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How To Work On A Superyacht, With No Experience in 2020

Posted on: 06/23/2020


Article Written By Meg Tonkin of Get Onboard Superyacht Academy in Cape Town. June 22 2020


With over 12 years in the industry, interviewing and hiring countless candidates across various positions, we know first hand al the information you require in order get your first real crew job on a superyacht. 

In this post we highlight some of the features of our "Beginners Guide to Yachting" Ebook which explains all you need to know from how to get your CV yacht perfect, typical daily stewardess or deckhand duties, how to find day work and more.

What is an entry level position for my first job on a yacht?
The two most common entry level positions on yachts are stewardess jobs and deckhand jobs. These are both junior ranks whose primary concern is to keep the guests happy and ensure the interior and exterior are kept immaculately clean.

You can also apply for specialist roles such as a superyacht engineer and chef jobs, however these may require some previous experience or qualification.

What qualifications do I need to work on a yacht?
What are the basic elements you need to be eligible to work in the yachting industry:
·      STCW’10
·      ENG 1
What is the STCW Course?

STCW stands for Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping. The STCW'2010, previously referred to as STCW'95, is a compulsory requirement for any seafarer in order to be eligible for employment at sea. If you are planning on joining the Superyacht industry to look for a yacht job as a stewardess, deckhand, engineer or chef, you will need to complete this STCW course. This course covers personal survival techniques, fire safety and fighting, first aid, social responsibility and security awareness.

What is the ENG1 medical certificate?

The ENG1 Medical is a basic medical certificate and is as essential as your STCW'10. It is a mandatory requirement to prove you are fit to work as a yacht crew member at sea. Only MCA-approved doctors can perform an ENG 1 medical exam. 

Where can you complete your training?

Get Onboard Superyacht Academy offers complete STCW and ENG1 training in Cape Town, South Africa. 

With over 14 years industry experience, our maritime partners internationally accredited maritime partners who are ITY and MCA certified ,were carefully selected to ensure our candidates are provided the best possible training experience with top notch facilities in order to ensure they begin their super yachting career with a competitive edge. Read our article on how to choose a training school for more information. 

Do I need any other courses?

While the STCW and ENG1 are the only compulsory courses that you need to complete in eligible to work at sea, there are various other courses you can complete that will greatly enhance your CV. These include deck modules like, Powerboat Level 2, Yacht Rating certificate, Jetski licence, Stewardess training which includes flower arranging, barista training, wine pairing and basic housekeeping skills.

What previous experience is useful when looking for a job on a yacht?
While working on a yacht is certainly different to any land based career, there are various land based positions that offer you skills that will be beneficial to working on yachts. Any job that involves hospitality training, bartending, working as a server in a high end restaurant, beauty therapy, child care or au pairing, food safety, flower arranging are highly beneficial as well as carpentry, work sports instructor, dive master or anything else yacht related. If you have already completed some form or degree or diploma in engineering or mechanics, this is also considered a huge plus. Have a look at our article on other skills that can benefit you onboard for a more detailed explanation.

How do I get my first job on a yacht?
Once you are qualified, what are the next steps to finding your first job onboard?

How do I make a Yacht CV?

Yacht CV's are very different to landbased CV's and are essential when looking for a job on a yacht. Read our guide on what Captains Look For in A CV for more information.

What is Daywork?

Day work is a great way of networking, building contacts in the industry, and most importantly finding you first superyacht job. Day work refers to when you do not have a formal contract in place with a yacht, but you help out onboard for anything from a day to several weeks. Day working is a great way for you to get a sense of different roles onboard and whether the industry is right for you. Often the Captain or senior crew member will use day work as a trial or "audition" to see who is the best fit for the crew and is the most efficient worker so it is an excellent tool to use when searching for your first job. 

What are the best locations to get a yacht job?

There are two main yachting hubs, the Mediterranean, particularly Antibes in France or Palma de Mallorca in Spain, and Fort Lauderdale or Miami in Florida. We explain the different seasons and best time of year to visit each areas in our article Best Locations To Get a Yacht Job for Time of Year

 How much money do you make working on a yacht?
Yacht salaries will vary between position, depending on your experience and even from boat for boat. Entry level positions may pay similar to land-based industries, however there are certain additional benefits to yachting that will make the salary more attractive. Once you are employed onboard, you have very little living expenses as your food, basic toiletries, insurance and uniform are all covered by the yacht. 

How much can a stewardess or deckhand earn?

The standard entry level salary for a junior stewardess or deckhand ranges between €2000-€2500 or $2300-$2800 per month. This amount is generally tax free, although the onus is on each crew member to check with their home county about tax obligations. Certain countries are tax exempt provided you spend more than 6 months out of the county.


What is it like working onboard a superyacht?
While the yachting industry has many perks, it certainly isn't for everyone. Often you are required to spend long periods away from friends and family as well as working long hours living in a shared work environment. Take a look at our article to learn the truth about yacht crew life and see if working on a yacht is really for you.

Do you still have some unanswered questions? Why not download our eBook and find out all the insider tips of surviving, and preparing for yacht crew life, or contact the Get Onboard team. Please use discount coupn code  at check-out " SMARTMOVE" for a special discount!