Job type

Fishing boat deckhand

£10k - £26k

Typical salary

18 – 45

Hours per week

Deckhands clear the decks, prepare and maintain equipment and handle the catch on offshore fishing vessels.

More info

  • Spend your days at sea catching fish and bringing them to harbour for sale
  • You'll be out in all weathers and may be away from home for weeks at a time
  • Progress to become a skipper, captaining your own boat


  • Preparing the deck areas and fishing equipment
  • Operating the gear that sends out and brings in the nets
  • Sorting, gutting and storing the catch
  • Unloading the catch when you return to harbour
  • Repairing damaged nets and maintaining equipment
  • Making sure the vessel is kept clean and tidy
  • Cooking for crew members (on some vessels)


You'll be out in all weathers, and may be away from home for long periods of time. Work may be physically demanding.

You'll need

To be a fishing boat deckhand, you'll need patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, the ability to use your initiative, knowledge of food production methods, the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools, thoroughness and attention to detail, ambition and a desire to succeed, and physical skills.

There are no set requirements and most deckhands begin without previous experience or specific qualifications, but good eyesight, hearing and fitness levels may be beneficial.

If you have sea-going experience, you may be able to contact vessel skippers directly and train on the job.

You could get this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in maritime occupations: sea fishing.

When you start work you'll need to complete basic sea safety training approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).


You could work towards becoming a skipper. Inshore skippers can operate their own small boat (up to 16.5m). Further training is needed for larger vessels. You could also use your experience to move into related areas like the Merchant Navy or harbour tug work.