We always tell our candidates, finding your first job in the yachting industry is by far the most difficult. Securing a job on a superyacht is the ultimate goal. Working on a yacht can be unique, lucrative, and potentially a long term career path, but breaking into the field can seem very intimidating and competition is fierce, so what can you do to ensure you follow the correct process and stand out from the crowd?
Step 1. Choose your SuperYacht Career Path
If you aren’t sure where to begin, it’s important to know what sort of yacht jobs are out there, and also what you can do to increase your chances of placement on a yacht crew. There are plenty of yacht jobs available for a wide range of abilities, and with determination, knowledge, you can prepare yourself for your long term goals in this career.
A high quality yacht crew is always in demand and there are many different positions to fill on a superyacht. The number and type of positions can vary depending on the size of the superyacht.
Crew Positions Onboard a SuperYacht include:
Head Of Interior
Head Of Housekeeping
Ask yourself which position on a superyacht would suit your character and skill set best. Experience is highly valued in a crew member, so if you are lacking in relevant prior experience, you could be at a disadvantage. However, if you are serious about working on a superyacht, there are a few tips on how to get a job on a superyacht. Make sure to check out our article on how to prepare your SuperYacht CV and make it stand out from the crowd.
Step 2. Get Certified
There will be several training courses and certification options available from many sources, and once you have considered your long term goals for a yacht crew position, that will determine which courses and certifications are required.
The absolute minimum requirements to obtain your first job on a superyacht are to be STCW 2010 Certified. STCW 2010 stands for Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, standards that were set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The STCW 2010 consists of 5 basic training courses that will cover Personal Survival Techniques (PST), Basic Fire Fighting, Elementary First Aid & CPR and Personal Safety & Social Responsibility (PSSR) and Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD).
You must also have your ENG1 Medical Certificate, the MLC states that every seafarer must have a valid medical certificate. ENG1 is a relatively quick and unobtrusive examination set by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to minimize or prevent potential hazards at sea. MCA approved Doctors will establish whether or not you have any medical conditions that might cause you to be unable to perform certain duties at sea.
Here at Get Onboard we can assist you with a range of career packages- whether you are looking to train as a deckhand, stewardess, chef or junior engineer- we’ve got you covered.
Step 3. Register With A Crew Agency
Once you have your basic training and qualifications specific for how to get a job on a superyacht under your belt, you may find it beneficial to register with a yacht crew placement agency. This is a very common way for newcomers to land their first job on a superyacht. There are many crew agencies out there, so deciding which agency will be the best fit for you will be at your own discretion. The general procedure is to either sign up on their registration page, or email the crew placement agency providing them with your CV and other related documents. There may be a quick interview before it is official, but once you are registered, the search for crew jobs begin.
Social Media is also a great way to get started, joining and posting in superyacht related groups, and making sure you are out there looking for either day work to get your foot in, or through contacts you already have in the industry.
Our “Beginners Guide to Yachting” Ebook lists the best possible crew agencies you can register with, as well the Facebook groups you can join to assist your search for first time employement.
Step 4. Network
It’s a really social industry. You are going to meet hundreds of people from all over the world and be immersed into new cultural experiences. Go with an open mind and a no-judgement attitude. This might be your first ‘me leaving the country. Other cultures and traditions may be so different from your own – from the way they eat, the things they say, and the language/accent barriers. You are going to experience very unusual interactions, some might be frustrating and others amazing! Be ready to take it all in and see this as part of the adventure. “Networking” is one of the key words in this yachting game. From when you first land at your new destination, you will need to have a friendly, go-getter attitude.
Step 5. Choose Your Ideal SuperYacht Job
There are four departments onboard.
Deck (Deckhands and sports insturctors)
Galley (Head and crew chef)
Working on yachts can be tough and physically demanding. If you are not manually lifting something or scrubbing decks, then you are spending long hours preparing for and serving the guests. You will, more than likely, go from cleaning toilets and bilge tanks to sweeping and polishing the top deck. Don’t be surprised when you’re given the “worst” jobs during your first season – we’ve all been there. Remember- you’re the newbie on-board! When the guests depart and you are treated with a day off, that is your me time “have a jol.” And trust us – these will be the best nights of your life!
Book a consultation with us to discuss the courses required for each department and to find the right career path to fit you.
Step 6. Try Dockwalking
You will hear this term oBen and is your key to landing your first permanent job on a yacht. Dock walking is the process of finding work on a yacht, which may be just day work (explained later) or a permanent position.
Step 7. Find The Best Location to Start your Yachting Career
There are a few prime destinations you can choose to travel to. We will break down these options as well as the different yachting seasons.
Europe Antibes, France is a small coastal town in the French Riviera, about 40 minutes by train from Nice International Airport.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain is a small island just off the Spanish Coast and about an hour flight from Barcelona.
USA Fort Lauderdale, Florida or Laudy, as the seasoned yachties call it. The yachts will often stop over here for maintenance and repairs, this after being in the Mediterranean for a few months. West Palm, Florida is about 40 minutes by train from Fort Lauderdale. Rybovich Marina, which is the marina in West Palm, is a very popular port for shipyards and maintenance
Step 8. Nail The Job Interview
Recruitment agencies are a direct point of contact between you and your future job. Use your interview with them as practice for an interview with a Captain.
Your dream job is out there – doing your part to prepare yourself with proper training and knowledge can only work in your favour. You are already half way there!
Good Luck and we would love to hear how it all works out. Should you have any questions or need any advice please feel free to email us. We can’t wait for you to GET ONBOARD