Becoming a yacht stewardess does not require any formal secondary education or certifications, making it one of the more accessible careers to get into.
With the yachting industry being valued at $8.5 billion and only expected to grow, it can be a lucrative career if you have the right skills. The superyacht industry can provide some fantastic opportunities to see the world and meet interesting people.
In this article, we’ll discuss what it takes to become a successful yacht stewardess.
Steward vs. Stewardess
We wanted to start off by clarifying the difference between steward and stewardess.
- Steward defines any person that assists passengers
- Stewardess is a female that helps passengers
So if you identify as a male, you would be considered a steward; if you identify as a female, you can be called a steward or stewardess. Both are part of what would be called the “interior department of the ship, which can vary in size depending on the size of the boat.
If working on the water is interesting to you, then check out some other great marine transportation careers!
What Is A Yacht Stewardess?
A yacht stewardess works as part of the crew on board luxury yachts that carry passengers from destination to destination. These can be commercial or private yachts.
The environment is nothing like working on a cruise ship, so if you think there are similarities, there really aren’t!
You will be responsible for providing guests with attentive service while they are onboard the vessel.
Some of the day-to-day tasks may include:
- Meal service duties
- Serving drinks
- Housekeeping duties
- Stocking supplies
- Providing entertainment
- Maintain crew mess
- Deck operations assistance
- Assist with getting guests onboard
What tasks you do will largely depend on the size of the yacht you will be working on.
Education And Training
There is no official education needed, but you will need to take a few courses to help you be a better crew member.
Below is the specific training that will be required:
Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Training.
The STCW basic training course is required for all interior crew. It is a 5-day course and can cost roughly $1,000 in the United States.
Receiving this certification confirms your ability to identify safety hazards and have the skills needed to address them.
The course includes several sections, including:
- Personal survival techniques focus on the basics of surviving the rough seas. This part includes how to use a life raft and the various safety equipment a yacht would have.
- Elementary first aid offers basic first aid training, including CPR, how to move an injured patient, and how to properly apply bandages.
- Fire prevention and fire fighting offer basic firefighting training. You will learn about the different extinguishers, breathing apparatus, and strategies for preventing fires from even starting.
- Proficiency in security awareness covers more advanced security measures, including how to handle possible piracy or robbery issues.
- Personal safety and social responsibility training on how to prevent accidents and what the proper safety practices are on a yacht.
Julie Perry spent three years as a superyacht stewardess and wrote a book about it. She traveled the world and visited over 40 different ports in 80 countries. The Insider’s Guide to Becoming A Yacht Stewardess is a must-read for any aspiring superyacht steward.
Hannah Ferrier, a member of the TV show Below the Deck, released her own stewardess training academy recently. We would not recommend it. Many yacht owners or captains may look down on this and see you as someone who may not be serious about their career.
Yacht Stewardess Job Recommended Skills
The requirements will vary depending on the size of the yacht you are interested in working on.
A smaller yacht crew may be required to have more versatile skills as they may do a variety of tasks. But, a superyacht crew might have more specific functions in a particular area of the ship, which would not require as many skills.
Below are some skills that can help you land your dream yacht job.
1. Experience in the Hospitality Industry
To be a successful yacht stewardess, it would be helpful to have previous experience working in the hospitality industry. This could include roles such as hotel receptionist, barista, or server.
2. Excellent Customer Service Skills
As a yacht stewardess, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that guests have a pleasant experience onboard. This means that you’ll need to have excellent customer service skills. You should be able to deal with difficult situations in a professional and calm manner.
3. Good Organizational Skills
You will need to be organized and efficient in your work. Keeping track of guests’ needs and wants and monitoring task completion will be critical in this career choice.
4. Physically Fit
This career can be very physically demanding, so it’s crucial that you are physically fit. You’ll need to be able to lift heavy objects and be comfortable working long hours on your feet.
5. Communication Skills
Communication is key to this job. If you have spent your life thus far communicating via text or email, it may be time to take some classes or practice communication with people in real life.
How Much Can A Yacht Stewardess Earn?
Depending on experience, a yacht steward can expect to make anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 per month working on a yacht.
Not too shabby, right?
Of course, your salary will also depend on the size of the yacht you’re working on, as well as the location and your experience.
Some examples of pay scales:
- A chief stewardess (or chief steward) job will pay much more than a second or third stewardess job.
- If you’re working on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean, you can expect to make a bit more than if you were working on a luxury yacht in the Caribbean.
- Of course, if this is your first job as a stewardess, you will make considerably less than your more experienced crew mates. Work hard and prove your value, and you can grow quickly!
- Those working on charters make more than those on private yachts.
The team at Dockwalk put together a pay study in 2020 for stewardess jobs that are pretty interesting.
There is currently a crew shortage taking place in this industry, so jobs are plenty. This shortage is due to the expenses related to crew houses, salaries not keeping up, and burnout by those that are in the industry.
Yacht Stewardess Job Facts
While it may look all glamorous, it is actually a pretty hard job. Below are some simple facts you should know about what you might think is your dream job!
- It is definitely not your average 9-5! Some days can be as long as 20 hours!
- An entry-level position may require you to do more housecleaning than more experienced stewards.
- There will be trips where you might be going from island to island, but you will not have the time to leave the ship to enjoy any of it. Once you are on charter time, it is all work.
- Dealing with food issues is often challenging. Some chefs fail to level up to the high standards of the guests, and you will be the one the needs to keep things calm and happy.
- The guests are wealthy. It can be challenging to make them happy, and they may have unrealistic requests. You will need the strength and ability to keep calm even in the most uncomfortable moments.
- You’ll need to get up early to start your day; if you like to sleep until noon, this is not for you.
- Depending on the size of the yacht, there could be a lot of cleaning to do! You’ll need to ensure all the cabins are clean and tidy, the beds are made, and the laundry is done.
- Preparing meals and serving food and drinks to guests is also part of your job.
- You need to be able to think on your feet and be ready to help with any activities or events that are happening on board. It’s a busy job, but it’s also a lot of fun!
- Sometimes you might need to go from boat to boat, requiring a stay at a crew house. This means sharing facilities with others who are also between gigs.
If you love being on the water and meeting new people, then becoming a yacht stewardess might be the perfect career for you.
Finding Yacht Stewardess Jobs
Job boards remain a popular option for a job search; below are just a few to get you started:
If you are in the United States can do a search for “yacht staffing companies” or “crew agencies.” These agencies will help you prepare for interviews, improve your resume, and assist you with job placement.
For those that are serious about finding work, there is something called a dock walk. This is the process of walking around the docks and literally asking if they are hiring. Be sure to bring your resume with you!