Toil on the open ocean hauling up traps full of tasty crab.
picture of Crabber

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $40,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Crabbers do?

Crab is a wonderful delicacy. It is considered a specialty because it’s only found in certain areas of the world. Cracked and dipped in butter, formed into a crab cake, or used as a stuffing for chicken or fish, it offers a lot of mouthwatering possibilities. However it’s prepared though, it must first be captured from the bottom of the ocean. And that’s where the Crabber comes in.

The results of your labors are a delicate treat, but your job as a Crabber is anything but delicate. You work out at sea, sometimes for months on end, and it’s no pleasure cruise. Because your paycheck depends on hauling in a heavy load, your day as a Crabber goes from early in the morning to late in the evening.

Cold temperatures, heavy rain, and rolling seas are all part of the job. You maintain your balance and pay attention to safety procedures so that you don’t slip on deck, get tangled in a line, or fall overboard. While you perform this circus act, you bait traps and pitch them into the ocean. This requires strength, precision, and focus.

After you empty the deck of crab pots, you return to the pots in the water and start hauling them in again. You snag the line, lift the pots out of the ocean, and empty them, one at a time. Then you sort the crabs and place the keepers in a holding tank. This has to be done with a quick hand because the next trap is right behind it. During slack time, you clean the deck and maintain equipment.

Should I be a Crabber?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Blue Crabber, Chummer, Commercial Crabber, Crab Catcher, Crew Member

    How to become a Crabber

    Most Crabbers 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:9nahaa&chl=no+college+%2874%25%29|certificate+%2816%25%29||bachelor%27s+%289%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,74,74
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