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How to get a job on a Superyacht

The best jobs are the ones that don’t feel like work and that’s certainly true in the Superyacht industry.

After all, you get to travel to far-flung destinations, make some great friends and the pay is fantastic.

Work on a superyacht

It’s no wonder you’re considering this career as a genuine option, but you’re probably wondering how to get a job on a superyacht. Hopefully, these steps will provide you with all the essential information and set you up for a successful career in the industry.

Understand what it takes to get a job on a Superyacht

This is not your basic 9-5 job. It is quite difficult to grasp and imagine what life is like working on a Superyacht. Most people who start a career in the industry have never set foot on a Superyacht before, let alone worked on one. 

The Superyacht industry is very secretive, and it’s very common for Yachties to not be able to film or take pictures whilst working on the boat. Some yacht crews are not allowed to disclose who owns the yacht and sometimes they are not even told.

However, in recent years there has been more content created about this fascinating industry. Shows like Below Deck or YouTuber Jared Watney have helped shine a light on what life is like working on superyachts.

You have probably heard about the great pay and travel that comes with getting a job on a Superyacht. However, if you are seriously thinking about working on a Superyacht then, alongside the positives, it is worth considering the downsides.

Things to consider before getting a job on a superyacht

Spend time away from home

This might sound obvious but it’s really important to think about whether you can cope with spending a lot of time away from home. 

Everyone misses their friends and family when they are travelling to some extent, but you need to make sure your home sickness does not affect your work or your ability to make new friends. 

Live in cramped conditions

Superyachts are huge and they have massive bedrooms and dining rooms for guests. Having all this space for guests ultimately means living quarters for crew will be on the smaller side.

You need to be comfortable sharing your space and there may not be any room for some quiet and peaceful time alone.

Get told what to do all day

You must be able to understand and efficiently do any task that is set for you. You will have your manager give you jobs but you may also get requests directly from guests on board the Yacht. 

If you don’t like being told what to do, it’s probably best you stay clear from working on Superyachts.

Hard work

Along with being told what to do most of the time you will be working long hard hours. If you think you will be sunbathing and partying all day whilst getting paid a load of money, think again. The work is tough and it can be hard physical labour. It’s not uncommon for crew to work 12 to 14 hour days, weeks at a time.

We don’t want to dishearten you but these are some the realities of working on a Superyacht.

Having said this, and your still interested in reading more than let’s look at the positives and the reasons why you want to work on superyachts. 

Benefits of working on a Superyacht

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 be spent exploring wherever you’ve stopped off at.

Earn a lot of money

Not only are the superyacht salaries 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 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.

Decide if you want to become a Deckhand, Stewardess or Chef

Chances are you are new to the industry and have no experience of working on Superyachts. Naturally, your job role choices will be limited at first.

Typically, entry-level positions include: Cook, Steward/Stewardess and Deckhand.

Deckhand at work on a superyacht

A Deckhand working on a super yacht tends to the exterior of the boat, driving the tenders and looking after the toys such as jet skis and dinghy boats. As a Deckhand you will do a lot of polishing, varnishing, cleaning the teak deck and general maintenance.

On the other hand, the main responsibilities of a Stewardess (or Steward) is to look after the interior of the Superyacht. The Stewardess is much like any hospitality role, which involves laundry, serving drinks and meals, making beds and ensuring everything is kept clean and tidy. 

Deckhand and Stewardess are the most common jobs to find for someone with no experience. However, if you are a trained Chef and have worked to a high quality then you can directly use your skills to become the Chef on board the ship. The Chef will be expected to cook to the highest standards for guests and crew.

If the boat is large enough there is sometimes a Chef dedicated to cooking crew meals, this position could be a great place to start your career in the Superyacht industry.

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
  • Fishing
  • Babysitting
  • Painting
  • Mechanics
  • Diving
  • Hotel or restaurant industry or similar
  • Bartending
  • Woodworking

Remember the guests on board the Superyacht are likely to be millionaires and billionaires who are used to exquisite luxury and impeccable service. So whichever role you decide, everything you do on the yacht must be to the highest standard.

What qualifications do I need to work on a Superyacht?

ENG1 Medical

Before you think about getting all your necessary certificates and applying for jobs, you should look into getting your ENG1 Medical Certificate

Set by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), The ENG1 Medical is an essential requirement for all yacht crew. This medical examination will assess whether you are fit and able to perform your basic duties whilst working at sea.

The ENG1 Certificate will be completed by an approved MCA doctor. A quick Google search will help you find your nearest one.

STCW Certificate

If you want to work on Superyachts and any vessels over 24m, you’ll need at a minimum STCW Basic Safety Training Certificates. The course takes 6 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

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 Stewardess 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).

Deckhand or Stewardess Qualifications

A few people will be in the fortunate position of already securing a job before they start training to work on superyachts. If this is the case, all you need is your ENG1 Medical and STCW Certificates, then you are good to head to France and look for work.

Don’t be disheartened if this isn’t you. It’s more likely that you’ll have no experience working on superyacht and currently no way of finding a job. 

Work as a superyacht stewardess

This is where our 2 week Superyacht Stewardess Course or Superyacht Deckhand Course comes into play. Along with getting your STCW Training, our Superyacht Courses gives you extra qualifications and experience that you can put on your CV and be ready to start working in the industry.

Deckhand Course Inclusions

  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • Superyacht Deckhand Certificate
  • Online MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) course
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Personal Watercraft Course (PWC)
  • RYA VHF Radio
  • RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance
  • Ropework, essential knots and splicing
  • Maintenance day, teak work, repairs, washdowns, cleaning the stainless yacht maintenance
  • RYA two-day boat handling course
  • CV Clinic, industry guidance and mentoring with one of our experts

Stewardess Course Inclusions

  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • Superyacht Interior Certificate
  • CIEH Food Safety Level 2
  • Online MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA VHF Radio
  • Flower arranging
  • Silver service training
  • Barista training, wine appreciation and cocktail mixing courses
  • Customer service training
  • CV Clinic, industry guidance and mentoring with one of our expert
  • Realistic Steward/ess job interview training

Finally, our Superyacht Course students have the opportunity to join us for a recruitment event in Antibes, France. Here you will have meetings with a recruitment agency and get industry contacts to help fast track your way into employment. 

Head to France to find work

So you passed your ENG1 Medical examination, have your STCW Certificate and completed your Deckhand or Stewardess Course? Now you are ready to head to a Superyacht Marina and look for work!

It’s not common for Captains to employ someone without seeing them first, which is why you need to be in the right Marinas at the right time.

Europe will be your best and cheapest bet to find your first job working on a Superyacht. There are a few marinas you can look for work including Antibes in France or Palma in Mallorca. The season starts around February to May and September and October, but this window is extending all the time!

Similar to looking for a job in the UK, signing up to dedicated yacht crew recruitment agencies will increase your chances of finding work.

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.

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