These days there are many cabin crew courses available both online and in real life at aviation schools and further education establishments. You can study for a certificate or qualification, or just learn more about the job itself and interview preparation. But these courses are often expensive and it is questionable as to whether they really do help you get a job as cabin crew.
Here we look at the different kinds of course available and their advantages and disadvantages.
The Preview Course
Many potential cabin crew start out by attending the 1 or 2 day preview courses. These are usually held by ex cabin crew and aimed at those with no knowledge of the cabin crew role and are just thinking about applying. You will normally learn about a typical day in the life of cabin crew, what the requirements are and how to apply. You may also get to practice some cabin crew tasks such as reading an announcement, performing a safety demonstration and delivering a meal service. The trainers will also advise you on your personal presentation and interview technique and may help you with preparing your CV and photos.
The Online Course
These are completed in your time at your own pace and cover the very basics of being cabin crew. You will learn more about what the job involves and how to apply. You may also study pre-training course basics such as airport codes, terminology and the phonetic alphabet. This type of course may also look at airline expectations of its cabin crew as well as basics of what the airlines cabin crew training courses involve. There will also be some advice on how to prepare for an assessment day and possible interview questions.
A Diploma Course
Some further education colleges offer part time courses for cabin crew, where you will learn the basics of the online course and it will include some practical training in safety procedures and equipment as well as customer service. These can be combined into a full time course covering other units in travel such as ticketing, airline operations or travel consultancy.
You can choose to study at a private aviation school and take a taster course – a condensed 3 to 5 day version of the official airline training course. These schools train initial cabin crew in the full airline safety and emergency procedures that are held over a 4 to 7 week period. Some airlines do not have their own training facilities and will use these schools to provide their initial or ab-initio training.
A negative side is that these courses can be very expensive and do not really offer support to potential cabin crew afterwards. Also, much of the information is available online for free, if you research and take the time (the practical training exempted). There are no guarantees of getting a job as cabin crew and the airlines do not consider them to be a pre-requisite or desirable. Each airline has its very own precise training programme designed to implement its safety and emergency procedures and standards. They like to mould you their own way, uninfluenced – so in some ways cabin crew courses can be a negative factor too.
However, these types of courses can be a good way of finding out more about the job and if it is right for you. They will also help you feel more confident in the cabin crew role and you will meet like minded students who are thinking about becoming cabin crew and people already in the industry. Each course has its own merits and also disadvantages and it will be a personal choice, whether you want to study at home for example or whether you need to take a college education for a year or two. The college diplomas that also include ticketing and airline operations (and additional subjects) do provide a great base for anyone who wants a career in travel, be it in a travel agency, the airport or as cabin crew. So all in all, it is a personal choice as to which course will benefit you the most but it is good to know too, that these courses are not necessary to gain a cabin crew role.
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Main photo courtesy of www.careersuk.virgin-atlantic.com