Fishing Boatswain

Lead a team of Deckhands on fishing trips to keep them safe and productive.
picture of Fishing Boatswain

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $40,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Fishing Boatswains do?

On a fishing vessel, whether you’re out for a local day trip or a three-month open sea excursion, the Fishing Boatswain has many important responsibilities. As the Fishing Boatswain, you lead and monitor the Deckhands, report to the First Mate, and observe safety guidelines.

Fishing boats can be dangerous. Waves, weather, slippery decks, and moving equipment require you to be on your toes. If you lose focus, someone could get hurt. But, Fishing Boatswains are well trained. You follow procedures, respect the ocean, and listen to your superiors. In addition, you make sure the less-experienced Deckhands understand and follow safety precautions.

Depending on what you are fishing for, you and the Deckhands haul in huge baskets, nets, or lines. This requires strength, dexterity, and knowledge of the equipment. Time is of the essence, because if you miss a catch, the Captain has to turn around and approach again. As the saying goes, time is money, so you do your best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Once the catch is on board, you empty them into on-board holding tanks and send the lines or nets back into the water. Whether you are hauling in crab, tuna, flounder, or cod, you know the proper techniques for washing, salting, icing, and storing them. After all, they have to be fresh to fetch a good price back on land.

When you are not actively pulling in lines, you and your Deckhands wash the decks, make sure all equipment is properly stowed, make repairs, and mend nets.

Should I be a Fishing Boatswain?

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

  • How to become a Fishing Boatswain

    Most Fishing Boatswains 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
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Fishing Boatswain