Working on a superyacht can be a dream career, but it also requires a wide range of diverse skills! Whether you want to work in engineering or as a deckhand, you’ll likely be asked to chip in on an assortment of tasks and projects. Building a wide-ranging skill set will set you apart and help prepare you to succeed.
As we explained previously, you’ll be required to take a number of courses in seamanship and safety to be a competitive candidate for an on-board job. But in the meantime, you can also mix business and pleasure by training in specialty skills -- many of which are also exciting and enjoyable on their own!
Building capacity and confidence with water sports, interior specialties, and health & safety skills are elements that will make your CV strong, help you network and meet prospective colleagues and captains, and prepare you to become an invaluable part of your crew.
Here are 4 recommended training programs you can do now, whether you’re ready to start interviewing and dockwalking, or you’re still in school or not yet able to step away from your current job.
Do you love the water and all of the creatures of the ocean? If you’re not already scuba (which stands for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) certified, this is a great tool to add to your toolbox. Not only is scuba diving a fantastic hobby, one you’ll be able to enjoy in ports and destinations worldwide, but it’s a valuable skill to have in order to assist and advise guests on-board.
There are endless options to become a certified diver, from destination courses to training conducted at your local dive shop. Depending on where you live, you’ll find programs available from either PADI or NAUI -- both internationally recognized certifying groups -- or regionally-focused groups, such as the British Sub Aqua Club, the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques, and others.
If you already have your dive certification, consider other programs that might be both interesting and valuable. Many certifying agencies offer specialty courses that will help you master underwater photography, identify a wide range of oceanic creatures, and gain advanced diving and safety awareness, among other skills.
Not as enthusiastic about water sports? There are great ways to enhance your CV with indoor hobbies as well. Why not learn to master the art of flower arranging?
Selecting a unique and beautiful blend of colors, textures, and in-season flowers and adornments can bring a whole new level of sophistication to your on-board environment. Elevate the guest experience with thoughtfully chosen and arranged flowers!
With classes available both online and at your local floral shop or school of floral design, you can customize the education to your schedule and budget, while learning tricks for preservation and the ideal assortments for different climates and environments.
Food safety is another skill that’s valuable for all members of a crew; you may find yourself serving food or drinks to guests regardless of your position, and having this background makes you a valuable asset to the captain. It’s also a great precursor training if you have interest in becoming a chef!
You can take basic food safety & hygiene courses online as well as at your local culinary school or institute. Many programs also offer valuable training in allergy awareness or nutrition and special diets. As guests look to maintain their healthy (or not-so-healthy) eating habits on-board, you’ll be prepared to advise and guide them while maintaining the highest level of safety and hygiene standards.
Your STCW course, required for any yacht crew member, will prepare you with a basic course in CPR and First Aid. But there’s a wide world of additional first aid and safety training out there, from online programs to classroom sessions.
Why not take an additional course on Pediatric CPR & First Aid? Many providers offer this as a secondary skill, and as yacht travelers often bring their families along, having this on your CV could easily set you apart from the competition, and build your confidence level in an emergency situation.
Research level 2 and advanced first aid courses in your area to see what’s the best fit for your interests and current skill set. Become certified to operate an automated external defibrillator (AED), or seek out a wilderness first aid course for greater preparation when you’re away from the boat on a day excursion.
These are just a few ideas of supplemental training programs, but there are many more ways to build your skill set and increase your value.
Consider the environment of the superyacht: not only are you training to become a professional crew member, you’re preparing to provide the ultimate on-board experience for your guests. So whether you bring along skills that enhance their lifestyle on the boat, provide a safer environment for all, or help make guest excursions more fun, your background and special skills will help create a trip your guests will always remember.
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