It is not uncommon for a person to work for a number of different airlines during their career. This can result to a number of factors, but something a person should be aware of.

Creating a Targeted Strategy

Applying for a flight attendant position will require a bit of research on your part. It is essential that you have a bit of information and background about the airline you would like to work for. This will also help you determine what airline is best for your work preferences and lifestyle.

Prior to sending in an application for your first job as a flight attendant, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • What type of travel benefits are offered by the company?
  • Would you prefer a job based on a cold or warm climate?
  • Do you want to be close to family?
  • Does the company offer any type of medical benefits?
  • What are the routes that the company flies?
  • What is their initial salary offerings?
  • What is the top wage?
  • What are the current number of flight attendants who are employed by the airline?
  • Would you rather work on a large or small plane?
  • Do they offer a pension plan?

When you have created a targeted strategy, you will have a clear picture of what you want and where you should concentrate your efforts. Remember, you don’t control the hiring process and having a targeted approach can be quite beneficial.

Creating Your Airline Resume

It is important to create a resume that outlines your desire for a role as a flight attendant. Some of the elements of an effective airline cover letter and resume are found here.

Research: Take some time to research the company that you are applying to so that you will have a better chance of being called for an interview.

Company Lingo: Use the common language of the company in your cover letter and resume, which may require you to visit their website to get a feel for their personality or vibe.

Work history: Be sure to list all your work history and how it would apply to the role as a flight attendant.

Personality: Be sure to let your personality shine through your resume and cover letter.

Beneficial skills and abilities: What will make you an asset to the airline?

Remember, when typing up your resume, you should keep it short and sweet and stick to the facts. This will help ensure you provide only the vital information.

If your efforts are successful, you will be called in for an interview. Be sure that you look professional and that you exert yourself as being competent and able to complete the job. There is no way to guarantee you will land the job, but when you use the tips here to prepare, you will have a much better chance to finally get the job you want as a flight attendant.

How to Become a Life Coach

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A life coach is a person who develops a professional partnership with their clients and then uses evidence-based strategies and still to helps their client reach the goals they have in regard to their business, work or personal life. During the partnership, the client and coach will work with one another using the knowledge provided by the client to help and elevate them to their desired accomplishments or help them make the change they desire. The client of a life coach can be an individual, or they may be a group, such as a non-profit or company.

A client can hire a certified life coach to help them make a specific change in their professional or personal lives. These are changes that can revolve around certain themes of success, balance, health or any other goal that the client is dedicated to achieving. One of the aspects that make the career of a life coach so exciting is that you never know the dreams or goals that a client may have they need help with reaching.

What Life Coaching is Not

A life coach will spend quite a bit of their time describing what life coaching is not.

This is not psychotherapy. Most life coaches do not have professional training in the field of mental health. While the coaches may work with individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety and other issues from time to time, they spend time working on the present, rather than investigating and digging into the past.

The main difference between the role of a life coach and a psychotherapist is about helping people overcome their wounds. Live coaching is designed to help a person achieve the highest level of success, happiness or fulfillment that a person has set out – regardless of if they are wounded.

A life coach can work to help a person work to establish a better work and life balance, improve their relationships and even lose weight. The simple explanation is that it will help clients determine what they want out of life and what they need to do to get it by using weekly settings through e-mail or phone.

Who Makes a Good Life Coach?

Individuals who are good communicators make great life coaches. This is because they will be able to help their clients work through their problems and develop a plan of action to reach certain goals. There is no set requirement or academic training for a person to become a life coach; however, with training in the field of communication, teaching and counseling, a person will find they can develop or harness their skills to work effectively in this career.

Work and Education Background

The role of a life coach is to encourage and motivate people to work to reach their maximum potential. While there is not a specific degree created for this career, acquiring advanced training in particular fields can help a person be better prepared for their role as a life coach. Some of these fields including human resource management, teaching, social work, business consulting and counseling. Experience or work history in these fields can be quite beneficial for a future life coach.

Special Training

Programs that provide training for a would-be life coach will typically focus on teaching various communication techniques, developing the coach-client relationship and goal setting. Regardless of if you choose to attend a workshop on the weekend, or to enroll in a full-time life coach training school, you will be able to receive skills that are invaluable to help with your future career. An experienced life coach will also be able to provide advice in other areas that may need to be strengthened.

