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53 Jobs on a Cruise Ship (Types of Positions and Salaries)- AppIy N0W

Working on a cruise ship is a unique opportunity because it allows you to both travel and earn money. There are a wide variety of positions on cruise ships, from people who pilot and maintain ships to people who entertain and provide services for guests. Learning about possible careers on cruise ships may help you find a role that suits your abilities.

In this article, we review 53 jobs on a cruise ship and explore their primary job responsibilities and average salaries.

17 hospitality jobs on a cruise ship

Here are 17 types of hospitality jobs that are often available on cruise ships.

1. Steward

National average salary: $41,012 per year

Primary duties: A steward on a cruise ship keeps the guests’ rooms clean. They’re an essential part of the housekeeping staff and maintain the standards of cleanliness aboard the ship. Stewards may also serve food and drinks to passengers and help maintain the inventory of serving stations.

2. Server

National average salary: $44,566 per year

Primary duties: Servers serve food to guests. They may work in one of the cruise ship’s restaurants or deliver room service. They take orders, ensure guests have everything they need for their meals and provide customer service.

3. Store associate

National average salary: $44,869 per year

Primary duties: Store associates help customers in the gift shops, dive shops, clothing stores and other retail shops on board. They help cruise ship guests find the items they need and facilitate their purchases.

4. Casino dealer

National average salary: $45,389 per year

Primary duties: A casino dealer oversees games in a cruise ship’s casino. They may facilitate poker, blackjack, roulette and other types of games. Casino dealers set up playing equipment, deal cards, collect bets and pay winners. They also notify the pit boss of any disputes.

5. Bartender

National average salary: $47,122 per year

Primary duties: Bartenders create alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks to order for cruise ship guests. They aim to provide excellent customer service and meet sales goals. Bartenders may also converse with customers, restock items and handle payments.

6. Activities coordinator

National average salary: $48,961 per year

Primary duties: An activities coordinator plans and oversees recreational and other activities aboard a cruise ship. They may specialize in a certain type of activity, such as performances, and help guests arrange their shore excursion itineraries. They may also provide the cruise director participation and customer satisfaction surveys for future planning purposes.

7. Stylist

National average salary: $51,987 per year

Primary duties: Stylists provide hair and makeup services to cruise ship guests. Their services include cutting, dying, shampooing and styling people’s hair as well as applying makeup. They may also provide these services to the ship’s performers.

8. Chef

National average salary: $52,055 per year

Primary duties: Chefs prepare food for everyone on the ship, both guests and crew members. They create menus, cook meals and oversee other kitchen staff. Chefs also ensure that the kitchen follows proper food handling and sanitation practices.

9. Nail technician

National average salary: $53,726 per year

Primary duties: Nail technicians, or manicurists, provide manicures and pedicures to guests aboard a cruise ship. Their tasks include doing nail art, applying acrylic or gel nails and providing massages to the hands and feet.

10. Massage therapist

National average salary: $54,192 per year

Primary duties: Massage therapists use several techniques to provide people aboard the ship with therapeutic massages. They can work in a spa or travel to guests’ rooms to offer their services. They also store and maintain equipment, such as massage tables.

11. Lecturer

National average salary: $54,531 per year

Primary duties: Lecturers are speakers who provide entertainment and information to cruise passengers. They may offer instruction on ship procedures, inform guests about their destinations or speak about special interest topics.

12. Fitness instructor

National average salary: $57,173 per year

Primary duties: Fitness instructors help guests and crew members by leading them in physical activities aboard a cruise ship. They may teach exercise classes such as yoga, aerobics and weight lifting or offer individual exercise instruction. The exercises may be offered to different age groups.

13. Tailor

National average salary: $57,912 per year

Primary duties: Tailors aboard a cruise ship are in charge of creating, altering and maintaining the costumes of the ship’s performers and other employees. A tailor can also help guests with any necessary clothing alterations and repairs.

14. Security officer

National average salary: $58,152 per year

Primary duties: Security officers on a cruise ship keep all the guests and crew members safe. They also help protect the property of the passengers and ship from theft. Security officers patrol the ship regularly and address any problems that may arise on board. They also review passenger luggage to ensure all items are permitted on board.

15. Hotel manager

National average salary: $59,963 per year

Primary duties: The hotel manager on a cruise ship provides customer service and ensures the ship’s interior is neat and orderly. They oversee all the hotel departments, such as guest rooms, restaurants, bars, lounges, kitchens, waitstaff and housecleaning.

