Types of Yacht Careers

Job Categories

With the increasing number of yachts, both large and small, there is also an increasing number of jobs available, as well as different types of jobs. Depending on the size of the yacht, as well as who owns it, you may find that there is a bigger variety of jobs available on a yacht than you thought.

In general, though there are three primary categories of yacht crew jobs:

  1. Deckhands, engineers, first mate, captain;
  2. Housekeeping/stewards; and
  3. Chefs, cooks.

Here are a few more details about the jobs in each of these categories. You can read more in-depth descriptions and information about each position on other pages of this site.

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All Hands On Deck

The first type of yachting job includes the captain, first mate, engineer, and deck hands. Basically these are all the crew members responsible for ensuring that each trip goes smoothly, that the yacht is well cared for, and that all the laws, regulations, and safety requirements related to the yacht and the trip are adhered to.large yacht bridge photo There is a lot more work required in sailing and maintaining a yacht than you might think. Therefore even the smallest yacht will require the expertise and skill of several crew members.

The captain is ultimately responsible for the vessel and the crew. Sometimes the captain is also the owner of the yacht. The captain must have extensive knowledge of maritime laws and regulations and be able to lead the rest of the crew. The captain will also need to negotiate at ports, create and maintain the yacht's yearly budget, and keep accurate records of all excursions. Most passengers also expect to get to see and/or meet the captain and get to know him or her while on the cruise.

The first mate is the captain's right hand. He or she must be able to perform the captain's duties if the captain is unavailable. The first mate is also the person responsible for training and supervising the other deckhands as well as supervising the engineer.

The engineer is the go-to mechanic of the yacht. He or she is responsible for keeping all engines and mechanical equipment well maintained and running smoothly. Sometimes that doesn't just include the ship's engine. It can also include the refrigerator and the dishwasher.

The deckhands are called a ship's exterior crew. That's because they are responsible for keeping all of a ship's exterior and exterior furnishings spotless, gleaming, and in working order. Deckhands spend most of their time polishing and cleaning the vessel, although they can also be asked to repair ropes and rigging and to handle mooring lines.

A Clean Ship is a Tight Ship

On most yachts, the housekeeping, as well as a host of additional duties, will be performed by the stewards/stewardesses. But on some larger super yachts, the responsibilities may be divided and there are both housekeepers and stewards.

The stewards/stewardesses can have quite a few responsibilities. These can include keeping the interior of the yacht clean, turning down passengers' beds, doing laundry, setting the tables in the dining room, serving guests, and arranging flowers. Some stewards/stewardesses will be responsible for doing the food shopping. Stewards/stewardesses work many hours and they are always busy.

If there are housekeepers on the yacht, they will have the responsibility for cleaning and doing the laundry, while the stewards/stewardesses focus on serving the passengers.

Keeping Guests and Crew Well Fed

The yacht chef may work alone or have a crew of kitchen staff members, depending on the size of the yacht. In most cases, the chef will develop menus for the passengers and crew, buy all food supplies and provisions, prepare all the meals, and clean up the dining room and kitchen following each meal. In some cases, the chef may also be expected to serve the meals to the passengers.

For some privately owned yachts, there may be job opportunities available for child care providers and personal assistants as well.


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