Cabin Crew Career Development

Working as cabin crew there are many ways to progress your career. However, not all of them are about flying. In this article, we will look into the different career options that you can typically have as cabin crew, but please keep in mind that titles and responsibilities can vary a lot depending on the different airlines. This article will function as a general overview of the different career options available, and many airlines operate with several levels between the positions mentioned below.   


Senior Cabin Crew Member

Onboard, your career advancement can grow into the position of Senior Cabin Crew, depending on the airline, sometimes referred to as a Purser / Cabin Crew In-Charge. The Senior Cabin Crew has the overall responsibility for the cabin which entails making sure that the highest standard of safety and service is delivered by the crew members. Bear in mind, this responsibility does not mean that you are excluded from the tasks of a regular cabin crew. One of the most important aspects of the role as a Senior Cabin Crew is to set a good example for the rest of the crew.

The level of experience that is needed to become a Senior Cabin Crew will vary a lot depending on which airline you work for, but you must have at least one year of cabin crew experience, and you must be able to demonstrate leadership and organizational skills.


Cabin Crew Instructor

One way to diversify your aviation career could be to go into the training area of the industry. The natural option for cabin crew would be to work as a Cabin Crew Instructor. Cabin Crew Instructors teach the trainees all they need to know about the operations in the aircraft cabins, safety, emergency procedures, first aid, but also the company’s policies, goals, and objectives to ensure that all cabin crew maintain a level of high standards in safety, customer service, and delivery.  Much of the work done in this position is on the ground, instructing in ground school courses, but the role also includes performing flight checks to make sure that the cabin crew are up to speed on procedures and regulations. Cabin Crew Instructors will also fly as cabin crew part-time to keep their flying license active.


Cabin Crew Base Manager

The Cabin Crew Base Manager has the overall responsibility for the management, welfare and performance of all cabin crew on their base. The role of the Cabin Crew Base Manager will have daily contact with cabin crew and ground service personnel. The role is responsible for the welfare, discipline and motivation for the cabin crew and smooth operations. In order to advance into the position of the Cabin Crew Base Manager you would typically need several years of experience and a good track record in a Senior Cabin Crew Position. Education and/or experience within HR or management of personnel will give you an advantage when applying to this position.


Human Resources

The Human Resource Department handles employee relations, recruitment, onboarding, follows up on attendance, sick leave, policy administration,  prepares and completes all daily operational duties within the HR department. As part of the HR Department, you will be in direct contact with the crew and looking over all aspects of HR administration at the base. In order to work in the HR Department further education or training could be necessary, but this will vary depending on the airline.



Aircraft utilization and crew optimization are key to successful airline operations, where the slightest mistake in planning and scheduling crew resources can result in huge financial loss for airlines. The rostering / scheduling department is in charge with assuring that the optimal number of aircraft and crew are operational while adhering to the rules and regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority. The scheduling department are also responsible for maintaining records of a crewmembers flying-time and crew bid requests, which is the act of crew biding on a certain flight schedule. Scheduling vacations as requested by the crewmembers are also part of the scope in this position.

There are typically no formal educational requirements besides a high school diploma needed to become a Flight Crew Scheduler, but it is preferable that you have several years of experience within the aviation industry and have a good knowledge of relevant aviation rules and regulations.