Yacht Crew Salaries: Complete Guide to What Yacht Crew Earn

It’s no secret that the impressive yacht crew salaries attract most people into the exclusive yachting world.

Junior deckhands or stewardesses can earn starting salaries of $3000 per month. With a few years of experience and some courses to back you up, this amount moves up towards $4000-$4500 per month!

In order to compile this superyacht crew salary guideline, I have taken 10 of the top yachting platforms and used all of their data, combined with my personal experience, to reach an average salary expectation for each position.

How Much do you Make Working on a Yacht?

table showing yacht crew salaries by position and vessel size

Yacht Captain Salary

  • 20m-30m: $4000-$7500
  • 30m-40m: $5500-$9500
  • 40m-50m: $8000-$15000
  • 50m-70m: $13000-$19000
  • 70m+: $16500+

Requirements of a Yacht Captain

  • Years of experience needed: 3-5 years of experience as Chief Officer/Mate and more than 5 years of experience as a Captain for larger yachts
  • Minimum level of Qualification: 200ton licence which allows you to drive vessels below 200tons

The Captain has the highest level of responsibility onboard the yacht and hence they earn the most out of all the yacht crew salaries.

Captains are accountable for the overall safety of the yacht, crew members and guests.

They also handle daily operations of the yacht, guests, and owner liaison. They deal with management companies, port control, budgets, human resources, and many more tasks and logistics that make the job demanding and stressful.

On top of this, Captains are required to hold high levels of certifications depending on the size of the yacht they are driving.

Yacht Captain salaries can sky rocket with higher levels of qualifications.

If you are looking to become a Yacht Captain one day I recommend looking into the courses required so you can get started with licenses and sea time. It takes time to get there, but when you do it will be worth it.

Looking at the helm station on the bridge of the yacht. There is a chart as well as all the monitor screens and through the windows you can see views of a large mountain
The Helm Station

Chief Officer Yacht Salary

  • 30m-40m: $4000-$6000
  • 40m-50m: $4500-$7500
  • 50m-70m: $5500-$9000
  • 70m+: $8000+

Requirements of a Chief Officer

  • Years of experience needed: 3-5 Years
  • Minimum level of qualification: Officer of the Watch

The Chief Officer is second in command to the Captain and is responsible for carrying out the Captain’s standing orders.

On smaller yachts, the Chief Officer is referred to as the Mate.

The Chief Officer is responsible for carrying out the safety duties onboard and assisting in the bridge with paperwork and navigational planning.

The Chief Officer is also responsible for leading and managing their deck team, ensuring crew are following their duties as well as managing the water sports and guest activities.

The salary of a Chief Officer depends heavily on the license held.

man driving a tender. the chief officer earns a high yacht crew salary
The Chief Officer is second in command to the Captain

Bosun Yacht Salary

  • Years of experience needed: 2-3 years
  • Minimum level of qualification: Yacht Master Offshore
  • A yacht Bosun salary can vary between $4000 and $6000.

Responsibilities of a Bosun

The Bosun is essentially the Lead Deckhand onboard. A lead deckhand salary on a larger vessel will be similar to that of a bosun salary on a smaller vessel.

This is an opportunity to step up from being a deckhand and gain some experience in a leadership role. This position is in place for larger yachts so that when the Officer is busy with bridge duties, someone is in charge on deck.

a man holding ropes walking outside the yacht
The Bosun is essentially the Lead Deckhand onboard

Yacht Deckhand Salary

  • Years of experience needed: 0
  • Minimum level of qualification: None needed, however Power Boat Level 2 and Yacht Master offshore will put you at a great advantage
  • Entry-level yacht crew salaries start at $3000 and can go as high as $4000/$4500.

Responsibilities of a Deckhand

A Deckhand is an entry-level role on a yacht.

You need to spend a few years (or less) as a Deckhand in order to learn and gain experience so that you can step up in the ranks and obtain your licenses.

This role will be very hands-on in maintaining the exterior of the yacht. Duties will include cleaning, polishing, varnishing, sanding, caulking, and any other maintenance work required.

