Superyacht Training: A Guide to Yacht Training Courses

Anyone dreaming of a career as crew in the yacht industry will need to undertake some mandatory yacht training courses before starting work onboard. Some of which need to be renewed on a regular basis to ensure your skills are up to date, keeping you safe at sea.

Of course, those seeking to build a successful long-term career as yacht crew can also enhance their skills by undertaking additional superyacht training courses. Once you are working on a yacht, often your captain or head of department will be able to recommend additional yacht training courses that you can enroll on to help advance your yacht crew career.

The specific yacht training courses that will help your career will vary depending on your department; whether you are working on the deck, within the interior of the yacht, or in the engineering team.

Read our guide below to the yacht training courses you need to work as crew, as well as ongoing superyacht training you can undertake to set you apart from the competition.

Mandatory yacht training courses

The most common yacht training course required in all departments is the STCW Basic Safety Training, as well as a valid seafarer medical certificate, such as the ENG1 or accepted alternative. It is important to note that a yacht crew recruitment agency cannot find you work unless you have these two essential certificates.

STCW Basic Safety Training Course

This yacht training course is required by all crew to teach basic safety at sea, Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Elementary First Aid, Personal Safety & Social Responsibilities and Proficiency in Security Awareness. All major yachting centres offer this yacht training course.

Learn more about the STCW Basic Safety Training.

Seafarer Medical Fitness Certificate

A seafarer medical fitness certificate is also mandatory for anyone who wishes to work as crew on a yacht. The most popular is the ENG1 which must be renewed every two years, although alternative seafarer medical certificates are also often accepted and have their own rules about renewal. In order to obtain a medical fitness certificate, you must first prove that you meet the minimum standard of health to work on a yacht.

Learn About the available certificates of medical fitness for seafarers.

Additional Superyacht Training Per Department

Many crew decide to undergo additional superyacht training to further their career. Often, these additional yacht training courses are tailored towards specific areas or departments of the yacht, with each offering further opportunity for career progression within the industry.

Superyacht Training Courses for Deck Crew

Deck crew positions are highly competitive in the superyacht, as they are typically one of only two entry level positions making this a department where additional yacht training courses will really help you to stand out from the crowd. Many captains want to see that you bring additional skills to the role, such as being able to drive a tender, operate Jet Skis, or being able to dive. Some additional yacht training courses to consider include:

  • The RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • The RYA Tender Operator
  • The RYA Yachtmaster Certificate
  • The RYA Competent Crew
  • PWC Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • General GRP and Carpentry Repairs
  • VHF Radio

Yacht Training Courses for Yacht Engineers

In addition to the mandatory yacht training courses, yacht Engineers will also need to have completed the Approved Engine Course 1, or the AEC. The AEC is a 5-day course that will give you the theoretical knowledge, in addition to hands-on experience of diesel engines. This course is the first-step towards a rewarding yacht engineer career, which will enable you to work in the dual role of Deckhand/Engineer. Once you have completed this yacht training course you can move onto the Approved Engine Course 2, which builds on the knowledge learnt in the AEC 1 course and includes more practical experience. More advanced yacht training courses for those seeking to pursue a yacht Engineer crew include the MCA Engineering Officer of the Watch.

Superyacht Training Courses for Interior Crew

As well as learning on the job, many Stewards/Stewardesses often opt to undertake further yacht training courses based on the recommendation of their Head of Department or Captain.

Some respected yacht training courses for interior crew include the GUEST program, which offers excellent all-round hospitality training, as well as courses by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust – known as WSET – which provides globally recognised qualifications in wines, spirits, and sake. Of course, recognised beauty therapists and hairdressing courses are ideal for interior crew who would like to develop their career within the spa area of a luxury superyacht.

Learn more about further yacht stewardess training courses.

Yacht Training Courses for Yacht Chefs

In order to work as a yacht Chef you will very likely already have an impressive array of culinary qualifications and experience gained from working on land, and may have worked your way up from the entry level position of Crew Chef.

While we don’t recommend any specific culinary yacht training courses for yacht chefs, there are plenty to choose from that will help advance your yacht career. The MCA Ship’s Cook Certificate provides you with the basic skills and knowledge to cook for crew onboard a yacht, as well as offers key health and safety knowledge. This course is a good introductory superyacht training course for those seeking to build a career onboard a yacht.


This is by no means an exhaustive list of yacht training courses for yacht crew and those who seek to advance their career will continue to update their skills by undertaking additional superyacht training.

For more yacht training courses, explore our maritime training provider BSM Shipping, which offers a wide range of courses for Deck Crew, yacht Chefs, and Engineers.