How to get a job on a yacht
7 June 2016
The best jobs are the ones that don’t feel like work and that’s certainly true of a career in the yachting industry.
After all, you get to travel to far-flung destinations, hang out with celebrities and the pay is fantastic.
It’s no wonder you’re considering a career in yachting, but you’re probably wondering what you need to do to get started. Hopefully, this guide will provide you with all the essential information.
What qualifications do I need?
If you want to work on superyachts and vessels over 24m, you’ll need STCW Basic Safety Training Certificates. Even if you’re working on a smaller yacht, you stand a much better chance of securing a job if you have these certificates. The course only takes five days to complete and during that time you will learn:
- How to respond to basic security situations on-board
- How to prevent and fight fires
- What the working conditions of a ship are like and how to keep yourself safe
- Basic first aid and lifesaving skills
- How to survive in an emergency situation
These are just some of the skills you will learn – a lot is packed into five days!
You probably have a particular job role in mind already, or the very least have decided whether you want to work on deck or behind the scenes as a member of the interior crew. There are specific courses available for each role and completing them will give you a better chance of securing the job you want.
Since the captain is usually the one who specifies the crew members they are looking for, each will likely ask for different skills, levels of experience and qualifications. Some deck crew roles may require you to have a Yachtmaster qualification. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a good idea to complete the course anyway, as it is essential if you someday want to become a captain or chief mate (the second in command).
How to get a job on a yacht with no experience
It is indeed possible to secure a job at sea with no previous yachting experience, so long as you have the qualifications necessary. Naturally, your job role choices will be limited at first. Typically, entry-level positions include: cook, steward/stewardess and deckhand.
Again, the captain will decide what skills they require from their crew, but you may already have relevant experience even if you’ve never stepped foot on a yacht. If you have any experience in the following, put it on your CV:
- Basic cooking
- Hotel or restaurant industry or similar
Benefits of working on a yacht
Aside from getting an enviable tan, there are many benefit to working on a yacht – some we’ve already brushed upon. Let’s look at some of the key deal-sweeteners.
Travel all across the world
Working on a yacht will give you the opportunity to visit some incredible places, from private Caribbean resorts to beautiful cities adored by the rich and famous. Best of all, you don’t have to fork out a penny; you’re being paid to travel to these destinations! While you will be working hard most of the time, you will get days off, which can spend exploring wherever you’ve stopped off at.
Earn a lot of money
Not only are the salaries of yacht workers incredibly high (Captains can expect to earn between €60,000 to €150,000 a year!), the tips are great too. If you work on a superyacht, expect to earn at least €1,000 in tips per week. Not to mention that all your living costs are paid for, as you’re in living and eating on the yacht. This means you can save and spend your money as you wish – it no longer all needs to go on bills or rent!
Enjoy amazing experiences
Yacht crew work hard and play hard. You’ll get to attend celebrity parties, try diving, ride jetskis, eat at the best restaurants and go shopping in your downtime and during working hours. It’s all part of the lifestyle!
Make friends for life
Since you’ll be working and living with them for long periods of time, you’ll create close-knit relationships with your crew mates. Even once you’ve parted ways, we guarantee you’ll stay in touch, if only to reminisce about all the adventures you had together.
A chance for progression
It’s an unfortunate truth that some roles are dead-end jobs. Thankfully, this is certainly not the case when it comes to careers in yachting. As long as you’re prepared to do the training necessary, you really do have the chance to one day become a captain or chief mate. You will learn so much during your time on the yacht and that experience will be invaluable no matter what you choose to do in the future.
Getting a job on a yacht isn’t unachievable, even if you have no experience whatsoever! Each captain is different, and will be looking for the traits and skills they favour, so while you might not be suitable for one yacht, that doesn’t mean you won’t be perfect for another. Work hard and one day you could secure that dream job.
Check out our careers advice page for more help on getting a job within the yachting industry.