Basic Requirements

In addition to having a desire to help others, a life coach needs to have superior communication and listening skis, as well as a large amount of knowledge in areas that they have selected to cover. For example, someone who has a prior history in social services or health care may decide to provide coaching for stress management.

Certification Requirements

While there are no official requirements for becoming a life coach, there are some agencies that offer life coach certification. One is IAC, International Association of Coaching, and the other is ICF, International Coach Federation. The certification from IAC will be based on oral and written exams. The oral exam will require you to submit a recorded coaching session that demonstrates your ability to apply the knowledge you have. ICF certification will take longer to achieve since you have to complete several paid coaching hours. The credential types will be based on the total number of coaching hours that you successfully complete.

Increase in Demand and Awareness

The fact is, the demand for certification is only going to increase as more and more people become aware of the field and the education about certification spreads. There are more and more clients who are seeking a certified life coach who has a solid background, as well as relevant experience to help them work through their biggest challenges. If certification is not had, then a person may run the risk of losing a potential client to a coach who has become certified, before you even get the opportunity to show what you can do.

Credibility of Certification

Earning certification to become a life coach will provide a number of tangible benefits that go much further than just what is on a piece of paper, or even a title. Consider other professionals that may be used – chiropractors, business consultants, massage therapists, etc. Chances are you would not use these professionals if they did not have some type of certification or credential in their field. You want the assurance and peace of mind that goes along with knowing you are getting the most for your money. If you think about it, it makes sense that a client is not going to want to spend their money on a life coach who is not certified.

The Networking Advantage

When certification is achieved, you will not only have the necessary credentials to support your future business, but you will also have the knowledge, skills and a whole network of professionals who you can work with to build your own business. Coaches can work together, share skills and develop relationships that are mutually beneficial.

Life Coaching without Official Certification

Even though there are quite a few benefits of certification, there are some situations where you may want to get started with coaching prior to completing the process. If you are presently in a profession where it makes sense to offer coaching services, you may be able to offer these services to some of your existing clients. Some of the profession’s that may be in this category include:

  • Manages
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Business Consultants
  • HR professionals
  • Counselors or therapists

If this is the route you have selected, then your services need to be marketed to your current clients, as a type of add-on or even standalone service. If your customers already have a relationship with you, and trust you, then they will be much more likely to take a chance on your coaching offerings. If you do not currently have a customer base to use, then you will likely have to compete with the certified coaches that are available. This can be increasingly difficult because you will not have the experience or credentials to use when attempting to sign up a new client.
If you are ready to become a life coach without first gaining certification, then you can use special discounts or promotions that may help spark some interest. Once a client base has been built and you have a reputation in the community, you can use that for creating testimonials or for recommendations.

Certification with ICF (International Coach Federation)

ICF is one of the primary organizations providing certifications for those who want to become a life coach. With members in over 100 countries, the highest goal for ICF is to provide and facilitate an expansion, around the world, of the coaching profession. This is able to be achieved by setting higher standards, providing certification and building an entire global network of life coaches who have earned their certification.

These are the life coach members who will benefit by being connected to one another and who have a code of ethics they will follow.

One of the main roles of ICF is the accreditation process that is used for schools and program that provide training for coaches or potential coaches. There is a rigorous process in place of requirements and standards that the schools have to meet. This is determined by an application process that will allow them to be designated as an ACTP – Accredited Coach Training Program. This emphasis that ICF creates is related to ethics, collaboration, and integrity, which make it the gold standard for life coach certification.

Finding the Right Accreditation for Your Needs

The current status in your career, as well as your prior experience, will help to guide you in finding the right accreditation for your needs. The accreditation offerings from ICF include:

  • ICF Credentialing: this is when individual members of ICF can apply for the credentialing through ICF. There are three levels – Associate Certified Coach; Professional Certified Coach; and Master Certified Coach.
  • ICF Accreditation – Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP): The graduates of this program receive a number of core competencies in regard to coaching standards.
  • Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH): This is not a full training program, but rather hours that are able to be used for an ICF Credential.
  • Continuing Coach Education (CCE): This is continuing education for a life coach that has been approved through ICF.

The experience you have, as well as your existing status in your current career, will help to guide you when choosing the proper accreditation. In most cases, ACTP will be the right choice because you may be starting out in the coaching field. Even for those that have a knowledge base that is in line with coaching, such as teaching or therapy, when you complete the ACTP course, you will have a better understanding of the actual process used by a successful life coach.

