The superyacht industry offers challenging yet rewarding positions, career progression, attractive salaries and benefits, world travel to exclusive locations and lifelong friendships.
Our top tips to join the superyacht industry as Crew
Research the industry: Learn about the superyacht industry, its different sectors (crew, management, construction, brokerage, etc.), the types of yachts and services offered. Understand the roles and responsibilities of various positions to find the one that suits you best.
Gain relevant experience: While formal education can be helpful, the superyacht industry places a very strong emphasis on practical experience and skills. Consider working in related fields, such as hospitality, marine industry, or luxury services, to gain relevant experience and transferable skills.
Complete necessary training: No matter what role you apply for, you must gain a STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping). More senior and specialised positions (e.g. Medic, Diver) require specific qualifications or licenses, so research what is needed for your desired role. Our preferred training provider ‘Flying Fish’ based on the Isle of Wight in the UK will be happy to advise you.
Networking: The superyacht industry is small and very well-connected, networking can play a significant role in finding opportunities. If you can, attend industry events, boat shows, and conferences to meet professionals already working in the industry. Join online forums and social media groups dedicated to yachting to connect with people and gain insights.
Prepare a professional CV: Tailor your CV to highlight your relevant skills and experiences. The superyacht industry is a premium service industry so always emphasize any hospitality and/or customer service experience you have, as these are highly valued. We can help edit your CV.
Apply to yacht crew agencies: But no too many! Be selective, choose those who hold a good reputation for looking after their candidate’s interests and remember than an agency will not work hard to find you a placement if you’re registered with a lot as you will have spread yourself too broadly.
Flexibility and willingness to learn: The superyacht industry demands flexibility and adaptability, as you will be required to travel extensively and work irregular hours. Consider this and check if it aligns with any home/family commitments. Demonstrate your willingness to learn and grow within the industry.
Consider entry-Level positions: If you do not hold any experience, you must be open to starting at entry-level positions to gain experience and work your way up. Entry-level positions include Deckhand, Steward(ess). These roles can provide valuable insights into the industry and help you progress to higher positions.
Be persistent and patient: Finding the right opportunity in the superyacht industry may take time, so be patient and persistent in your job search. Keep improving your skills and knowledge while actively seeking opportunities.
Maintain professionalism: Once you secure a position, maintain a professional and dedicated attitude. The superyacht industry values professionalism and excellent customer service, which will contribute to your success and potential for growth. Employers seek longevity and commitment, they often invest their money into your professional development. Be wary of jumping from yacht to yacht, this is not favoured.
Crew looking for employment is increasing each season, perhaps due to the popular reality series ‘Below Deck’?! It is a competitive industry to join so always consider pushing yourself to gain as much experience and ‘good to have’ qualifications as possible which will ‘pip you to the post’ ahead of other applicants. With the right mix of skills, experience, and determination, you can start a rewarding career in this glamorous and captivating field.
I have tattoos - is this a problem?
If you have visible tattoos (when wearing standard crew uniform of shorts/skirt/t-shirt), it may restrict your chances of gaining employment but they are becoming more and more acceptable. What might hinder your chances is what your tattoos are of - if offensive then you may hit a brick wall! We know which yachts accept tattoos - contact us.
How long should I stay in my first role?
We advise a minimum of one year. Employers seek commitment and longevity. Senior yacht management and agencies will question why you have not stayed onboard for a decent length of time. This is a small industry, reputation is everything.
Can I still use Social Media when I'm a crew member?
Yes but be aware that a) potential employers may scrutinise your pages BEFORE they employ you as they often portray an accurate measure of character b) once onboard, very often you will sign a NDA, a legally binding contract not to disclose information, this can include naming the yacht you work on, the name of the owner and guests aboard. Your employer will seek ultimate discretion from all crew. If in doubt, don't post it!
What qualifications do I need to work on a yacht?
You must complete the STCW Basic Safety Training and obtain a recognised Seafarers medical certificate (ENG1) - without both of these you will not be able to work aboard a yacht.
Always ensure all your certificates are up to date.
Should I pay for my flight to join a yacht?
We always advise not to.
Your employer should arrange and pay for your flights to get you to the yacht - certainly all MLC2006 certified yachts should and even if they're not it is in your interest that they do. Circumstances may change, your employment may be pulled and you'll be left to foot the bill.
What visas do I need?
It all depends where you're from.
The most common visas required are B1/B2 to sail/work in USA waters and a Schengen if you're from South Africa.
Get in touch and we can advise.
Are there age restrictions for working on a yacht?
As we are a certified MLC2006 placement agency, we will not represent or put forward any candidates who are not aged 18 years old or over.
It is also worth noting that unfortunately the industry can be quite ageist. Depending on the role you're applying for, you may be considered too long in the tooth from the age of 30! Speak to us and we'll advise you.
How do I apply for an ENG1 and how much does it cost?
An ENG1 must be issued by a MCA approved doctor. Search online for UK based and overseas doctors.
The current cost is £115.00
Your appointment will take about 40 minutes and the medical check isn't invasive.
Always gain your ENG1 BEFORE signing yourself up to do any qualifications as it may bring up some undetected concerns that could result in sailing restrictions or worst case, you can't work at sea.
What is the STCW qualification?
A mandatory qualification to work on a yacht. The STCW (Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) - course takes 1 week to complete and is valid for 5 years.
It teaches you how to stay safe whilst working at sea and there are 5 modules -Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention, Elementary First Aid, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility and Proficiency in Security Awareness.
Contact our preferred course provider, Flying Fish, who can assist you.
I am female but want to work on Deck, is this possible?
Absolutely! Gone are the days when female crew are expected to work within the interior department (Stewardess), more and more women are becoming Deckhands and working their way up to Captain / Senior Engineer etc - the world is your lobster!
Superyacht Course Provider
Start a new career on the ocean with Flying Fish, our preferred water sport, yachting and superyacht training provider.
Based on the Isle of Wight, Flying Fish offer an extensive range of courses – your ‘go to’ to get your professional qualifications and experience to start your new career, or indeed to keep in date and refresh those all important mandatory certificates.
From STCW basic safety training to their bespoke Superyacht Deckhand, Stewardess and Interior courses – they offer impartial training and careers advice.
A first class course provider who we highly recommend.
Veterans – Flying Fish offer an exclusive payment scheme to assist you with spreading the cost of courses, ensuring affordability.