How Do I Become a Sailing Instructor?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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There are many reasons why you may want to become a sailing instructor. Perhaps you are a beginning sailor yourself looking far into the future. You may be an experienced creature of the sea eager to share your wisdom with aspiring sailors. Regardless of your ambitions to become a sailing instructor, gaining experience and giving lessons are two great ways to start your quest toward this important nautical profession.

Among the most elite sailors, there are only a select few fit to instruct beginners. This is due to the unique skill set required of successful teachers. If you wish to become a sailing instructor, you should possess strong articulation skills, enjoy working with people, and be able to relate to the different learning styles of each of your potential students. Sometimes, gaining experience teaching different subjects can help a person with sailing instruction.

Beyond being a great teacher, if you want to become a sailing instructor, you'd better be knowledgeable in your field. No student would pay money to learn math or reading from someone who can't add or is illiterate. To acquire the student base needed to succeed as a sailing instructor, you need to prove yourself worthy. There is really no better way to do this than to simply gain field experience. If you are a beginner, take as many lessons and spend as much time sailing as possible while also taking note of the instruction styles of your own teachers for future insight.


Even if you successfully accomplish all of the prerequisites necessary to become a sailing instructor, you are still a long way from succeeding. If you choose to search for a job, there are basically two options: Work for an established company or program, or take a more entrepreneurial route. Each of these has its own pros and cons, and assessing these disparities will help you determine which route is best for you.

Entrepreneurial routes enable no ceiling for success or hours while also allowing freedom of availability in work. This is also risky, however, as being a self starter also means only relying on yourself for success. Working for a more established organization is much easier but could also require a more regular work schedule.

This outline of how to become a sailing instructor is meant to induce productive thoughts and ideas that you can take toward achieving your goal. This by no means is the only way to become a sailing instructor. Following these steps, however, will certainly put you in good position to teach sailing.



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