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Sailing instructor

Sailing instructors teach people to sail yachts and boats.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £28,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to complete a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) course. There are different courses for different types of vessel. 

You’ll need to be:

  • aged 16 (18 for some courses)
  • physically fit and able to swim
  • a competent and experienced sailor of small boats

You’ll also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You’ll need

  • sailing skills
  • leadership and management skills
  • excellent communication skills
  • organisation skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • preparing and presenting lessons
  • teaching safety on dry land and drills on water
  • demonstrating boat handling and sailing techniques
  • assessing your student’s abilities
  • teaching grading (or exams)
  • keeping attendance records
  • recording and reporting accidents or boat damage
  • informing students of changes to lessons due to bad weather
  • care and maintenance of boats

You may teach the following:

  • dinghy sailing (small craft including keelboats and catamarans)
  • powerboat driving
  • windsurfing
  • yachting
  • cruising (large yachts and sailing vessels with crews)
  • racing

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000

Experienced: £25,000

Highly Experienced: £28,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours will vary, and include evenings and weekends. Your work could be seasonal.

You’ll work in most weather conditions. Yachtmaster and cruising instruction takes place at sea. 

You’ll also spend time teaching in a classroom.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a supervisory or management job within a sailing club.

With experience and further training, you could become an instructor of other types of sailing vessels, like yachts and powerboats.

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Last updated: 09 October 2018