What are you worth? Not a question most people are asked very often. But let’s put it into context.
What do ex-Yachties think they should be paid when they leave yachts?
So, now do you see what we are talking about? The problem we see all too often is crew leaving the Superyacht industry with unrealistic salary expectations. As you know, Superyachts and their crew are our business and we talk to literally 1000’s of you each year and EVERY single one of you have different salary expectations.
So, here are a few things that will affect the question “what are you worth?”:
- The jobs you are applying for.
For example, a Captain moving into a Yacht management role can expect to get paid “relatively” well as they will be using their yachting experience to do their job. Especially if they have non-maritime qualifications such as a degree in management.
- Previous qualifications.
Did you have a degree before you started on yachts? If so this could be helpful and may get you a job relevant to the qualifications you have.
- Your age and how long you have been in yachting for.
The longer you spend on yachts the less relevant your prior experience becomes. For example, you may well have a degree in marketing but, if you haven’t used it since university and you are now 32, you can only realistically look at applying for graduate positions. BUT, remember you will be VERY OLD for a graduate and so need to be exceptional in an interview in order to get the job.
Let’s think about this logically:
- You are a first officer who has worked on yachts for 10 years since the age of 18. You have no qualifications except for your yachting ones (OOW) and are thinking about leaving yachting and getting a job. Your current salary is €84,000 per year tax-free which roughly equates to £110,000 before tax in the UK. This calculation is due to tax, national insurance, etc. Realistically there is no real chance that an experienced first officer will walk into a £100,000 per year job in the UK.
- You are a 2nd Stewardess on an 80m charter yacht and, including tips you earn €72,000 per year. To put the same amount in the bank each month you need a job that pays £63,000 after tax or approximately £90,000 per year. That’s high level executive money just in case you were wondering.
What is realistic?
To put this in context the average UK graduate starting salary is just over £24,000. Medicine and dentistry pay graduates the most at £35,000 but that’s not you! The average non graduate salary in the UK is in the region of £25,000 compared with £40,000 for graduates. This is lifetime average by the way! Working in Central London adds about £10,000 per year to this figure. Remember, you aren’t 18 and have life and work experience so should be looking a bit higher than these starting salaries and averages.
So, What are YOU worth?
Well, that depends on what you want to do. Here are a few real examples:
- Yacht manager for one of the larger companies – £30,000 – £45000, depending on company and location.
“When I left yachts I interviewed with a few yacht management companies and some (no names mentioned) were offering as low as £25k but I was expecting it. This is a hard job. Long hours, lots of travel and you never switch off. But it is rewarding and a great job.” – Superyacht Contents, Managing Director.
- Sales for a tender manufacturer – £12,000 per year basic, plus commission. Realistic salary of £30,000.
- Front of house/ reception in a high end hotel – £21,000 – £32000
- Events manager – £24000 – £36000, depending on clients and hours.
I know what you are thinking, “How do people live on such a pittance?” and the answer is we all cope just fine. It is a massive adjustment but everyone makes it. The key here is to find a job you like and that makes you happy. Otherwise, it isn’t worth it.
Any other high-paying options?
Yes of course there are – Set up your own business.
If you make a success of it you could earn a lot of money. But don’t forget, it takes massive sacrifice, a large investment of your own savings, and a LOT of never-ending, pretty much unpaid work. And that’s just to get the business off the ground. Have a look at our Life After Yachting articles to see what lots of other ex-Superyacht crew have done.
Hopefully you have a few things to take away.
- The job you have is likely to be one of the best paid jobs you ever have. So, be sensible and save. Then life won’t be so hard when you do come home.
- Only 2% of people in the UK earn over £100,000 per year. So, the odds of you being one of them straight out of yachting is highly unlikely. Not impossible but improbable.
- Be realistic. Your first job after yachting is likely to pay you between £20,000 and £40,000.
- Don’t expect the world as it only leads to disappointment. What are you worth? Realistically……..