Fishing Boat First Mate

Be the Captain's right hand man by managing equipment and fishing crew.
picture of Fishing Boat First Mate

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $40,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Fishing Boat First Mates do?

A Fishing Boat First Mate is the Captain’s right hand, and often the left as well. As a Fishing Boat First Mate, you man the boat when the Captain can’t, manage the staff, and generally perform every task on the boat as needed.

What’s an average day like?

Because you work on a fishing boat, you know all the ins and outs of the vessel, the process, and the equipment. A Fishing Boat First Mate makes sure safety procedures are followed at all times. For example, you check that there are enough life jackets on board, and that the proper techniques for pulling in lines are being used.

You also make sure that all supplies, tools, and equipment are maintained, inspected, and repaired to ensure the safety of the workers. You mend nets, repair traps, and tighten parts.

The Captain will expect constant reports, so you stay on top of all activity on the boat. You spend your days on deck, making sure the other workers are doing their job. When the Captain asks how much weight you have on board, or how full the holding tanks are, you’re ready with an accurate answer.

You need good communication skills to be able to work well with the Captain and the rest of the crew. The Deckhands, Boatswains, and other staff all report to you, so you’ll use your skills to listen and share important instructions with them too.

Why does this job matter?

This job is strenuous, often requires long hours, and presents dangerous working conditions. But if you love the sea, working with your hands, and being responsible for a variety of duties, this might be the job for you.


Should I be a Fishing Boat First Mate?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • How to become a Fishing Boat First Mate

    Most Fishing Boat First Mates 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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