Boats

5 min read

Landlubber to Sailor: Snag Your First Yacht Gig, No Exp Needed

Dream of the high seas but stuck on dry land? Let's chart a course to your first yacht job—no experience, no problem. Anchors aweigh to adventure and paychecks on the horizon!

Tobi Miles
August 21, 2023

The thought of spending days and nights on a luxury yacht is enticing to anyone. Even more enticing is the idea that you could get paid to spend time on a yacht, even if it means you’ll have to work hard. With more online exposure than ever, countless people have become fascinated with the idea of working on a yacht. Even still, many people struggle with how to find a yacht job without experience.

You can find a yacht job without experience if you get a Seafarers Medical Certificate and STCW certificate. This requires you to take a basic examination and 5 courses that highlight fire safety, security awareness, survival techniques, and first aid. Create a comprehensive resume that includes basic skills like communication as well as your past work experience.

Make sure to express your willingness to take instruction and learn as much as possible about the trade. Nobody expects you to know everything if you haven’t worked on a yacht before, so they will be patient if you work hard. Follow along as we explore how to find a yacht job without experience.

How Do You Get a Job on a Yacht With No Experience?

Getting a yacht job without experience may seem impossible, but it’s easier than you may think. Whether it be networking or signing up for basic training courses, there are several easy steps you can take to find a yacht job without experience.

1. Make Sure You Qualify

You can only get a job on a yacht without experience if you meet the qualifications. This includes an ENG1 medical exam and an STCW certificate. STCW certificates show that you have a basic understanding of fire safety and survival skills.

The ENG1 medical exam is important because everyone who works on a yacht must have a Seafarers Medical Certificate. You can only get your certificate if you visit an approved doctor for a basic medical examination. Once you Seafarers Medical Certificate, you must go back to the doctor every two years for another examination to make sure you still qualify.

2. Create a Resume

A resume is necessary to find a yacht job even if your past work experience has nothing to do with yachts. The personal paragraph is one of the most important parts of a resume for a yacht job. Make sure to keep it short and sweet while highlighting why you want to work on a yacht.

It’s important to highlight what you bring to the table and make it clear that you are willing to learn. The rest of your resume should consist of your education and past employment history. Yacht jobs are often varied and require several skills, so it helps if your past work experience entails several different skills.

Include your Seafarers Medical Certificate and STCW certificate in your resume. If your resume is striking enough, you will hopefully get an in-person interview!

3. Join Luxury Yacht Group

Luxury Yacht Group is a great resource for anyone trying to find a yacht job without experience. This agency helps thousands of people find crew work on yachts throughout the world each year. Not only do they help crew members find jobs, but they also help people that own and charter yachts find crew members.

That makes Luxury Yacht Group invaluable for prospective crew members as the service has countless contacts. You simply set up an account, provide your availability, and search for job postings. Crew members with varying experience levels use Luxury Yacht Group, and it’s perfect for beginners and seasoned workers alike.

4. Complete STCW Training

You may not need past yacht experience to get a job, but you must have completed basic training. Standards of Training and Certification of Watchkeepers (STCW) training is necessary to find a yacht job. The International Maritime Organisation regulates boating and shipping throughout the world.

They strictly require shipping and yacht personnel to undergo STCW training. The training includes fire prevention, fire fighting, first aid, security awareness, and survival techniques. Each of these categories is essential to keep everyone safe on a yacht in case the vessel takes on water or someone gets injured.

It only takes 5 days to complete STCW training, and it’s worth the time if you want a yacht job. You can take each course individually, but I recommend taking them all together so you can get your certificate in 5 days. You can register for STCW training online. Once certified, you must redo your fire safety and sea survival courses every 5 years.

5. Book an Interview

Working on yachts has a lot to do with your charisma and communication skills. That’s why it’s important to make a great first impression when you book an interview for a yacht job. Yacht jobs are similar to many service industry jobs in that you must be polite, concise, and forward with people.

This should all come across in your interview so your potential employer sees how you would be perfect for the job. Bring your resume and certifications so they know you’re prepared and responsible. Whether you get hired or not, make sure to leave a memorable impression because they may be able to hire you in the future.

