Yacht Crew Member Compensation

Even though most people that work on yachts do it primarily because they love the lifestyle, it is still a job and the pay and benefits associated with it are important. Working on a yacht is not easy, and depending on the type of yacht and whether it is privately owned, you may be expected to be available at a moment’s notice. All of this can lead to receiving very good pay and benefits. In this article, you’ll learn about the average pay ranges for the most common jobs in the industry, the additional perks and benefits you may receive, and all about the typical contract for yacht crew members.

The Pay

If you have absolutely no experience working on a yacht or in the hospitality industry, you may want to volunteer to work on a cruise or two. First, this can provide you with experience you can add to your resume, which will help you get a paying a job. Second, it can help you decide if yachting really is a good career for you before you sign a contract and commit to it. However, once you get a paying job, there are many factors that play into how much money you will earn. Here are the main factors that determine how much you’ll be offered:

  • The job: the more skills, training, and experience needed to do it, the higher the pay will be. Captains receive the highest salaries, stewards and deckhands can receive the lowest.
  • The yacht: is the yacht privately owned? Chartered? Is it large with many crew members or small with just a few? Larger, privately owned yachts tend to pay higher salaries, although there are always exceptions to this "rule."
  • You: Is this your first job? Second? Have you had extensive training or years of experience? Do you have glowing recommendations from previous captains or owners? All of these can affect the salary you are offered.

In general, though, there are standard ranges that you can expect for each of the main yacht crew jobs. They are:

  • Captain: $65,000 per year to $125,000 per year
  • First Officer or First Mate: $48,000 per year to $80,000 per year
  • Chief Engineer: $42,000 per year to $80,000 per year
  • Assistant Engineer: $36,000 per year to $55,000 per year
  • Chef (Head Chef): $42,000 per year to $80,000 per year
  • Assistant Chefs or Cooks: $36,000 per year to $75,000 per year
  • Steward/Stewardess: $30,000 per year to $45,000 per year
  • Purser: $36,000 per year to $60,000 per year
  • Deckhand: $36,000 per year to $60,000 per year

The topic of pay is covered in more detail in the Job Descriptions section. Click the link below to get more details about the benefits and perks crew members can receive.

Benefits & Perks for Yacht Crew