Despite the slower world economy of the last few years, yacht builders continue to build and sell yachts of all types and sizes at an average rate of about 200 per year. While not all of these require professional crew members, many of them do, which means there is an increasing demand for yachting crew.
In fact, prior to the economic slowdown that began in 2007 and ended in 2009, the BBC reported that the yachting industry had been growing at an astounding rate of 500 percent, creating a global shortage of qualified crew members to keep these yachts running smoothly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that the job outlook for water transportation jobs, including jobs on all kinds of passenger transportation ships, is very good through 2018. The Bureau predicts that the number of jobs will grow much faster than the average for most other jobs.
In general, the cruise and yachting industries have struggled to keep up with the demand for their services. Occupancy rates on both cruise lines and yachts have exceeded 100 percent in recent years, so manufacturers have been making more vessels. Yachts are purchased by individuals for their own use as well as entrepreneurs who want to charter them, and yachting companies to add to their existing fleets. Often, privately owned yachts will charter their yachts when they are not using them, so crews are able to work full time.
In addition to the increasing number of yachts, many yachts are adding more cruises to their yearly schedules to accommodate the growing number of people wanting to vacation on them. Both new and existing yachts are traveling more often, creating the need for more yacht crew members. Yachting companies that offer special cruise packages are adding new exotic destinations all over the globe. There is also an increasing number of super-yachts or mega-yachts that require a much higher number of workers.
There are a number of people who choose to work on a yacht for a year or two before launching a career in another industry because they are just looking for that opportunity to travel for a short period of time. Some crew members give it a try and discover that they miss the routine of a regular job and their friends and family members at home. These are a few of the leading reasons that people come and go in the yachting industry, creating an ongoing demand for workers. For new crew members, this turnover means more opportunities for them.