Job type

Sailing instructor

£16k - £28k

Typical salary

18 – 38

Hours per week

Sailing instructors teach people to sail yachts and boats.

More info

  • Teach people to sail yachts and boats
  • You'll need sailing skills, leadership and management skills
  • You could progress to a supervisory or management job within a sailing club

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.


  • 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


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

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone who likes to work outside on the water with sailing skills, leadership and management skills, excellent communication skills, and organisation skills.

You'll need to be over 16 years of age and be a member of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to qualify or revalidate as an RYA instructor.

You could work towards this job by doing a relevant college course, for example Level 2 and Level 3 Watersport Instructor Diploma or 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 could also start by doing an outdoor activities instructor or outdoor programmes 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 and 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.


With experience, you could progress to a supervisory or management job within a sailing club. You could also become an instructor of other types of sailing vessels, like yachts and powerboats.