Sailing instructors teach people to sail yachts and boats.
Salary range: £16,000 to £38,000
How to become a sailing instructor
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
You could work towards this job by doing a relevant college course, for example:
- Level 2 and Level 3 Watersport Instructor Diploma
- Level 3 Diploma in Skills and Activities for Sport and Active Leisure (Outdoor Education)
You’ll need to check that your chosen course includes the professional qualifications to become a sailing instructor.
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could start by doing an outdoor activities instructor or outdoor programmes advanced apprenticeship.
There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can do Royal Yachting Association (RYA) courses. The RYA is the national governing body for sailing, and sets standards for training instructors.
You’ll need to be:
- over 16 years old
- physically fit and able to swim
- a competent, experienced sailor
You’ll also need to pass a sailing assessment and do further study before you can start training as a sailing instructor with the RYA.
Courses are done at local sailing clubs or with private training companies.
You’ll need to requalify as a sailing instructor every 5 years, and must have a valid first aid certificate.
You can find out more about becoming a sailing instructor from the Royal Yachting Association.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- the ability to teach pupils how to do something
- leadership skills
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- thinking and reasoning skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- be over 16 years of age
You’ll need to be a member of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to qualify or revalidate as an RYA instructor.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- preparing and presenting lessons
- teaching safety on dry land and drills on water
- demonstrating boat handling and sailing techniques
- assessing your students’ abilities
- 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 could work in a sailing club or at a marina.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically active.
You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
Career path and progression
You could move into a supervisory or management job within a sailing club.
You could also become an instructor for other types of sailing vessels, like yachts and powerboats.