Whether you’re resuming your role on board after a “pandemic pause,” climbing the career ladder, or getting your feet wet for the first time, Dockwalk’s Salary Guide provides the full picture when it comes to crew compensation.
Salary is generally one of the top motivators for those looking for jobs in yachting, but it remains a closely guarded secret. Each year, the Dockwalk Salary Survey goes out to thousands of crewmembers and crew agencies across the world, gathering real-time salary feedback with the aim of creating greater transparency and understanding across the industry.
The Results of the 2021 Salary Survey
Our annual salary survey provided some unprecedented insights to what captains and crew earned in 2021.
To say that it’s been a few strange years for yachting is an understatement, and that has been reflected in the 2021 edition of the salary survey. Of the agencies, captains, and crew who took part, the changes due to COVID-19 were still noticeable — including a shortage of crew for open positions. From travel issues due to restrictions or backlogs in paperwork to crew leaving yachting to move ashore — even if only temporarily — crew turnover has been higher this year as compared to last year. Vaccines are also becoming a prerequisite for employment and many vessels are asking only for fully vaccinated crew.
Worldwide, crew agents are expecting that crew salaries will rise in response to increased demand, with some predicting that the end of 2021 and early 2022 could see changes. The other good news is that some agents have seen increased vessel usage after a slower period after the last year of COVID-19.
The tables below show the “agency range,” which gives the average lows and highs of all ranges provided by the agencies, the “poll range,” where results from individual working captains and crew are tallied to show the shows the lowest and highest of all the responses, and the “poll average” calculated from all the responses. Note that our figures do not account for longevity and experience, crew benefit packages, tips, or similar extra remuneration.
Not all positions with corresponding boat sizes had enough poll responses to be considered significant; those categories are marked with an asterisk to indicate if fewer than five crew responded in that size range for that position. Several categories had only one response, which is also noted.
*For 2021, this extended version includes additional crew positions, even if there was only one response, and further breaks down the numbers in the size range below 80 feet and 35 meters and above 180 feet and 60 meters. Please note that crew agencies did not necessarily respond in these additional categories.