Landing Your Dream Job Working On A Yacht

Have you ever dreamed of living on a luxury yacht, but know that’s just not going to happen anytime soon? Why not work on one?! The yachting industry is a great way to live on the ocean and travel for free while getting paid. There are multiple job titles and many ways to get the perfect job on board your dream yacht. Here is how:

1. Get Some Experience

A little knowledge of the water and some experience with boats goes a long way. Knowing the basics of the water and having a passion for boating is key. At the very least learn how to properly tie up a boat, where port and starboard is, and how to skipper a tender, dingy, or Jet Ski. You’ll also need to know how to take care of things you are in responsible for, like cleaning the boat, or being able to recognize a dangerous situation, or weather.

2. Get Certified

STCW Basic Safety Training Course Certification (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) is a requirement for getting a job on most yachts. You learn detail safety precautions for on board a vessel. In the week-long certification class, you’ll learn:

article continues after ad
  • Basic Fire Fighting
  • Personal Survival
  • Elementary First Aid and CPR
  • Personal Safety/Social Responsibility

I took my STCW 95 Certification at New England Maritime on Cape Cod. The students in the class had all levels of boating experience. The diverse class ranged from new sailors all the way to professional sailors.

3. Update Your CV / Resumé

Writing a CV (resumé) for the yachting industry is different than writing a regular resumé.


Here are a few key items to include:

  • Photo of yourself. Preferably a collared shirt, no sunglasses, and of course looking your best.
  • Anything that provides some insight into who you are as a person (you’ll be “living” with these people for a certain amount of time, so this is helpful when determining fit). List what language(s) you speak, your nationality, if you have tattoos, if you are a smoker, your fitness level.
  • Experiences on the water and off. It’s great to have hospitality or restaurant experience. After writing about your on the water experience, places you’ve traveled, boats you’ve sailed, be sure to include any hospitality experience, especially if you’ve ever worked as a waiter or bartender.
  • Licenses, certifications, and education.
  • Reference names, relationships, and contact info.

4. Know All Of The Job Titles

There are multiple Job titles onboard. They all have specific qualifications and descriptions that help a yacht operate smoothly and you should be familiar with all of them.

  • Captain- Oversees and is responsible for the entire operation of the vessel.
  • Mate- Representative appointed by the Captain.
  • Engineer- Responsible for all mechanics and electronics.
  • Chef- Oversees the galley.
  • Steward(ess)- Maintains the cleanliness of ship interior and serves the guest aboard.
  • Deckhand- Responsible for all aspects of the exterior of the vessel.

5. Use Word Of Mouth And Online Job Searches

Finding a job in the yachting industry sometimes comes down to connections / who you know. The yachting industry is very small, so word of mouth and asking around for jobs is a great first step. If you don’t have a network of friends in the yachting you might consider these different, but equally effective approaches:

  • Dock walk at a marina where the boats are. For example, head to Newport, RI for the summer season and Fort Lauderdale, FL for the winter season.
  • Join Facebook group pages called “yachties in… Newport” (or enter your desired location). These pages feature a lot of information, but most importantly, recent job openings.

Getting your foot in the door in the yachting industry might require a few extra steps, but once you’re in, it is an experience that will change your life.

A way to travel and see the world and chase the endless summer while working, yes please!