What Subjects Needed to Become a Flight Attendant in South Africa?

To become a flight attendant in South Africa, specific high school subjects are not mandatory, but some can provide a useful foundation. The focus for aspiring flight attendants is often on developing strong communication and customer service skills.

Recommended Grade 12 Subjects for Aspiring Flight Attendants


Languages are particularly important, as fluency in English and additional languages can be a significant advantage given the international nature of the job. Proficiency in more than one of South Africa’s official languages or international languages like French, Spanish, or Mandarin can enhance job prospects.


Geography helps with understanding global destinations, time zones, and cultural sensitivities which are useful in this globally-oriented profession.

Hospitality Studies

Hospitality Studies provides knowledge about customer service and care, which are critical skills for flight attendants.

Life Sciences

Life Sciences can be beneficial for learning about human biology and health, useful for managing in-flight medical emergencies and understanding health and safety protocols.

Training and Certification

Airline Training

Once hired by an airline, candidates go through a rigorous training program provided by the airline itself. This training typically covers:

  • Emergency response procedures
  • First aid
  • Customer service excellence
  • Safety protocols


Flight attendants must be certified by the relevant aviation authority, such as the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). This certification is usually part of the training process provided by airlines.

Employment Requirements

Beyond education and training, there are other requirements:

  • Age: Typically, you must be at least 18 years old.
  • Medical fitness: Flight attendants must pass a medical examination.
  • Background check: A clean criminal record is necessary.
  • Height and reach: Ability to reach overhead safety equipment is required.
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Career Opportunities and Development

Flight attendants can advance their careers through senior cabin crew positions and eventually move into training and management roles within the airline industry. Continuous professional development through additional certifications in safety and service can also enhance career prospects.

The role of a flight attendant is demanding but offers the opportunity to travel extensively and interact with a diverse range of people. “To be successful in your job, you must have a passion for it.” — Christoph Leitl. This quote highlights the importance of passion in the hospitality and service industries, where excellence in customer interaction is key to career success.