Sailing Instructor

Teach correct sailing techniques to help students safely ride the waves.

Quick Stats


Outlook
Very Good

Salary Range
$19,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Sailing Instructors do?

As a Sailing Instructor, you teach your students how to safely handle a sailboat in the water. Using the skills and experience you’ve gained from years of operating boats of all kinds, you, the Sailing Instructor give your students the training they need to do the same. Most Sailing Instructors work with a specific group (beginners, intermediate, etc.) for long periods of time, but depending on your skill level and familiarity with different craft, you may jump around from group to group. Either way, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all students know the proper knots, safety procedures, and sailing techniques necessary to operate the boats you’ll be using for classes.

The skill level of your group determines how much of your class takes place on dry land and how much takes place out on the water. As a Sailing Instructor, you need to be comfortable in front of groups, in a classroom, and on a boat. You, the Sailing Instructor should also be able to give orders, advice, and encouragement as needed at the proper times, and always in a firm, respectful manner.

Safety is your number one concern, especially in deeper waters. Keeping an eye on several things at once is a necessary part of your daily classes.

Your schedule varies based on location and setting. Many temperate areas with waterfront communities have lots of sailing classes during the spring and summer, but taper off during the colder months. Areas that are warm all year round often boast high class volumes.

Whatever schedule you end up with, you can count on extra work time getting set up, inspecting your boat and gear, and then cleaning up after the class. Though you can get your students to assist in some of these duties, at the end of the day, you’re the one responsible.


Should I be a Sailing Instructor?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • How to become a Sailing Instructor

    Most Sailing Instructors have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9xazyp&chl=no+college+%2835%25%29|certificate+%2813%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2829%25%29|master%27s+%2814%25%29|doctorate+%289%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,35,35
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