Fishing Vessel Deckhands

(NOC 8441)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

This group of jobs is concerned with fishing support activities. Fishing vessel deckhands perform a variety of manual tasks on commercial fishing voyages, and maintain fishing vessels. They are employed by establishments that operate commercial fishing vessels and by self-employed fishermen/women.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate stable employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 90 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 910 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Fishing Vessel Deckhands most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common.

The median employment income for 7% of Fishing Vessel Deckhands who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $56,425. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$17.36

Median

$32.05

Maximum

Annual Pay

$8,237

Minimum

$18,828

Median

$79,617

Maximum

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Hourly Pay

$10.85

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.88

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,009

Minimum

$23,520

Median

$87,170

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group of jobs is concerned with fishing support activities. Fishing vessel deckhands perform a variety of manual tasks on commercial fishing voyages, and maintain fishing vessels. They are employed by establishments that operate commercial fishing vessels and by self-employed fishermen/women.

Job duties

Fishing vessel deckhands perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare nets, lines and other fishing tackle, and operate fishing gear to catch fish and other marine life.
  • Clean, sort and pack fish in ice and stow catch in hold.
  • Repair nets, splice ropes and maintain fishing gear and other deck equipment.
  • Clean deck surfaces and fish hold.
  • Handle mooring lines during docking.
  • May steer vessels to and from fishing areas.
  • May prepare and cook meals for crew members.

Sample job titles

  • fishboat deckhand
  • fishing vessel crewman/woman
  • fishing vessel deckhand
  • trawlerman/woman

Skills

For these jobs, you should enjoy working outdoors and being physically active. Good eyesight and health are important. You may be exposed to extreme weather conditions and varying climates. You must be alert, patient, and observant. Some jobs involve irregular or long hours and may be seasonal.

Job requirements

  • There are no specific educational requirements.
  • On-the-job training is provided.
  • Fishing vessel deckhands require a commercial fishing licence.

Other considerations

Most workers actively fish for only part of each year. As well, work in these jobs is seasonal where employment peaks in the summer months. An individual's earnings will depend upon a number of factors such as the type of boat and equipment used, the species sought, the allotted quota and the market price for the catch.

Trawlermen/women require at least one year of experience. Fishing vessel deckhands may become skippers upon acquiring an entry licence and a boat and may also progress to watchkeeper or mate positions with additional training.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,410

employed in 2016

90.2%

employed full-time

2.1%

self employed

13.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
87%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40.4

median age

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

14,665

employed in 2016

84.0%

employed full-time

22.0%

self employed

15.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

39.0%

Cape Breton

34.6%

Southern

18.4%

Northern

4.7%

Halifax

3.2%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Fishing

What is the age of Employment?

26.3%

55-64

26.3%

45-54

16.1%

35-44

11.4%

25-34

10.6%

65+

9.4%

15-24

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

42.3%

45-54

26.1%

55-64

18.9%

35-44

8.1%

25-34

3.6%

65+

Top levels of education

36.7%

Less than high school

$22,329 median annual income
29.5%

High school

$15,006 median annual income
17.4%

Trades certificate

$23,932 median annual income
13.6%

College certificate or diploma

$22,026 median annual income
1.8%

Bachelor's degree

$14,201 median annual income

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

34.0%

Less than high school

$14,445 median annual income
31.5%

High school

$14,229 median annual income
14.3%

College certificate or diploma

$21,289 median annual income
14.0%

Trades certificate

$19,107 median annual income
4.3%

Bachelor's degree

$15,980 median annual income

Education & training

There is no information to display in this section

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nova Scotia Licensing Service Centre
P.O. Box 1035
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4T3
Tel: (902) 426-9966
Fax: (902) 426-5010
Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council
38B John St, Suite 1
Yarmouth, NS B5A 3H2
Tel: (902) 742-6167
Fax: (902) 742-8391
Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
1800 Argyle Street, 6th floor (Suite 607)
Halifax, NS B3J 2R5
Tel: (902) 424-4560
Fax: (902) 424-4671

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

Fishing Officer Fishing Mate

Opportunities for Chief Mates

View all job postings