6. Be Open to Training

Some training will be necessary if you find a yacht job without experience. This is true even if you have your STCW certificate. Luckily, many captains are understanding and realize there is a learning curve for working on a yacht.

Be open to training and try your best to learn on the job. On-the-job training is more useful than taking courses, but only if you listen well and collaborate with the other crew members. The hands-on experience you get will help you learn much more quickly than any training course, even if it can be overwhelming at first.

7. Meet New People

The phrase “it’s who you know, not what you know” is accurate in the world of yacht jobs. Of course, you must have a practical and hands-on understanding of the job, but you’ll get more work if you network with others. You will likely work with several crews on different yachts throughout the season or year.

Connect with your coworkers to get tips about jobs and resources you can use to stay busy. It also helps to spend time at local marinas to declare your availability and find new job leads. Sure, online resources are useful, but I find that mingling with other people and speaking in person makes it much easier to find work.

8. Keep Your Schedule Open

Keep your schedule open when you’re trying to find a yacht job. Yacht jobs often come in without much notice, so it’s a good idea to keep as much space open in your schedule as possible. You will get the most yachting jobs in summer and winter, so avoid scheduling too many plans during that time.

Sure, you may miss out on some social events, but it’ll be worth it when you quickly build an impressive yacht job resume. You may get calls when other crew members cancel on a job or if someone charters a yacht last minute without any notice. People will continue to offer you jobs if you regularly say yes even at a moment’s notice.

9. Regularly Update Your Resume

Update your yachting resume after each job. Make sure to include contact information for former employers and captains to give yourself more legitimacy. You will need to apply for new yachting jobs after each gig, so it’s important to constantly update your resume so it’s as impressive as possible.

It’s especially important to update your resume if you get new certifications. For example, some people may start as stewards and eventually study a trade, such as electrical work. Once you get a degree or certification in a specialty, you must add it to your resume.

This can open the door to new job openings that pay better.

10. Honor the Hierarchy

Like any workplace, yachts have a hierarchy amongst the crew. Familiarize yourself with the hierarchy of a yacht crew before your first job. The captain is the highest-ranking position, followed by the first mate, lead deckhand, deckhand, chief engineer, and second and third engineers.

Stewards and stewardesses are the basic entry-level yacht jobs. As a steward, it’s important to honor the hierarchy, make a great impression, and see how the other positions work. From there, you can decide if you’d like to pursue another position.

For example, you may work several jobs in the galley and on the deck as a steward and realize you want to pursue an electrician job. Find an appropriate time to speak with the onboard electricians and see what steps you need to take to pursue that position. The same can be said for any yachting job, and as long as you show respect, you can work your way into any job title.

What Skills Should I Put on My Yacht CV?

Your yacht CV (Curriculum vitae) should include everything from basic skills like communication to special skills like navigation. The resume should reflect your skill set. For example, make sure to include any past electrical work and certification if you’re looking for an electrician or engineering job.

Conversely, stewards must include past service industry jobs and experience to appeal to employers. Yacht chefs must have past food service and chef experience. Write your resume to reflect your past work experience and the job title you are looking to get.

What Is The Easiest Job on a Yacht?

No yacht job is easy, but it’s easier to get steward jobs because they don’t typically require specialized skills. Stewards and stewardesses serve food and drinks to guests throughout the trip. This requires lots of attention and communication skills, and while it’s not easy, it’s easier than being a yacht engineer or electrician.

How Much Do Yacht Stewardesses Make a Month?

Yacht stewards and stewardesses can make up to $5,000 per month. It ultimately depends on your daily or weekly rate. Yacht jobs typically carry daily rates, but you are sometimes paid by the hour.

One of the biggest appeals to yacht workers is that you can make a fortune with tips. A yacht’s crew receives 5%-15% of the charter price in tips in many cases, and that makes up a big portion of a stewardess’ monthly pay. Once you become a chief stewardess, you can make up to $90,000-$100,000 each year.

So, How Do You Get a Yacht Job Without Experience?

The best way to get a yacht job without experience is to get an STCW certificate and take an ENG1 medical exam. Once you have these certificates, you can include them in your resume. Use online resources like Luxury Yacht Group to get yacht jobs, and network with people at local marinas. Make sure to get a medical exam every 2 years and retake your fire and sea survival courses every 5 years to keep getting yacht jobs.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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