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How to Work Around the World on a Yacht

For those who love the sea and enjoy a rush of adrenaline every now and then, a great way of earning a decent living and seeing the world at the same time is by finding employment on a yacht. There are a variety of yacht types out there, but your highest chances of finding a job are on a cruising yacht, a luxury one, or on a racing yacht.

boats3 - phot by mordoc (www.sxc.hu)Job positions may vary according to the type of yacht, but, in general, they can be divided into four main categories: deckhands, engineers, chefs, and maids, which are sometimes referred to as stewardesses.  Collectively, all of these job positions are called crew members. Smaller yachts, in particular sailboats, may only rely on deckhands and, in these cases, duties such as cleaning and cooking are divided among the crew members.

In general, at least some sailing experience is required in order to land one of these jobs. However, if you are only starting out, there is still one option that could get you working on a yacht. Some yacht owners or captains will hire apprentices, but the salary is minimal at best. However, you will be given the opportunity to learn everything there is about yachts, a priceless experience which will help you get better employment in the future. Not to mention that you will be able to see the world while you’re doing it. Even if you have no prior experience in sailing, you might have to undergo several training courses that deal with marine general safety issues.

If you have a sailing licence, in particular a captain’s degree, your chances of getting hired increase significantly. Those interested in becoming a maid or a stewardess on a yacht, should know that this particular position is generally awarded to women and it is quite uncommon for a man to be hired for this. But you are more than welcome to pursue it, even if you are a male, especially if you have any past experience in reputable hotels.

For those aiming to become a chef or an engineer, experience is a must. Chefs should provide a professional degree and show proof of past experience in highly rated establishments, especially if they are aiming for a position on a luxury yacht. Since engineers working on boats have different assignments and tasks than from those working on land, a degree in marine engineering is required.

The easiest way of finding employment on a yacht is by searching the web for a placement agency. If your application is accepted, you will usually be required to attend and pass an interview. Alternatively, there are various crewing agencies on land, which you could contact to see if they have any openings.

Language requirements for a job on a yacht can vary. If you are planning to work on a local yacht, owned by a native, you aren’t required to have skills in any other foreign languages. For international yachts, English is generally a must and having knowledge of other languages as well is appreciated.

Before you take off

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The International Wanderer aims to provide you with up to date and accurate information. However, content is submitted by writers/wanderers from all over the globe. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Furthermore, working holiday and other visa opportunities and requirements (or numbers allocated) may change. New working holiday agreements are constantly being negotiated between countries. We suggest that you contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to visit to ensure you have the most recent and accurate information. For further information about this website see our Terms & Conditions.