Fishing Deckhand

Release traps and haul up nets or lines on a fishing vessel.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $40,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Fishing Deckhands do?

As a Fishing Deckhand, you are in an entry-level position, and have great opportunities to work into the positions of Boatswain, Second Mate, First Mate, or Captain. Working as a Fishing Deckhand allows you to learn the ropes (and nets and lines) of the fishing industry. Typically, a Fishing Deckhand position has you out at sea, sometimes for months on end. However, there are positions where you go out for day trips, such as with guided fishing tours.

One day at a time, or weeks in a row, the only real difference is where you sleep at night. During the day, you release nets, lines, or traps into the sea. The crew relies on you to bait the equipment and get it overboard quickly because the boat is in motion. If you are hung up, the Captain must slow down or even turn around. That can make for an angry boss. Once you get the hang of it, though, you toss your lines in and pull them back out with ease.

Once on board, you wash, salt, ice, and store the fish in huge holding tanks. While you move to the next pick-up spot, you wash the decks, repair nets and lines, and make sure there are no loose items left on deck. Safety is a chief concern on fishing boats, so you are aware of and observe all safety gear and procedures. You’ll also need good balance, a strong back, and an equally strong work ethic.

Should I be a Fishing Deckhand?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Commercial Fishing Vessel Operator, Deckhand, Fishing Vessel, Fishing Vessel Deckhand, Fishing Vessel Operator See More

    How to become a Fishing Deckhand

    Most Fishing Deckhands 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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