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How to Get a Job on a Yacht


The yachting industry continues to grow each year, with over 6,000 superyachts (luxury yachts over 24 meters in length, powered either by motor or sail) around the world.

It is mandatory that superyacht owners and operators follow requirements and legislation put out by regulating bodies, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

The size of the crew is dependent on the size of the yacht and number of passengers on board. There are many different career options within the yachting industry, such as:

  • Master
  • Steward/ess
  • Chef
  • Deck Crew
  • Engineer

Generally, the yachting industry in the Mediterranean runs from April until September, and from November to April within the U.S. and Caribbean.

Basic qualifications are required to work on board luxury yachts. Those qualifications vary depending on the career you decide to pursue within the yachting industry. STCW Basic Safety Training(STCW Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) is required for all crew. Security Awarenessis also required for all crew working onboard commercial yachts over 500 feet.

All crewmembers must also obtain a certificate of medical fitness, proving that they meet a minimum standard or health and are fit to work onboard a yacht.

Interior Crew

There is no additional required training to work as an interior crew member (steward/stewardess), although it can be helpful to have hospitality or customer-facing experience, a hotel school degree or diploma or to have completed yacht stewardess training. This job is often best suited for high energy people with attention to detail and a desire to provide the highest standard of service.

Yacht Chef

Working as a chefonboard a yacht is often for those who already have extensive cooking experience and many cooking achievements. Completion of cooking courses through established culinary institutes can increase your earning potential as a chef. Requirements for chefs are dependent on the flag state the vessel is registered under, and thus may vary from yacht to yacht.

Deck Crew

Finding a job as a yacht deckhandcan be very competitive, so the more experience you have to offer (such as experience in recreational boating, sailing, water sports, etc.), the better.

There are many different yacht licenses for deck crew, such as:

  • Yacht Rating
  • MCA Efficient Deckhand (EDH)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Yacht Master
  • RYA Radar
  • RYA Tender Operator
  • RYA Competent Crew
  • PWC Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • VHF Radio
  • General GRP and carpentry repairs

Yacht licenses for deck officersare dependent on the flag state the vessel is registered under.

Yacht Engineer

To work as a yacht engineer, you must also have completed an Approved Engine Course.


To become the Master of a yacht, you will need to complete Yacht Master Training.

Northeast Maritime Institute is currently developing a Yacht Master Training course to be delivered on its online platform, Northeast Maritime Online (NEMO°). This course will be approved by the Dominica Maritime Administration (DMA) in line with the development of the Commonwealth of Dominica International Yacht Code, which is expected to be published September 2020. 

To view all of the courses we offer, visit

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