If you have already begun your life coaching career or have prior paid experience, then ICF Credentialing may be better suited for your needs. Since the portfolio you have will be mainly based on the previous experience you have, you should have no problem with the ICF Credentialing course.

For those who have prior coaching experience, but still need training hours to complete the credentialing portfolio, then they may decide to pursue courses that offer the Approved Coach Specific Training Hours, versus the full ACTP. This is going to be more affordable than ACTP while allowing you to apply for credentialing with the portfolio route.

The CCE’s have been designed for an existing coach who desires to continue their education or to renew their ICF Credentials. In many cases, the CCEs can be integrated into various coach meetings or into a conference so that the people in attendance can earn knowledge about the coaching industry while applying to learn their set credentials.

Obstacles to Overcome on Your Path to a Life Coaching Career

If you are ready to take the next step in regard to coaching certification, then you should assess yourself, as well as the personal needs you have when it comes to creating the actual certification experience that is best for you.

It is a good idea to speak with potential coaches prior to enrolling in any type of training since there are a number of fears or obstacles that people can face when making this important decision. Much like any other obstacle, they key is to know what they are and then come up with a solution to overcome them.

One of the main obstacles is that there is not enough time to complete the work. The bottom line here is that if you want it bad enough, you will find the time. Work in short spurts and put your mind to it. Another obstacle is not having the necessary support. However, with most of these classes, you can work with others, pursuing the same goal, which can serve as encouragement. Think about the career you want, that too should provide plenty of encouragement to meet your career goals.

The Bottom Line

While there are no hard set rules and requirements for becoming a life coach, being certified can go a long way. Think about your career and if you want to be taken seriously. If you do, then earning certification will put you on your way to becoming a successful life coach.

Life Coach Certification: Which Program is Right For You?

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The field of life coaching represents a huge opportunity for career development for those who are already in the wellness and fitness professions. At both the national and international level, coaching conferences are increasing, with more and more trainers and instructors expanding their existing careers by adding these invaluable coaching services.

When you are first starting out on this career path, you may find the options of schools, courses and training programs a bit overwhelming. However, with a bit of information, you can find the best option for your particular needs. Take the time to consider each factor here and do your own research to find the life coach training program that will allow you to meet your career goals. Doing this will pay off in the long run and help you be successful and effective in regard to the life coaching skills that you have and need.

What is the Role of a Life Coach?

A life coach develops professional relationships with clients to help them in harnessing their skills, strengths, and resources. This is all in an effort to help the client clarify, focus and then implement a goal-directed strategy. Effective coaches will empower their clients and help to nourish their insight, increase self-confidence, challenge limits, inspire excellence and generate commitment. The method of coaching is guided by the vision of the client and how ready they are to take action in reaching a particular goal.

For those who are interested in learning how to become a life coach, they must first acquire the proper training. Even the very best training program will not be enough to ensure a person is completely prepared for this career. It is also essential that the individual has prior professional experience in fields that are related to the life coaching career path. The fact is, a reputable and proven coach training program is truly invaluable. Some information that should be considered when searching for the right life coaching program can be found here.

A Foundation of Knowledge

ICF, International Coach Federation, has created a list of 11 foundational elements that are widely recognized in the professional life coaching realm. Anyone who has the intentions of becoming a coach needs to demonstrate a level of mastery in each of these core abilities.

  • Meet all the outlined professional standards and ethical guidelines.
  • Develop a detailed and concise coaching agreement.
  • Be flexible, open and always present when working with clients.
  • Be sure to establish a sense of intimacy and trust with each client.
  • Always practice active listening.
  • Ask thought provoking and powerful questions.
  • Be direct in all communication.
  • Foster client awareness.
  • Design results-oriented actions and various learning opportunities for clients.
  • Plan and set goals that the client wants to reach.
  • Manage and track accountability and progress.

With this information in mind, it is important to determine the knowledge and skills areas that the various training offerings provide. When you understand this you will be able to easily choose the program that best works for your needs and your goals as a future life coach.

Types of Training Programs and Options

There are several different types of training programs and options to consider. Each one has its pros and cons but it will be up to you to determine what type/style of coaching best suits you and your career aspirations.

Targeted vs. General Coaching

There are some training programs that will prepare you for virtually any agenda that a client may have in mind. Others will only deal with a certain issue – for example, career transitions, divorce, etc.

