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  Running Head: FLIGHT ATTENDANT CAREER 1 Analysis of the Flight Attendant Career Choice Kellie Sauve Central Michigan University  FLIGHT ATTENDANT CAREER 2 The career of a flight attendant is not one free of turbulence, in the air or at home. Long flights, variable schedules, and the serious task of handling medical emergencies all affect flight attendants. However, the benefits of the career, including free travel and medical and financial aid, are also to be considered. With my strong passion for travel, the idea to pursue a career as a flight attendant has always presented itself as a viable option. In this project, my research will describe why or why not this career path would be a good choice for me. The contents of this report outline the research methods I used and an analysis of my findings, leading to my conclusions and recommendations regarding the career. Research Methods My research methods varied from sources on the internet to physical books from the Park Library. During the first stages of my research, I conducted broad searches about the career of a flight attendant on the internet and on available databases to find sources that pertained to my topic. After reviewing each source ’ s credibility based on its purpose, audience, relevance, authorship, bias, and currency, I looked through their contents with the intent of answering my initial research questions. These questions were:    What qualifications are required to become a flight attendant?    What jobs do flight attendants do?    How many hours does a flight attendant work per week?    How much money does a starting flight attendant make annually?    What qualities are airlines looking for in flight attendants?    What are the costs and benefits of becoming a flight attendant?  FLIGHT ATTENDANT CAREER 3 Using these questions, I was able to find the most relevant information to include in my research. Two of my sources were books, found at the Park Library, that detailed the history and changes within the career of a flight attendant. Retr  ieved from CMU’s databases, a USA Today  newspaper column explaining common misconceptions about the career helped answer my research questions and provide factual information for my project. Other useful information about my topic came from websites such as the United States Department of Labor, where I found a statistical analysis of the career; Business Insider’s website, where the job was described further; and from Delta Air L ines’ official site, where I found examples of what airline companies expect and require of their flight attendants. Although full of useful information, my sources were not free of weaknesses. Most often, my sources ’  main weaknesses involved an issue with subjectivity, although a few faced issues with currency. The article from Business Insider and the USA Today  column used interviews with one and three flight attendants, respectively. Using such a small number of direct sources in these articles means that the information included is subject to more bias. This bias must be considered when utilizing information from these sources because it can mislead the audience or  persuade them to feel a certain way. Information gathered from Deltajobs.net also suffered an issue with bias because the company only shared their personal expectations and requirements of their flight attendants rather than including universally accepted information about airlines ’ guidelines. Two of my sources, books written by Kathleen M. Barry and Drew Whitelegg, have weaknesses in their currency. Both texts were published in 2007 making them over a decade old. However, much of their included information, especially the history of the career since its induction, will have not changed.  FLIGHT ATTENDANT CAREER 4 Analysis of Findings The first of my research questions was about the qualifications required to become a flight attendant. Flight attendants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent as well as experience working in customer service (United States Department of Labor, 2018). The minimum age requirement for flight attendants is 18, however, specific airlines may have their own requirements, like Delta Air Lines requiring their flight attendants minimum age to be 21 (Delta Air Lines, n.d.). Candidates must have a valid passport, be eligible to work in the United States, and must pass a background check and drug test. They also must have vision correctable to at least 20/40 and may have to pass a medical evaluation or conform to height requirements set by the airline (United States Department of Labor, 2018). Fluency in another language is recommended if the prospective employee is seeking a position involving speaking a foreign language (Gillett, 2017). Though there is no college education requirement to become a flight attendant, some airlines “may prefer to hire applicants who have taken some college courses” (United States Department of Labor, 2018, para. 4). Based on this information, I feel that the qualifications to become a flight attendant would not be a major issue for me if I were to pursue the career. Many of these requirements I already have fulfilled such as the minimum age requirement, possession of a valid passport, eligibility to work in the US, ability to pass a  background check and drug test, 20/20 vision, and the ability to pass a medical evaluation. I am currently taking French, and with three years of background knowledge, I plan to gain fluency in the language. The main requirement that may concern me would be the specific height requirements set by airlines. I a m 5’10” , putting me on the taller end of the spectrum, which may affect my qualification. Overall, however, the qualifications that a flight attendant must meet do not pose themselves as a large problem in my consideration of pursuing this career path.
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