Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The Average Salary of Cruise Ship Workers

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Cruise ships have been a popular way for people to enjoy a vacation while visiting other parts of the world. In order for a cruise to run efficiently, there are hundreds of staff members employed on various jobs who ensure that passenger requests and needs are satisfied. For the crew, working on a cruise ship means low pay but they can see the world and not have to pay taxes or rent.

Medical Staff

Medical staff handle everything from hangovers to head trauma. Cruise ships hire three to four nurses. The lead nurse manages the infirmary and the second nurse is responsible for crew members. The third nurse or dental nurse completes voyage reports, which are later sent to the cruise line’s main medical department. Depending on experience, a cruise ship nurse can earn approximately $2,800 to $3,800 each month. Cruise ship nurses must have a registered nursing license and CPR certification. There is also at least one licensed doctor, who will earn between $4,600 and $6,200 every month.

Cooking Staff

The cooking staff members are crucial as they will ensure that passengers have adequate food to eat. The kitchen is run by the head chef, who can earn between $4,000 and $5,000 on a monthly basis. He is supported by an assistant head chef, who makes between $4,200 and $4,600. There is also a pastry chef, who can receive anywhere from $1,200 to $1,600 and an assistant pastry chef. She must have at least three years of experience and can earn $1,400 to $1,600 a month. A sous chef makes between $2,200 and $2,400.

Wait Staff

It is normal for cruise ship passengers to be waited on and the wait staff accomplish this goal. At the bar, for instance, several bartenders are available to mix drinks and they earn between $1,800 and $2,800 a month, depending on their experience. The head waiter or waitress earns anywhere between $2,800 and $3,200, and is in charge of dining room operations and other waiters and waitresses. On the other hand, a bell boy can make up to $1,400 each month.


Every cruise ship has several entertainers who perform every day. Comedians, for example, can receive a monthly salary of up to $2,800 a month. Disk jockeys keep guests dancing at the various clubs and parties across the ship. They make anywhere between $1,800 and $2,200. Cruise ships also invite special guest entertainers who can earn between $3,200 and $7,000. Other entertainers include a lounge performer, who can earn up to $7,000, and a show dancer, who can receive between $3,200 and $3,600 every month.