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Yachtie Guide: yacht deckhand salary & job description

A yacht deckhand explores the far corners of the earth, living aboard and maintaining some of the world’s most beautiful vessels. You’ll spend your days outside in the sun, rubbing shoulders with the elite. You’ll have all your meals prepared for you by a private onboard chef… Okay, so there is more to the deckhand job description than that, but that doesn’t detract from the amazing rewards it brings!

Learn what to expect in a deckhand job description, the typical yacht deckhand salary and find out how to become a deckhand below, or browse our available deckhand jobs on our free Cotton Crew Jobs app.

“Cotton Crews app has been the best app for finding yacht work. The work Cotton Crews does is amazing and it was the perfect place to go for both crew placement and cabins.”

What is a typical yacht deckhand salary?

Starting out as a junior, a yacht deckhand salary can be anywhere from $2,000 to $2,8000 per month, with very rare cases reporting to earn over $3,000 per month. However, after a few years working as a deckhand you might expect to take home anything from $2,500 to $3,500 per month. On the world’s largest superyachts, this figure can rise up to $4,500 – not bad for four or five weeks’ work!.

What is a typical yacht deckhand job description?

Can I become a yacht deckhand with no experience?

Sure! In fact, yacht stewardess and deckhand are the two most common entry points for yachting industry newbies. You’ll likely need to spend some time doing day work to gain experience before securing a permanent position, but this is a great way to try out the role, allowing you to work on all different sizes of yachts and with different crew dynamics.

Any off-yacht work experience you have can also be very helpful – for example, in hospitality and hotels, on cruise ships, as tour leaders or divers. Graduates in mechanics and engineering may also receive bonus points from a Captain, as they can be helpful in fixing miscellaneous items around the yacht. However, above all your energy and commitment to the role is what will get you your dream deckie job, ultimately helping you work up to that top yacht deckhand salary.

What qualifications do you need to become a yacht deckhand?

Convinced by the yacht deckhand job description and think it’s the job for you? Here’s what you’ll need to succeed.

Essential certifications:

  • STCW Basic Training – if you’re not immediately required to get this safety certification, it will certainly be necessary to progress in the yachting industry. It is a requirement for all crew working on a commercial or charter yacht.
  • ENG 1 (Seafarers Medical Certificate) – this must be issued by a Maritime- and Coastguard Agency-approved doctor, and proves you are healthy enough to work onboard a boat.
  • Passport and visas, as needed

The nice-to-haves:

  • RYA Day Skipper
  • RYA Power Boat Level 2
  • RYA VHF/SRC Radio Operators Certificate  
  • IYT Tender Driving Licence
  • MCA Yacht Rating Certificate

Check out our available deckhand roles on our free Cotton Crew Jobs app. Download the app here: