Sailing instructor

Sailing instructors teach people to sail yachts and boats.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £28,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 2% more Sailing instructor jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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

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).

£16,000 to £28,000

Starter salary: £16,000

Experienced salary: £25,000

These figures are a guide.


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.

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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need

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