How do I Become a Chief Steward?

Patrick Roland
Patrick Roland
Chief stewards may work on cruises.
Chief stewards may work on cruises.

No matter if a person's aim is working on a luxury cruise liner or a merchant marine vessel, it takes dedication and training to become a chief steward. By mastering all of the various positions within the kitchen and hospitality staff he or she will be prepared to oversee a ship's stewards and stewardesses in this position. Typically, several years of experience are needed before moving into this role.

It may take five years or more to gain the proper experience needed to become a chief steward.
It may take five years or more to gain the proper experience needed to become a chief steward.

A chief steward is a valuable crew member in nearly every type of passenger ship on the ocean. Everything from small yachts with a few guests, to enormous boats carrying thousands of sailors depend on the skills of a chief steward. Primarily, this person manages all of the on-board cooking and cleaning staff, while also handling some of the more complex duties himself.

Like many jobs, if a person wants to become a chief steward, experience is the key. In most cases, he or she will not need any special education or degree. Signing on as part of a ship's cooking staff is a great way to begin. While he or she will most likely start at the bottom rung of the ladder, maybe as a dishwasher or line cook, this is a great place to start learning all the various positions in the kitchen.

Anyone aiming to become a chief steward must also have a mastery of all housekeeping duties of a ship. He or she may have to begin emptying trash cans or mopping floors, but every new task will help get closer to the head job. Clearly, at some point, a person must cross over from the kitchen to the cleaning staff or vice versa. Speaking with the head steward about these desires is a great way to get mentoring and insight.

Once an understanding of the kitchen and housekeeping world is attained, most have one more step to become a chief steward. Working as a steward's assistant provides great experience in the employee management, duty delegation, communication, and bookkeeping skills necessary to succeed. This is the best way to attain a full understanding of the pressures of running a ship's kitchen and cleaning services in order to be promoted to a chief steward.

Many claim it takes at least five years or more to gain the necessary experience to become a chief steward. By working a variety of kitchen and cleaning duties, a person can fully grasp the job. Anyone who loves management and has a good work ethic has what it takes to be a chief steward.

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    • Chief stewards may work on cruises.
      Chief stewards may work on cruises.
    • It may take five years or more to gain the proper experience needed to become a chief steward.
      It may take five years or more to gain the proper experience needed to become a chief steward.