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Junior-level Salaries in Sharp Decline

Mar 20th 09
By Kate Lardy

Rupert Connor, president of Luxury Yacht Group, shared some interesting trends in crew employment during his talk at the State of the Industry conference at the International Superyacht Symposium (held in conjunction with Cruise Shipping Miami) on Wednesday, March 18.

In the junior roles, there has been major salary discounting, he reports. For the first time in years, there are newcomers who are happy to work for $500 in monthly take-home pay – a figure not seen since the 1980s. There is very strong competition for these jobs. When asked if the trend was coming from the candidates wanting to get their feet in the door or the employers looking to save some money, he says it’s a combination of both, but that there is definitely desperation among some candidates who are willing to work for less.

Connor is quick to point out that this trend is not across the board; he’s not seeing many employers reducing salaries to that level and most of the 50-meter-plus yachts are sticking to similar or slightly lower figures than last summer. But what is interesting is that $500/month pay (with all expenses paid) is being offered and accepted by some – it’s on the table for the first time in many years.

At the intermediate level crew roles, he’s noticing strong competition between those without licensing. Also, longevity is being rewarded at this level.

Salaries at the top senior level are only in modest decline but there are the fewest new opportunities at this level.

“To any captain walking in the door who says that they require €15,000 a month, I’m telling to take a sabbatical and try again next year,” says Connor.


Tags: Essentials Salary News Crew 

Rating  Average 4.5 out of 5

  • It's been said for years, and it's no different in the current economic climate - "You pay peanuts, you get monkeys."
    Posted by ddk1509 27/03/2009 22:25:26

  • I have been conducting a survey of crew salaries, so far I have over 700 salary profiles (all collected over the last 4 weeks) The data so far shows that a % higher end crew salaries have come down, (captains and engineers in particular) but by no means all. The lower end of the salary ranking does not appear to be greatly effected.
    An example of this high end drop is chief engineers.
    Average salary for a chief engineer on a 40mt or over with at lest a Y3 is 7200 Euro but we are seeing some engineers accepting 5000 Euro for a position.
    Whilst Stewardess are still getting between 2,000 to 3,000 Euro with only a small % being paid less.
    This data predominantly comes from Crew that are still working, most of which are Med/Caribbean based

    In these troubling times it is easy to fixate on the horror stories. Yes there have been captains told to take a 50% pay cut or leave the yacht and yes I have come across a 40+ mt captains position only offering 6,000 Euro
    But these are still the minority (in the Med at least)
    Jonathan Franklin
    Posted by jonathan_5 26/03/2009 10:37:08

  • Yup, salaries are going down. The way I see it we have the legendary perfect storm dead ahead. The latest world manufacturing output figures perfectly match those of the great depression. Add in national bankruptcy from 3 trillion dollar bailouts and you are going to see 25 percent unemployment over in the States.

    Considering that everyone and his dog is carrying a gun in places like Ft Lauderdale I foresee a wild dangerous Mad Max world.

    I'm willing to bet that yacht crew will actually pay me to join the ship so that they can safely stand offshore, away from rampaging mobs of south florida Lord of the Rings Orcs and clear of flying bullets.
    Posted by monback 23/03/2009 16:29:59

  • If you pay nothing chances are that is what you will get: nothing. People with any training, most of the time, will not work at sea for $500/month. At that rate of pay you could probably stay home and find a job that pays more.
    Posted by Megellan55 22/03/2009 16:27:47

  • Careful Peter. The most important qualification on yachts is to be a young person who has a passion for working on the yachts. No need to make the young crew sit on the sidelines and build a pile of paper.

    By doing this you might discourage the best young people. The best people always have plan B available and will pursue it. In the end future yachts will lose out.
    Id say that when times get tough its the responsibility of the person hiring the crew to only let those crew into the industry who are serious about the whole thing. To many backpack folks over the past decade who were just along for the ride. Time for them to disappear and make room for the serious crew.
    Posted by junior_1 22/03/2009 13:23:57

  • It is time to build a higher standard grade and make it extremely difficult to get in this industry...we must protect our jobs. If persay, the background of the individual; example- someone in retail wants to jump into being an engineer....86 that app.....let them cut their teeth on land first then come see us in two years when the market gets better! What do you think?
    Posted by Chef Peter_1 22/03/2009 12:12:47

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