Madison Jay, a superyacht crew member with 6.5 years at sea, says superyacht crew typically start on a salary of 2,500 euros a month. According to the Superyacht Crew Academy, superyacht crew can earn up to 20,000 euros a month, once they have more experience, and if they score a job on a bigger, top-dollar paying boat.
Madison Jay, a superyacht crew member who has spent 6 and a half years at sea, has taken to TikTok to share how much superyacht crew typically get paid. In a video, she said: “The starting salary for a superyacht crew is 2,500 euro per month and then your leave allowance is anywhere from 38 days to 90 days.”
“All of this obviously increases as you gain more experience and skills over time. The other thing to note is that there are no living expenses with working onboard a boat – you live on board so it’s rent-free, you don’t have any bills.”
On top of all that, Madison said, “Chefs prepare your meals, there are snacks provided, there’s even crew alcohol provided most of the time, and your toiletries are available for free too – so everything you make is yours. If you are sick of the rising cost of living then this might be the perfect solution for you.” In a recent Instagram post, Madison also said: “If you get to earn USD, the current exchange rate is essentially giving you a 12% pay rise.”
WATCH: How Much Superyacht Crew Get Paid
In the comments section, Madison added: “Some boats don’t make tips, others can make up to an additional €40k every summer season.” She also said the cost to prepare to be hired depends on the country (and where you relocate to look for work, and how long it takes you).
Then, when it comes to the initial costs to get the legal requirements to work onboard, she says that is “well and truly covered within your first month onboard.” Other interesting questions she answered included how long you stay on the boat for (“you live on the boat permanently [and] trips can be anywhere from a couple days to months at a time”) and how tax works (“you are responsible to pay tax / declare your wage in your country, each country has different rules for ‘seafarers’… Most people earn tax free income”).
She also touched on the differences between working on a charter boat vs. working for a private owner, explaining: “There are lots of things that affect what you are paid on top – rotation, standard leave, busy, quiet, and generally just what the owner wants to pay!”
TikTok user superyachtgirl has also talked about how much yachties get paid, explaining in a video that “the size of your salary depends on the size of your yacht and also your position on board” and claiming that “it also varies if you’re on a charter boat or a private boat” because on charter boats you get tips whereas on private boats “you don’t get tips but you do get bonuses and stuff at the end of the year, [and this] varies between each program.” Superyacht Crew Academy, for their part, say crew salaries range from 2,000 euros to 20,000 euros depending on yacht size and experience.
If you’re sick of the rising costs of living, who knows, perhaps working on a superyacht is the change you need in your life in 2023?
As Madison points out, given the pending recession, working on a superyacht is an ever more attractive proposition because while living expenses have gone up in price, salaries have not, meaning “it’s impossible to get ahead & bills/living expenses are chewing up majority of peoples earnings.” Meanwhile, working on a yacht, you are not impacted by the rising costs of living (because everything you consume is free).
Madison also points out that working for the super rich gives you a certain level of job security. On Instagram she wrote: “Yachting seems to be somewhat ‘protected’ by most things that happen around the world” pointing out that “during Covid, yes some people lost jobs but most of us were busier than ever.”
She says this was because “rich people were still rich and they saw a yacht as a ‘covid free’ safe haven when they couldn’t holiday anywhere else.”
“This is also a massive reason as to why there are now 1024 superyachts in build or on order, which is a 24.7% rise on the previous year!! The demand for good crew is only growing.”
Though it’s not all fun in the sun (there are also Atlantic crossings and many days of hard work), the camaraderie can reportedly be amazing, and you get a peek behind the veil at how the other half live. According to superyachtgirl all you need to get started is an ENG1 Medical Certificate, the STCW95 qualification (a 5 day or so course) a food hygiene level 2 qualification and a half-day security duties course.
Then you need to actually get hired. That might be hard, but at least you now know how much you are likely to get paid if and when this happens.