Nonexpert vs. Expert Coaching

Any type of coaching – regardless of if it is directive or expert, requires you to direct your client toward a specific action. A nonexpert or a nondirective approach to coaching is when you “walk with” the client as they make important decisions and coaches.

As an expert coach, you may be quite prescriptive while a nonexpert coaching is thought of as extremely collaborative. For virtually any type of coaching, a nonexpert style will be required. Since a fitness professionally is usually trained in regard to expert guidance, learning to work with clients in a manner that is nondirective can be quite a journey. When selecting a coaching program, be sure to pay attention to if the school is going to rely on formulas or a type of “cookbook” approach, instead of building the main competencies that will allow you to work in a flexible manner in regard to a particular client’s needs.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Focus

In a number of situations, especially when the coaching is going to be targeted for a particular transition or change in a person’s life, the coaching may be brief. However, there are other situations where it will be wider and longer in scope. It is a good idea to take short courses after you have completed a lengthier training process. The fact is, there is no way you can master the practice of being a life coach in just a few days – this is unrealistic.

It is essential that you be willing to dedicate time and effort to your training in order to become an effective and successful life coach.

Self-Study vs. Face-to-Face vs. Teleclass Delivery

Most coach training is done over the phone, through the use of teleconference classes. There are also in-person residential programs available, but typically at a higher cost. The third option for course delivery is self-study. This is where a student is given a text and will likely use CDs and DVDs to assist with comprehension of the materials. There are some life coaching schools that advocate for phone coaching for clients. However, this does not mean that this is the best way to receive training. For example, while a lecture may work in this manner, discussions can be quite difficult unless the class is quite small – no more than five or six students.

You should think about how you will learn best. If you learn by listening to lectures and using limited discussions, then a teleclass would likely work best for you. If you want to see the other people you will be learning with, then a live seminar may be the best educational option.

Self-Monitoring vs. Supervision

When personal supervision is used, it is often referred to as mentor coaching. Self-monitoring is when you progress on your own in regard to practical applications. It is essential that you determine how the school will evaluate your overall ability to be a life coach. Consider the following to determine this:

  • What opportunities are present for role playing activities?
  • Are there any opportunities for mentoring sessions?
  • Is there a senior individual who will review the work you do or listen to live coaching conversations you have?

In many cases, one-on-one supervision will be the best way to ensure the necessary skills are gained; however, this will cost more. All humans have blind spots, which means it is essential to take action to ensure these are compensated for. In many cases, you may miss something you need to know and understand.

Accredited vs. Nonaccredited School

A professional coach organization, which includes the ICF, will have set standards for and also evaluate various schools that offer any type of life coaching program. When a company is hiring a life coach, they are going to seek out certifications from some type of professional coaching organization. They will also look at where the person attended school or received their training. This is a good indication of their level of understanding and ability when it comes to life coaching.

Creating a List and Making Contact

It is a good idea to make a list of potential training programs that will work for your training needs. Once this list is created, be sure to make personal contact with the school representatives. While you may be able to find out quite a bit online about the school or program, there is no substitute for one-on-one contact with the school. This can happen through the use of group information sessions, phone conversations and more. It is a good idea to take advantage of any resource possible.

When you are preparing to meet with a representative from one of the schools or training programs being considered, the following questions may help you learn everything you need to know about the program. The questions to consider asking include:

  • What features of components of the program can help make your decision easier?
  • What is considered the high point of the training?
  • Are there program-specific challenges that many students encounter?
  • How can the certification be used after graduation or completion?
  • What is the level of support given to students while the program is going on in regard to beginning their own business? How is this structured?
  • What portion of the program is focused on helping you learn business development and marketing?
  • What level of interaction is present between the coaches and those in training during the actual coaching program?
  • Will the program provide specific training for niche markets? If so, what markets are these and how is training delivered?
  • How is the program able to fulfill the coach/mentor component? Is this included or will the person in training expect to hire someone?
  • What support options are offered to students?
  • Is there any support provided after the program is complete?
  • Is there an active community of graduates? Do they have a way to connect?
  • Is there any continuing support or educational programs offered to the graduates?

Once you have found the program that suits your needs, it is important to find out other specifics including how long it lasts, the cost and other fundamentals. There are no “wrong” courses but you should try to find one that is highly respected. This will help ensure that once you complete the course, you will be able to find a job that suits your career goals. This will pay off in the long run and help you find the job you want, regardless of if it is a life coach for individual clients, or working for a larger company.

