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How to Get a Job on a Liveaboard

CEO of Aggressor Adventures provides advice for landing your dream job
By Becca Hurley | Updated On May 27, 2021
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How to Get a Job on a Liveaboard

Whether you are a dive professional or looking to break into the industry with more on the job training, a job aboard a liveaboard might be a good fit for you. Working on a liveaboard provides exposure to around the clock diving and also the opportunity to hone your hospitality and cooking skills if you choose.

Bahamas Aggressor Drone

The Bahamas Aggressor as seen from above.

Courtesy Aggressor Adventures

To better understand how to obtain a dream job aboard a liveaboard, we sat down with Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures to ask the questions eager applicants would like to know.

Q: What minimum qualifications do you look for when hiring for positions on a liveaboard?
A: In general, one must be a dive professional such as a dive guide, divemaster or instructor. Exceptions are made for other professional training such as professional chefs or marine engineers. Many applicants have similar skills but what helps a candidate stand out is any additional skills they can bring to the table. For example, if you have cooking skills you could be trained to work as a relief chef. Alternatively, you could be trained to help in the engine room or work on compressors if you possess mechanical skills.

Diving Aboard Rock Islands Aggressor

Aggressor staff help divers back on board in the Rock Islands.

Courtesy Aggressor Adventures

Q: What makes work on a liveaboard different from working at a dive shop or dive resort?
A: In short, you are a sailor and hotel operator as much as you are a diver and instructor. The job is physically demanding and you are on call 24/7 in case of an emergency on the yacht. You will most likely be sharing a room with one or more staff members, but you have very little living expenses, you get free room and board and earn a salary plus tips.

Q: What is the best way for potential employees to find a liveaboard job?
A: Try to communicate directly with the operators. Most have websites with employment links, for example, you can see Aggressor’s current opportunities here. At the end of the day, try to be patient. Sometimes operators spend a year working with a potential candidate to find the right position for them and then other times, positions become available on short notice and need to be filled immediately. The best thing you can do is stay in contact with operators or any staff you know that may work on a liveaboard.

Q: Are you still hiring amid COVID-19? (This response is specific to Aggressor Adventures)
A: Absolutely! We are currently recruiting captains and engineers on our yachts based in the Caribbean. As other destinations begin to re-open, we anticipate we will begin recruiting for other positions as well. Aggressor Adventures has been expanding over the last several years and opportunities exist for staff to start out on a dive deck, earn their captain credentials, earn a promotion to second captain and then compete for the opportunity to become first captain. This typically takes two to four years to achieve based on the staff member's prior experience but with hard work and dedication, there are many opportunities for staff to be rewarded.

Chefs on Board Maldives Aggressor

The chefs aboard the Maldives Aggressor prep for dinner time.

Courtesy Aggressor Adventures

Q: Do you give priority to locals in the region where the boat is located?
A: Yes. Labor laws in each country vary and in many countries, foreign (or ex-pat) workers are required to obtain a work permit. This does not disqualify ex-pats from applying. Applicants with an instructor certification may have a better chance of getting hired in some foreign countries.

Q: What is your best advice for someone seeking a job on a liveaboard?
A: First and foremost, know what you are getting into. If possible, try and travel as a guest so you can see the conditions and different roles that the staff play. It’s important to understand that you are in the hospitality and service business first. Hard work and attention to detail are important skills that contribute to your success. Be agile and a team player, things are constantly changing on a liveaboard. Lastly, applying as a couple is not always a good idea because a yacht would need to have two positions open at the same time and then if/when it comes time for the couple to depart, it leaves the yacht with two positions to fill.

What are you waiting for? Apply for your dream job today! Not convinced you want to work on a liveaboard yet? Read up on some of our favorite liveaboard trips below: