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Salary Guide To How Much You Can Earn As A Singapore Airlines (SIA) Air Stewardess/Air Steward

The training programme lasts for 4 months, after which trainees will qualify for the full salary.

“Cabin crew, arm doors and cross-check.”

This is probably what you will hear over the flight broadcast before you take off to your next holiday destination. For avid travellers, they will know that the plane will soon be en route to their destination.

For the aircrew, this instruction is part and parcel of their job and a responsibility that is required of them to ensure passenger safety.

With air travel taking off since the tail end of 2022, Singapore’s top airline company Singapore Airlines (SIA) is hiring thousands of aircrew to plug the gap.

During the pandemic, SIA froze hiring and placed many of its crew on no-pay leave. In Feb 2022, it restarted its local recruitment drive and had since Oct 2022 hired about 1,200 cabin crew members and was on the lookout to hire 800 more. The airline company had a total cabin crew strength of 11,000 before the pandemic.

Air travel has been normalised through 2023 and early 2024, and in May 2024, SIA posted a record $2.7 billion profit. Staff were rewarded with nearly 8 months of bonus pay following this announcement.

With air travel resuming, there will be a demand for aircrew across the various airline companies and the tighter demand will lead to competition and higher chances of getting the job.

So how much can an SIA aircrew earn? We share the details.

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But First, Why Should You Consider Working As An Aircrew?

Let’s face it. Most people love to travel and go on holidays. If your job allows you to travel and shop in Milan and eat some dim sum in Hong Kong in the same month, it really sounds like a dream job. Well, this dream is not far from reality, as those are the perks of the job for cabin crew.

Other than the free flights and travel opportunities, there are usually flight benefits for family and friends too. You also get to stay in overseas hotels and your food expenses are reimbursed.

But of course there are risks to the job (which will be elaborated later), but then again, most jobs have risks too. Even a deskbound worker can have a risk of overworking.

How Much Can An SIA Aircrew Earn?

According to Glassdoor, an SIA aircrew job is the most sought-after compared with other airline companies because of its higher pay. An SIA cabin crew earns an average of $3,585 per month all inclusive, in a poll of 262 salaries. Meanwhile, a Scoot crew earns around $3,000.

The salary is given based on flight patterns and flying hours. The basic pay makes up about half of the total drawn salary, and the rest of the salary is counted by adding the various allowances.

Salary Component Description
Basic Pay Cabin crews will be paid a base salary. This is the flat rate you will get no matter the number of hours you fly.
Inflight Allowance (per hour) Based on the number of hours you fly, this will be added to the salary.
A more experienced crew will get higher Inflight Allowance than a junior crew.
Long Haul Flight Allowance This usually refers to flights that are more than 14 hours.
Layover Allowance A fixed rate is paid for each layover (also known as Nightstop Allowance).
Turnaround Allowance Time taken to prepare aircraft for next flight after landing.
Transport Allowance Given to you every month for transport to and from work.
Uniform Allowance For you to buy new uniform or accessories for the work outfit.

Crew members will be based in Singapore and offered a 5-year employment contract initially. Based on job performance, additional 5-year contracts may be offered.

Some perks of flying with SIA:

  • You will be granted free travel to any SIA destination once a year and enjoy discounted travel at other times.
  • There is an attractive annual leave scheme, medical and dental treatment scheme.
  • You will learn skills that are highly curated by SIA’s high standards – including service training, personal grooming, first aid and aircraft safety procedures.

Do note that the full salary is only rewarded to recruits who complete the 4-month long training programme (details below). You will receive a basic salary during training.

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What Are The Requirements To Qualify For An Interview?

The appearance and outlook of an SIA aircrew are important, as per its reputation over the years of hiring attractive-looking people.

But the standards of attractiveness are no longer as stringent in recent years. As long as aspiring crew members look well-groomed and have a pleasant personality, there is a chance you might get the role.

However, the minimum height requirement of 1.58m for females and 1.65m for males still stands unchanged because of the need to carry out safety and emergency procedures onboard. Facial piercings or visible tattoos should also be concealed.

  • Minimum age of 18 years old due to legislative requirements
  • Pleasant personality and service-oriented
  • Fluent in English with good communication skills
  • Minimum height requirement of at least 1.58m for females and 1.65m for males in order to carry out safety and emergency procedures onboard
  • Minimum qualification of 5 GCE ‘O’ Level credits (including English) or Higher Nitec and above
  • Former SIA Cabin Crew are welcome to apply

Successful candidates must be able to commence employment with SIA within 3 months from the date of application.

Most cabin crews are recruited from Singapore. Singapore Airlines also recruits from Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India, and Indonesia. There used to be recruitments for China aircrew too, but due to ongoing pandemic constraints, this is unlikely to have resumed.

In the past, SIA used to hold mass recruitment drives at hotel ballrooms but due to the pandemic, they have now implemented an online video interview as the first step of curation.

Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend its final interviews.

SIA’s 4-Month Crew Training Programme And What You Can Learn

If you have been selected to join SIA as a crew member, you will need to undergo a rigorous 4 month training programme of classroom and on-the-job training. The training is to allow recruits to embody the airline’s philosophy of customer service and to create a professional crew ready to handle all flight situations.

The training includes:

  • Fundamentals of social etiquette, personal grooming and passenger handling skills.
  • Meal service procedures, including food and wine appreciation courses.
  • First aid and safety procedures for the different aircraft types.

The cabin crew are also required to undergo safety training under the Safety Training section of the Flight Crew Training Department. Classroom instruction is reinforced by the use of aircraft equipment and an evacuation trainer.

Safety training modules include basic first aid, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and firefighting. Practical training includes CPR practice on special instrumented dummies and the use of fire extinguishers in a purpose-built fire training room.

There are also Emergency Drills and scenarios created leading to a mock ground evacuation as well as Water Survival Training.

What is Water Survival Training?

  • A cabin mock-up is used for instruction on ditching procedures, slide-raft boarding and launching.
  • “Open sea” conditions are simulated by a wave generator.
  • Various sea scenarios and conditions, including day and night, can be created.

Finally, there is Safety & Emergency procedures (SEP) training which is mandatory for every crew to attend annually. The annual recurrent SEP training includes first aid and fire-fighting, and land and sea evacuations are alternated every year.

Upon successful completion of training, flying duties will commence.

Are There Risks To Working As An Aircrew

Now that you have learned about the perks of the job, we will share with you possible drawbacks, so that you can make a clear decision and choice if you want to pursue this as your career/job.

As stewards and stewardesses, be prepared to deal with some unpleasant people on the flight. It could be demanding passengers or cranky babies. But not every flight will have problematic customers. This is not that harrowing an issue if you compare working other types of jobs as you will deal with unpleasant people no matter what job you do.

You have to take care of your appearances and weight. This may be an obstacle for people who love food or have weight problems.

There are also airborne diseases that might be exposed to aircrew (i.e. Covid-19) so aircrew have to accept these as risks of the job.

The work roster is said to change frequently, so if you are someone who prefers structure then be ready about this. You may have to drop everything on your off day when asked to relieve a fellow aircrew who fell sick.

You will have to work on public holidays as flights take off regardless if it is a holiday or a weekend.

You also have to deal with the time zone changes and can develop erratic sleeping habits because of that. If you are family-oriented, you will have to make some sacrifices as you will be away most of the time.

Featured Image Credit: Singapore Airlines

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This article was first posted on 27 Jan 2023 and has been updated with the latest information.

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