The Bottom Line

There are more than a few factors that must be considered when searching for a life coaching program. Take some time to make sure the program, training or school selected is going to be able to match your goals and aspirations for a future career. In most cases, speaking with others who have already completed a program can be beneficial. Take some time to research and really consider what you want your career path to look for. When it comes to being a life coach, there are a number of factors that must be considered carefully. Failure to do this may not allow you to be fully prepared for the career that you have chosen.

Flight Attendant Requirements: What You’ll Need in 2016

Every airline company’s top priority is the health and comfort of its passengers. As a flight attendant, it will be your responsibility to keep customers safe and at ease throughout the duration of their flight. Airline companies have fairly strict mental, physical and psychological requirements that candidates must meet before they are even considered for entry into a flight attendant training program.

Age and Citizenship Requirements

In order to become a flight attendant, you must be at least 18 years old. Certain companies require candidates to be up to age 21 before applying. Applicants must meet these age minimums primarily due to safety reasons. Flight attendants must be mature enough to handle high pressure situations calmly and competently. Many airlines also serve alcohol, which their flight attendants must be able to legally handle. There is no age cutoff for flight attendants, provided that the individual in question is fit and healthy enough to meet the physical requirements for the job.

In the U.S., flight attendants must be citizens with valid passports or be authorized to work within the United States, and must pass a background check. Airlines in other countries have similarly strict requirements. Flight attendants must also apply for a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security clearance pass, which involves a thorough background check. Airlines will not hire a candidate that fails his or her background check.

Physical Requirements

Flight attendants must meet certain physical criteria for their own safety and the safety of their passengers while on board. The job calls for daily feats of strength and endurance, such as lifting a heavy bag into an overhead bin or keeping your balance during heavy turbulence. Applicants must meet the following minimum physical requirements in order to become a flight attendant:

Height and reach: Applicants must be tall enough to reach the overhead lockers, but not so tall that they can’t walk comfortably through the cabin. Although height and reach requirements vary from airline to airline, the requisite height range is often around between 4’11”, or 150 cm, to 6’3”, or 190 cm.

Weight: Most airlines don’t have set weight restrictions. Companies simply require that a flight attendant’s weight be proportional to their height. Applicants that are either overweight or underweight may not be able to safely perform the physical tasks required of them. The easiest way to figure out if you are within the normal weight range for your height is to calculate your Body Mass Index, or BMI.

Vision: Applicants need to have at least 20/30 vision instead of the traditional 20/20. This means that you can wear corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts while on the job if they help you to see clearly.

All flight attendants have to pass a medical examination before they can be allowed in the air. This is a simple physical that consists of a battery of tests, including heart, ear and eye exams along with urine and blood analysis.

Appearance and Grooming Standards

Most airlines have incredibly strict grooming standards. Flight attendants represent the company brand, and as such, are expected to maintain a clean and professional appearance. Airline companies expect flight attendants to meet the following basic grooming guidelines:

Hair: For women, stick with a conservative and professional style that doesn’t reach past your shoulders. If you dye your hair, use only to natural colors. Men should keep their hair short and clean cut.

Makeup: Go for the “nude” look, with minimal coverage and natural tones. Try to avoid anything too bold.

Jewelry and Watches: Personal accessories are usually fine, but they should be small and tasteful.

Piercings and Tattoos: Most airlines will allow women to wear small ear studs, but will not tolerate other visible piercings. Tattoos should be fully covered by your uniform.

Facial Hair: Many airlines allow male flight attendants to sport facial hair, provided that they stay clean shaven. Mustaches should be well maintained and trimmed above the corners of the mouth, while sideburns should be no lower than halfway down the ear.

Personal and Interpersonal Skills

In the airline industry, looks aren’t everything. A large part of a flight attendant’s job is dealing with customers, so it’s important to have strong interpersonal and communication skills. A good flight attendant is expected to engage the customer, make them feel at ease, and relay important information with patience and compassion.

Communication skills are particularly important in emergency situations. Flight attendants must have a strong grasp of both written and verbal language in order to communicate quickly and clearly with passengers and other cabin members. Airlines that operate within the U.S. require flight attendants to be fluent in English, but airlines based out of other countries have different language requirements.

The path to becoming a flight attendant is not easy, but it is a rewarding experience that comes with unique perks and benefits. Simply meeting the minimum requirements for becoming a flight attendant is the first step towards an exciting career in the field of air travel.