Chief Steward / Chief Stewardess Salary

  • 30m-40m :$4500-$5500
  • 40m-50m :$5000-$7000
  • 50m-70m- $5500-$8000
  • 70m+: $7500+

Responsibilities of a Chief Stewardess/Steward

  • Years of experience needed: 3-5 years
  • Minimum level of qualification: Depending on the size of the vessel you may need courses such as Food Hygiene and Safety, Silver Service, WSET, or a Purser course

The Chief Stewardess or Steward is responsible for all the interior operations of the yacht.

They are responsible for managing the interior team, and ensuring the interior of the yacht is maintained to the highest standards. Besides cleaning and laundry schedules, this also includes provisioning for crew and guests, budgeting, accounting, and training of junior crew.

My interior dream team

Steward or Stewardess Yacht Salary

  • Minimum level of qualification: Depending on the size of the vessel you may need courses such as Food Hygiene and Safety and Silver Service
  • Salaries start at $3000 and go up to $6000

Responsibilities of a Steward or Stewardess

Years of experience needed: 0

A Stewardess/Steward is an entry-level position working within the interior of the yacht.

There are rankings within the interior (2nd, 3rd, 4th Steward/Stewardesses). As you spend more time in the industry, you will be promoted to higher ranks, and with that will come a better salary and more responsibility.

This role covers a range of tasks, including but not limited to housekeeping, laundry, bartending, table scaping, floral arrangements, serving, and hosting guests.

The engine room inside the yacht showing the main engine
The driving force of the Yacht

Engineer Yacht Salary

  • 20m-30m: $4000-$5000
  • 30m-40m: $4500-$6500
  • 40m-50m: $6000-$8000
  • 50m-70m: $7500-$11000
  • 70m+: $9000+

Requirements of an Engineer

  • Years of experience needed: 2-4 years in an engineering role onboard as Deck/Engineer or relevant land-based experience
  • Minimum level of qualification: AEC

The Engineer onboard is responsible for all mechanical functioning and maintenance of the vessel. This is a very technical role that can pay well as you gain experience and obtain your licensing.

Yacht Chef Salary

  • 20m-30m: $4000 – $5000
  • 30m-40m: $4500-$6500
  • 40m-50m: $5500 – $75000
  • 50m-70m: $6500-$9500
  • 70m+: $8000+

Requirements of a Yacht Chef

  • Years of experience needed: 3-5 years depending on previous experience
  • Minimum level of qualification: Food Hygiene and Safety Level 2

The Chef is responsible for feeding the crew 2 to 3 healthy and sustainable meals a day. They are of course required to prepare meals for guests when onboard to the highest of standards.

In their day-to-day tasks, they will be responsible for their own provisioning of the galley, maintaining stocks, cleanliness, and hygiene of the galley.

The salary of the Yacht Chef varies depending on qualifications and experience.

a man cooking food with 2 colourful salads and a platter of meat
Chef Bryce working his magic in the galley

Yacht Crew Salaries for Private vs Charter Yachts

There are two types of super yachts that require crew: Private and Charter yachts. The salaries for yacht crew differ slightly between the two.

Private Yacht

A private boat is owned by a single person or family who uses the yacht for their own purposes. They don’t charter it out and you can expect to have the same guests onboard for the duration of your contract.

The benefit of these programs is that you get to know your guests well so you may find it easier to manage their wants and needs.

You may also benefit from traveling to off-the-beaten-track locations as I have!

For yacht crew working on these private boats, you will usually not receive charter tips.

Charter Yacht

A charter boat is one that gets chartered out by guests. This operates as a business and also means you will have different guests for every trip. 

If you work on a charter boat you can expect to receive charter tips at the end of each charter. These are usually 10%-20% of the charter fee!

Considering these tips can be anywhere from $2000-$5000 per week depending on the size of the yacht, charter boats offer great earning potential and can skyrocket your salary as a yachtie.

woman standing on a perfect white sand beach with crystal clear blue water in the Bahamas
A moment to enjoy the perfect Bahamas beaches just before the guests arrive

Hi, my name is Lisa, a Chief Stewardess in the yachting industry with 10 years of experience, as well as 8 years of hospitality experience prior to that. Being in the yachting industry has been a whirlwind of adventure, growth, challenges and some of the best experiences of my life, and I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you.