What it’s really like working on a private superyacht: From earning $30,000 a month to living rent free

Is it really like Below Deck?

by | Published on 1st May 2022

Ever dreamed of travelling the world and living rent free on a superyacht?

Well this is a reality for 24-year-old Emery Wallerich, who has been working on private yachts as a stewardess for more than two years and has been documenting her time on TikTok as thatyachtiegirl (she has almost 340,000 followers).

She earns up to $5,000 a month as a “yachtie” and told Insider she “put about half of it into savings and investing” as her accommodation and meals are included as the perk of her job.

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How much do superyacht staff earn?

The 24-year-old also shares what the average salary for private yacht crew members are in another TikTok, here’s the breakdown.

  • Junior deckhand/steward or stewardess – $2,500 to $3,500 a month
  • Second steward/stewardess – $3,500 to $6,000 a month
  • Chief steward/stewardess – $6,000 to $9,000 a month
  • Chef – $4,000 to $10,000 a month
  • Bosun/lead deckhand – $4,500 to $9,000 a month
  • First officer – $6,000 to $12,000 a month
  • Chief engineer – $7,000 to $20,000 a month
  • Captain – $7,000 to $30,000 a month

What life is like on a private superyacht

In one TikTok, which at the time of writing had garnered more than 1.8 million views, Wallerich details what her daily life is like on private yacht (a bit like Below Deck but “less drama”).

She became a “yachtie” because it was “something I’ve always wanted to do was to be able to travel as my job”.

Wallerich says she and the crew make sure service and the yacht run “extremely well”, it’s clean, carry out tender runs to the beach and even host karaoke nights to “make sure the guests have a good time”.

She adds other perks include “experiencing different cultures and seeing amazing sights every day… and meeting some amazing friends” despite the “hard work and sometimes long hours”.

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But when passengers are off the yacht the crew get to explore their destination for themselves, which could include Barcelona, Italy, the Bahamas or Greece!



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Louise Cheer oversees and writes stories about the latest headlines on topics such as automotive, technology, gaming, watches, movies and lifestyle. Louise has been a news editor at Yahoo and Daily Mail in Australia, with more than 10 years of experience in the media industry.

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