Minimum requirements airlines are looking for in a candidate

by Nicoleta Gherman, Trainer and Founder

If you are interested in pursuing a cabin crew career, you should check first if you have the qualifications and/or experience required, if you are employable in the aviation field. All airlines have a “career page”, where you can find all these minimum requirements they are looking for in their future candidates. If you do not meet the minimum hiring requirements, then you are not qualified for the job and your CV and/or application might be rejected.

Age – you either meet the minimum age requirement or not, as some airlines in the Middle East cannot obtain your working visa unless you are 21 years old, but most European ones require you to be at least 18 years old. If you are not at the minimum age at the time of your initial application, but you reach that age in 6 months, then you can still apply for the job, as the application and recruitment process might take even longer. Lately, due to discrimination issues, there are no maximum age requirements; that’s why during the interview or training you can meet people over 30 too. It was the case of some friends of mine aged between 33 and 37, with no previous experience, who were selected by a Middle East airline. If you apply for some European airlines, don’t be shocked by having colleagues even in their 40s, as some of these airlines really appreciate their flying experience and level of maturity.

Height, weight, and health – Most airlines hire cabin crew who are between 1.58-1.80 meters tall. Outside of this normal range, certain airlines have minimum and maximum height requirements according to the size of their aircraft and the location of some safety and survival equipment that you must be able to reach. Usually, these types of equipment are located in the overhead bin compartments. Some Middle East airlines may ask you to go through a reach test, to demonstrate that you can reach with your fingers, barefoot, on your tiptoes, a minimum height of 2.10-2.12 m. Your weight should also be in proportion to your height, as you must have a pleasant figure, professional appearance, with no visible tattoos or piercings. Qatar Airways is the only airline which doesn’t hire persons with tattoos, even if they are not visible when in uniform. You must be in good health conditions, with no missing teeth or wearing dental braces. If you are successful and already asked to send a medical report, you should normally undergo another medical examination at the beginning of your training. Once successful, you have to take a vision test and if you don’t have perfect eyesight, then maximum -4 to +4 dioptric glasses or contact lenses can be worn with most Arabic airlines; however, in Europe, some companies accept strength up to -5 to +5.

Education and languages – In order to become a cabin crew, it is required to hold a high school diploma which is a 4 GCSE’s grade C or above and have a good command of English. However, a higher education or the ability to speak a second language is always an advantage. The following should also be mentioned in the application form: if you completed a professional education, if you have taken any First Aid or Safety courses or if you have already passed any Initial Cabin Crew Training.

Passport – If you apply for any European airline, you are asked to have an unrestricted EU passport, while the Arabic airlines just need 5 years valid one. Temporary 6 months validity passports do not help, as working visa in the Middle East is issued only for the long-term validity passports. If you want to work for Air New Zeeland or any American, Canadian or Australian airlines, then you must already possess the right to work in these areas, like a citizenship, permanent resident status or even passport holder of the country where the airline is based, as well as the ability to travel abroad without restrictions. When you apply for an American company you must also pass a DOT required pre-employment drug screen and alcohol testing and a background check, including a government required fingerprint-based criminal history record check.

Customer service experience – Most of the airlines are truly glad to hire people who already have some customer interaction either in sales departments, public relations, tourism or the hotel industry. It is believed that these persons already have excellent communication skills and the ability to solve any customer’s issues.

Other skills – In most of the recruiting announcements you can also find some other skills that are required to have before applying for the job, namely: being a serious, friendly and professional person, for whom living abroad and changing schedules is not a challenge. You should be flexible and able to work in a team, have very good manners and a high level of commitment and responsibility towards the requirements of the job. The swimming ability is still a necessary requirement for most of the European airlines, as during the training you must demonstrate that you can swim 25 meters unaided or maybe even 30-50 meters.

*Photos: Google images