How do I become an engineer on a superyacht?

Whether you’re thinking about your job options after education, or considering a change of career, if you’re keen to combine the chance to work on some of the most high-tech systems, plus travel to some stunning destinations, earning a great pay packet & working with a like-minded team, a job as a superyacht engineer could be perfect for you.


What is a superyacht engineer?

A superyacht engineer maintains the mechanical and electrical operations of a superyacht.

This can vary from small tasks such as fixing a soundsystem, to bigger jobs such as working on a faulty engine or repairing a jetski.

There are different levels of engineer on each superyacht, and the number of engineers onboard depends on the size of the superyacht.

The most experienced is the Chief Engineer, who reports directly to the captain.

What are the benefits of being an engineer on a superyacht?

As a superyacht engineer you’ll enjoy…

  • The chance to constantly tackle different engineering jobs onboard to help grow your skills and experience
  • A great salary that will grow as you progress up the engineering roles onboard (see below)
  • Amazing travel opportunities! Popular destinations for superyachts include the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
  • A friendly, like-minded team of outgoing fellow yachties.


What does a superyacht engineer earn?

There is no average superyacht engineer’s salary, as the figures can vary a lot between yachts, and the packages that are offered alongside the salary eg if you’re on rotation.

However to give you an indication, starting out in the 3rd or 4th engineer position will earn you anywhere between $3,000 and $6,500 per month.

As a Chief Engineer, you could be earning between $8,000 and $13,500 each month

How do I become a superyacht engineer?

Many superyacht engineers start at the bottom and work their way up – if you haven’t got a lot of experience look for positions on yachts over 100 meters who are more likely to have 3rd and 4th engineer roles.

Even starting at the bottom, you’ll be expected to be learning and gaining certifications as you go, which is why our superyacht engineer courses can be the perfect route to boost your career, as we offer online options so you can study remotely.

Some individuals chose to transition over from the commercial shipping industry after taking part in a cadet scheme and completing their Officer of the Watch in engineering.


Whatever your route, here’s a look at the main skills and experience you’ll need…

  • A mechanical, diesel or electrical background
  • Strong project management skills
  • Inventory maintenance experience
  • Understanding of different softwares
  • The Approved Engine Course (AEC) – the base minimum for superyacht engineers who wish to work on yachts over 24m LOA
  • The Marine Engine Operators Licence (MEOL)
  • Depending on the size of yacht you want to work on, you may need the following licenses.
    – Yachts <200GT with up to 1500kW in propulsive power:
    Small Vessel Second Engineer (formerly Y4)
    – Yachts <500GT with up to 3000kW in propulsive power:
    Small Vessel Chief Engineer (formerly Y3)
    – Yachts <3000GT with up to 9000kW in propulsive power:
    Small Vessel Chief Engineer (formerly Y1/2)
    or Officer of the Watch (Engineering) – usually gained from the commercial shipping industry
    – Unlimited license:
    Engineer Officer of the Watch – Unlimited
    or Senior Engineer – Unlimited

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If you’re just starting your career as a superyacht engineer, or you’re ready to go for a more senior role, take a look at our superyacht engineering courses to find out more.

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