3 things to consider when becoming an AV/IT Officer on board a yacht

The need for a dedicated AV/IT Officer (Audio Visual Information Technology) within the Engineering Department appeared as yachts became larger and had constant technology upgrades in order to provide the guests and owners with state-of-the-art entertainment.

The AV/IT Officer is responsible for all media systems, internet and satellite connectivity, bridge systems, lights and blinds, sound systems and other equipment.

Sometimes the role of an AV/IT Officer is mentioned closely to the role of an ETO (Electro – Technical Officer). To clarify, an ETO Officer works with electrical systems and high voltage to ensure safe performance of the vessels’ electrical and electronic systems.

Yachts generally over 100m in length will have dedicated AV/IT Officers and dedicated ETO Officers on board due to the scale of technology and systems on board.

You will often see yachts from 70m in length employ one person who is dual skilled (ETO / AV/IT). Or occasionally, an AV/IT Officer who can assist the mechanical team with general maintenance as the mechanical engineers are experienced in electrical systems too.


What sort of personality traits should a yacht AV/IT Officer have?

AV/IT Officers are by nature curious and have a big appetite for learning. This is a true asset due to the fact that audio-visual equipment is constantly changing so learning is just part of the job. They are always ready to troubleshoot any issues.

Another point that is extremely important but sometimes gets overlooked is that AV/IT Officers need to be well presented, confident and patient as they regularly have direct face-to-face contact with owners and guests who are high net worth individuals. The client could be visibly upset with an issue so the AV/IT Officer needs to be able to articulate in a calm manner using general language (not jargon) to explain why something is not working, how long it will take or what cost implication it may have to rectify the situation.


What sort of qualifications should an AV/IT Officer have?

To work as an AV/IT Officer on board a yacht you will ideally have a degree in Electronic Engineering. Your background may also be in IT or with AV systems usually found on board yachts, for example Kaleidascape, Plex or Crestron.

As you will also be a Seafarer, you will need the following essential certificates:

  • Seafarer’s Medical Certificate (e.g. ENG1)
  • 4 x Basic STCW95 certificates
  • Proficiency in Security Awareness Certificate

AEC (Approved Engine Course) certificate would be beneficial to assist the engineering team but it is not essential.


If you would like to extend your knowledge and gain more in-depth AV/IT skills focused on the yachting industry, we can recommend two schools:


How to find work as an AV/IT Officer?

To achieve your first job as an AV/IT Officer on board a yacht, the most general route is to start either as a 3rd Engineer or as a Deckhand on a permanent contract. This would allow you to gain yachting experience which is essential (working at sea, guest and crew interaction etc) and provide the ideal opportunity to learn the systems first-hand. Once you have achieved the relevant experience, taken relevant courses and feel confident in your skills, you will be ready to apply for AV/IT positions.

Whether you are applying for your first AV/IT job or you are an experienced AV/IT Officer looking for a new challenge, your best ally in your job search will be your CV and your recruiter. Make sure all the information is there and everything is up to date. Polish up your CV before starting your job search and take advice from your recruiter as this is a very niche market.


Are you looking for an AV/IT job on board a yacht?

If you are ready for your new yachting adventure register online or log into your YPI CREW profile where you will be able to upload your CV and certificates. After that you will be able to leave a message directly to our expert AV/IT recruiter Marjorie Baillet via the ‘Check in’ option on your profile.