Fish and Seafood Processing Labourers

(NOC 9618)

in All Manufacturing and Utilities

Labourers in this group do clean-up, packaging, material handling and other activities related to fish and seafood processing. They work in fish and seafood processing and packaging plants.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 30 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

  • Estimate 75 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 1460 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This occupation was impacted by a serious decline in the demand for lobster at the beginning of the pandemic. The reversal of these conditions will depend on how global demand for seafood recovers when the pandemic ends. The effects that poor seafood market conditions have had on employment vary. Some employers have found that the pandemic has compounded a longstanding shortage of labour, while some regular seasonal fish and seafood plant workers have noted a reduction in their work hours. Finding housing for workers near seafood processing facilities can be a challenge. This has been made worse by COVID-19, as some property owners may be uneasy about the possibility of a tenant being exposed to the virus. Seafood processing facilities were exempted from group size restrictions in the Health Protection Act Order, reducing the effect on working conditions.

Jobseekers may improve their prospects by having personal transportation, as many seafood processors are in rural or isolated areas. The seasonal and physical aspects of this job may also act as a deterrent for potential applicants. Labour supply for this occupation is scarce in many communities. This is expected to worsen as a large proportion of fish and seafood processing labourers are close to the age of retirement. Given these conditions, those seeking work in this occupation should find employment with relative ease.

The median employment income for the 13% of Labourers in Fish and Seafood Processing who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $26,823. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$14.86

Median

$18.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,173

Minimum

$13,622

Median

$31,743

Maximum

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$23.91

Median

$35.04

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,056

Minimum

$30,111

Median

$70,518

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Labourers in this group do clean-up, packaging, material handling and other activities related to fish and seafood processing. They work in fish and seafood processing and packaging plants.

Job duties

Fish and seafood processing labourers:

  • Unload fish and shellfish from fishing vessels and move them by hand or forklift truck to work area in fish processing plant.
  • Immerse fresh fish fillets in brine solution to condition them for wrapping or freezing.
  • Weigh fish or shellfish, record weight and pack fish in ice.
  • Sort fish according to species, weight and destination.
  • Clean work areas and equipment.
  • Move supplies and packaging materials throughout plant and storage area manually or with powered equipment.
  • Measure and dump ingredients into hoppers of mixing and grinding machines.

Sample job titles

  • cannery labourer - fish processing
  • fish packer - fish processing
  • fish plant labourer
  • fish processing labourer
  • shellfish labourer
  • shellfish packer - fish processing
  • shellfish processing labourer

Skills

You should have good physical health. You must be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements

  • Some high school education may be required.

Other considerations

Work in these jobs is generally seasonal and carried out in shifts at various hours of the day or on a part-time basis. Movement to other jobs in the fish processing industry is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

2,335

employed in 2016

63.4%

employed full-time

0.4%

self employed

36.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
63.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.1

median age

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

15,275

employed in 2016

83.2%

employed full-time

3.2%

self employed

27.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
72.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.7

median age

Where will I likely work?

56.8%

Southern

21.4%

Cape Breton

9.6%

North Shore

8.5%

Halifax

3.6%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

87.3%

Manufacturing

8.0%

Wholesale trade

1.0%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

1.0%

Retail trade

0.7%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

15-24

25.0%

55-64

22.0%

45-54

12.0%

25-34

11.0%

35-44

6.0%

65+

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

24.5%

45-54

20.8%

55-64

19.3%

35-44

16.5%

25-34

15.0%

15-24

Top levels of education

46.0%

Less than high school

$13,730 median annual income
34.3%

High school

$13,570 median annual income
9.2%

College Diploma

$16,883 median annual income
8.4%

Apprenticeship

$12,849 median annual income
1.1%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

38.1%

High school

$28,505 median annual income
23.3%

Less than high school

$19,224 median annual income
19.9%

College Diploma

$38,781 median annual income
12.2%

Apprenticeship

$43,975 median annual income
4.5%

Bachelor

$39,715 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Siploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance
Yarmouth, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.