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.
Whether you’re looking to work on a Superyacht to fill your gap year before uni, while you figure out what you want to do as a full-time job, or to pursue a yachting career until you retire, Superyacht jobs offer incredible fun, variety, and work/life experiences to those who undertake them.
After all, you get to travel to far-flung destinations, make some great friends and the pay is fantastic! So, it’s no wonder you’re considering this career as a genuine option.
The question, however, is how to get a job on a Superyacht in the first place.
Currently, you can get a job on a Superyacht with no experience, and (at the time of writing) the industry isn’t overly competitive.
However, from our years of experience delivering Superyacht Deckhand and Stewardess training here at Flying Fish, we’d agree that you’ll have a much better chance of landing your dream role if you go into your search fully prepared!
Hopefully, the steps outlined in this blog will provide you with all the essential information you need, and set you up for a successful career in the industry…
8 steps to landing a job on a Superyacht:
1. Decide whether you really have what it takes to get a job on a Superyacht
This is not your basic 9-5 job. It is quite difficult to grasp – especially as 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’ve 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, too.
Here are some things to test out to see whether you have what it takes to work 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. This ultimately means however that 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.
Alternatively, if you have a can-do attitude and are happy to follow instructions from others, then you’ll fit right in.
Alongside being told what to do most of the time, you will be working long hard hours on a Superyacht. 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 can include hard physical labour. It’s not uncommon for crew to work 12-to-14-hour days for weeks at a time.
We don’t want to dishearten you, but these are some the realities of working on a Superyacht. If you’re a hard worker though with experience in physical industries, such as farming, hospitality or even the army and have a strong work ethic, you’ll be set to impress prospective employers right off the bat!
If you’ve got to this point and are still interested in reading more, than let’s look at the positives and the reasons why you want to work on superyachts…
The 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!), but the tips are also great. 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 jet skis, 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.
Multiple chances 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!
2. 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.
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
- Hotel or restaurant industry or similar
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.
3. Obtain the necessary qualifications
One of the most crucial steps in how to get a job on a Superyacht is achieving the following two qualifications:
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.
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
Watch the video below to learn more about STCW from our MD Andy Hunt:
4. Complete the relevant training course
By far the best way to make yourself eligible for Superyacht jobs is by completing the relevant training!
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.
For example, 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).
There are specific courses available for each role, and completing them will give you a better chance of securing the job you want.
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.
This is where our two-week Superyacht Deckhand Course or Superyacht Stewardess 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 to help you stand out from the crowd when applying for roles.
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
5. Take on additional training opportunities if you can
Although your Deckhand or Stewardess certification will be enough to get you an office on the ocean (as well as passing your ENG1 Medical), it doesn’t hurt to have a few other qualifications under your belt.
For example, you may choose to advance on your STCW basic training with STCW Personal Survival Techniques, or delve into other areas, such as watersports (e.g., by completing a Windsurfing instructor course or a PADI Diving qualification).
This will really help you stand out from the competition (if any) and will mean you can get stuck in with even more duties in your new role!
6. Attend recruitment days
Once you’ve got all the qualifications you need and want under your belt, it’s time to start your job search; firstly, by attending Superyacht recruitment days!
A bit like attending an open day for uni or a job fair, this will give you an idea of the companies or independent Superyacht owners out there who are recruiting for your ideal job, and what expectations they will have of you as an applicant.
This way, you’ll know exactly what you need to do and how to impress them when you apply for a role!
Here at Flying Fish, we run a Superyacht recruitment event in Antibes, where you can meet with a recruitment agency and get industry contacts to help fast track your way into employment.
You’ll also learn all about what to expect from Superyacht jobs, as well as personal presentation tips, dos and don’ts, dock walking, and a final review of your CV (more on that below) before you begin your career in the Superyacht industry.
7. Get your CV in order
Having an enticing Superyacht CV is one of the most important factors in how to get a job on a Superyacht!
The average time a Superyacht recruiter will spend looking at a CV is just a few precious seconds, so it’s important that you capture their attention in the first couple of lines.
At Flying Fish, we have a guide on how to write a Superyacht CV, and CV writing is also included as part of our Superyacht Deckhand and Stewardess courses, run by one of our experts.
8. Start your job search – online, and in France
The Superyacht season in the Mediterranean starts between February and May (though this is expanding all the time), so you’ll want to kick off your search for roles way before then (ideally the summer before) to give yourself the best chance of being in the running for jobs.
Take the time to browse for job opportunities online, including social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn for different opportunities across the globe.
Another option is to head straight to France to find work in person! 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.
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.
In summary, work hard, embrace a can-do attitude and strong work ethic, and one day you could secure that dream job.
On average, it takes about one to four weeks to get a job on a Superyacht after you start applying.
However, by following all the above steps on how to get a job on a Superyacht, you could find yourself landing your dream job in as little as a day!
So… ready to start your journey towards working on a Superyacht?
Read our handy resources about becoming a Superyacht Deckhand and Superyacht Stewardess, download our ultimate guide to working on superyachts, and get in touch to book your place on one of our courses at Flying Fish!