Working on a cruise ship can be a unique and exciting professional path to follow, especially if you enjoy being on the water and interacting with lots of people. Depending on your specific interests, abilities and education, you may be able to pursue a number of different roles on a cruise ship. In this article, we explore eight unique cruise ship jobs and their salaries.
8 unique cruise ship careers
Below you can find overviews of different positions that you may consider pursuing on a cruise ship. It’s important to note that these salaries and daily duties may vary based on your specific role, the cruise line and the number of people who serve in a similar role.
Here are eight unique cruise ship careers you may pursue. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.
1. Bridge instructor
National average salary: $33,466 per year
Primary duties: A bridge instructor is responsible for hosting games of bridge for participants. They set up cards, set up tables on which the participants play and assign teams to play against each other. Bridge instructors host bridge games and ensure all participants play fairly and according to the rules and then deem winners and may reward them with some type of prize. They follow up by taking down their bridge setup and cleaning up the area.
On a cruise ship, a bridge instructor may also host other games, such as bingo and card games, in addition to board games and other fun game-based activities.
2. Grounds maintenance worker
National average salary: $40,322 per year
Primary duties: A ground maintenance worker, commonly referred to as a groundskeeper, is a landscaping professional who tends to the cruise ship’s landscape. Some ships have areas, such as recreation areas, that include real grass and real plants and it’s the grounds maintenance worker’s duty to trim, mow and maintain these areas so they’re healthy and aesthetically appealing. In this role, they also keep an inventory of all their landscaping equipment, water plants and grasses, control any weeds or pests that may be in these areas, lay grass and plant flowers and other plants.
A grounds maintenance worker also perform common janitorial duties both as they pertain to their work and some tasks that don’t. They may pick up litter, sweep the grounds and clean any roofs or gutters the cruise ship may have.
3. Golf coach
National average salary: $42,736 per year
Primary duties: Golf coaches are responsible for teaching cruise ship passages how to play golf. They may give private or group lessons to interested passengers on how to play golf, teach them skills for the game and help them refine and perfect their moves. Golf coaches may host golf games in friendly competitions for passengers to participate in, score these games and give passengers prizes if they win. They may also participate in games themselves to engage with passengers.
4. Hospitality provider
National average salary: $43,827 per year
Primary duties: A hospitality and dining professional specializes in creating a positive customer experience at a place of business such as a restaurant, bar or cafe. On a cruise ship, a hospitality provider works at an eating or drinking establishment and greets patrons and seats them. They typically answer phone calls, schedule reservations and address patron concerns and answer questions. In this role, the hospitality provider may clean and organize their area of the establishment, observe open and closed table statuses and assist with opening and closing activities.
National average salary: $49,600 per year
Primary duties: A photographer uses expertise to capture high-quality, professional-grade photos of people, places and objects. On a cruise ship, a photographer works to capture photos of moments that cruise ship passengers experience while sailing. In this role, a cruise ship photographer takes photos of passengers while at dinner, parties or other events or when they’re participating in recreational activities. Photographers take portraits of passengers, group photos and family photos. They also upload these photos to their computers or mobile devices to view them, edit them and add visual effects, such as filters or graphics.
It’s common for the cruise ship to deliver photos of passengers to the correct parties. They may charge passengers for the photos.
National average salary: $55,057 per year
Primary duties: A cruise ship diver is a professional commercial driver in the recreation and entertainment industry. They lead or teach cruise ship passengers by diving from different heights into pools or even the ocean. Depending on their qualifications, cruise ship divers may also take passengers who’ve undergone some training on special driving trips once they reach their destination.
These highly trained professionals specialize in diving while on a moving boat and they may also perform swimming shows where they perform tricks to impress passengers.
7. Recreation program director
National average salary: $72,293 per year
Primary duties: A recreation program director is a professional cruise ship member who works to create and implement a variety of different recreation programs for cruise ship passengers to enjoy while sailing. They research recreation programs that passengers may enjoy, obtain the materials and people needed to execute these programs and implement them. They also monitor all programs on the cruise ship to ensure they operate smoothly and receive reports on each program. A recreation program director also creates budgets for each program and ensures that they adhere to them.
Directors may also write up comprehensive reports on their programs to deliver them to their superiors to inform them of how they’re performing.
8. Caricature artist
National average salary: $78,640 per year
Primary duties: A caricature artist is a professional cartoon artist who specializes in drawing caricatures, which are portraits that involve exaggerated aspects of a person’s face or body. The artist paints caricatures of cruise ship passengers to take home as a memento. They typically charge the passenger for their service and may paint group caricatures.