16. Bellperson

National average salary: $66,235 per year

Primary duties: A bellperson carries luggage for guests and takes them to their assigned cabins. They may provide services such as giving directions and information, cleaning rooms, delivering room service and running errands for guests.

17. Entertainment manager

National average salary: $60,706 per year

Primary duties: An entertainment manager, also called a cruise director, supervises all the entertainment staff and activities on board the cruise ship. They manage staff scheduling, create entertainment programs and complete administrative duties.

9 technical and crew jobs on a cruise ship

Here are nine more technical and crew positions on a cruise ship:

1. Deckhand

National average salary: $34,915 per year

Primary duties: Deckhands are general laborers who help maintain the cruise ship. Their duties may include cleaning, maintaining equipment, helping with navigation and docking and inspecting mechanical operations. A deckhand also helps load cargo onto the ship and ensures the safety of those on board.

2. Boatswain’s mate

National average salary: $41,925 per year

Primary duties: A boatswain’s mate oversees the personnel in a ship’s deck department. They maintain the boat’s structure, decks, lifeboats, anchors, rigging and other important seafaring equipment.

3. Maintenance technician

National average salary: $51,090 per year

Primary duties: Maintenance technicians upkeep the machinery on cruise ships. They keep every machine and part working, from the heating and air conditioning to kitchen and guest room appliances to the ship itself.

4. Audiovisual technician

National average salary: $51,385 per year

Primary duties: Audiovisual technicians ensure that all the lights and sounds needed for cruise ship productions, such as live shows, are working properly. They may inspect, maintain and repair the audiovisual equipment.

5. Purser

National average salary: $54,195 per year

Primary duties: A purser, also called a bursar, manages the money on a cruise ship. They’re in charge of all financial matters and oversee other financial personnel. Pursers may handle money transactions from guests and crew members.

6. Crew trainer

National average salary: $65,887 per year

Primary duties: A crew trainer provides up-to-date instruction to all the crew members on the ship. They teach other employees about working on the ship, including guest policies, safety information, customer service practices and other important aspects of the cruise ship.

7. Captain

National average salary: $67,622 per year

Primary duties: The captain is responsible for everything aboard a cruise ship. They manage the ship’s personnel, ensure the safety of everyone on board and run all aspects of the cruise. Their tasks can also include overseeing navigation processes, monitoring weather patterns and managing delegation of duties to crew members.

8. First officer

National average salary: $68,179 per year

Primary duties: A first officer, also called a chief officer, navigation officer, chief mate or first mate, is in charge of a cruise ship’s deck crew. They receive a license to work as a mariner and gain experience in all aspects of navigation. The first officer maintains navigation and other deck equipment and reports to the ship’s captain.

9. Nurse

National average salary: $100,034 per year

Primary duties: A nurse aboard a cruise ship provides health care to both passengers and employees. They may respond in an emergency, administer medication, provide first aid care and help passengers with medical concerns or issues.

27 more jobs on a cruise ship

Here are 27 additional possibilities for employment on a cruise ship in all categories:

  1. Deck officer

  2. Technical officer

  3. Radio officer

  4. Human resources manager

  5. Retail manager

  6. Photo manager

  7. Casino manager

  8. Youth activities manager

  9. Entertainer

  10. Musician

  11. Cruise activity staffer

  12. Dive instructor

  13. Shore excursions manager

  14. Social host

  15. Cruise consultant

  16. Chief cabin steward

  17. Accountant

  18. Information technology manager

  19. Program coordinator

  20. Boatswain

  21. Staff captain

  22. Engineer

  23. Electrician

  24. Oiler

  25. Plumber

  26. Bookkeeper

  27. Ship doctor

Frequently asked questions

What is it like to work on a cruise ship?

The work environment on a cruise ship is fast-paced, with long hours and a high-pressure atmosphere. Depending on the job, crew members may work 10 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with limited time off. They provide effective customer service while handling a variety of challenges, such as language barriers and difficult passengers.

What are the challenges of working on a cruise ship?

A primary challenge of working on a cruise ship is being away from family and friends for extended periods. Crew members typically work contracts that last six to nine months, with few opportunities to return home. The living quarters on a cruise ship can also be small, with shared cabins, limited personal space and minimal privacy.

What are the benefits of working on a cruise ship?

Despite the challenges, working on a cruise ship can offer many benefits. Crew members have the opportunity to travel the world, experience different cultures and make new friends. Many cruise lines provide their staff with room and board, so crew members can save money while working. Some jobs also offer tips and bonuses, providing additional financial incentives.


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