Authored by Phil Dotree in Careers and Employment
Published on 10-12-2009
With the success of reality television shows such as the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, the world of offshore fishing has gained a lot of attention recently. The offshore fishing jobs depicted on such shows are real, and they can pay a tremendous amount of money.
Offshore fishing jobs generally involve the maintenance of a boat and setting and reeling in traps for various types of fish or crustaceans. The jobs are very grueling and physically demanding, and aren’t really ideal occupations for anyone who minds a bit of dirt. They can also be extremely dangerous, especially when offshore fishing jobs are in extremely cold waters. Arctic waters can kill a person very quickly, and in a big storm there’s a decent chance of an entire ship capsizing.
The danger is rewarded with exceptionally high pay. An offshore fishing job usually starts around $50,000 a year and can pay up to $10,000 a week. This depends heavily on the number of fish, lobster, or other catch that a ship is able to bring in. For most offshore fishing companies, the money from the catch is split up among the various crew members. Captains can make much more, and different offshore fishing jobs pay different amounts depending on the season and what’s being fished. Because of the danger, demand for the jobs was high and supply low. The recent reality TV shows and recession have changed this dynamic a bit. There are still plenty of offshore fishing jobs out there for those that are interested. You have to be tough and ready to accept the danger.
Most offshore fishing companies operate on a word-of-mouth basis. You can’t find a high paying job on the Internet, but rather you’ll have to visit a city with a lot of offshore fishing jobs and ask around. Talking to various people should give an idea of where a company’s headquartered, and the next step is to visit the docks or headquarters of the company to ask for a job. You’ll be looking for a fleet manager. That’s the person who decides who gets hired for part time work at an offshore fishing job. When you find a fleet manager who will give you the time of day, be sure to show that you’re willing to work hard. If a single crew member isn’t working very hard at an offshore fishing job, the whole crew suffers. Previous experience is not necessary, though it’s a plus. If you’ve never had an offshore fishing job, you’ll be briefly trained before getting onto the boat.
Once you’ve got a part time offshore fishing job, it’s pretty much a matter of waiting and making connections to get a full time gig. Speak to the captain and let him know that you’re looking for a full time job on the ship. Tell everyone who will listen (but don’t be obnoxious about it). Above all, work hard, and you’ll have the best chance of nailing down a high paying position.
If you’ve ever worked an offshore fishing job, share your story in our comments section below.
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