How do I become a fishing hand?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for the career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools, while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 16 March 2022


What is a Fishing Hand?

A Fishing Hand maintains nets and fishing equipment, as well as sorts and cleans the catch on a commercial fishing vessel.

Alternative Names

The job title might be different in other countries:

  • Deckhand
  • Fish Hand

What does a Fishing Hand do?

Career Categories

The Fishing Hand career can be found in the following career categories:

  • Animal Care
  • Farming & Livestock Management

What does a Fishing Hand focus on?

The main focus of a Fishing Hand is to maintain nets and other fishing equipment during and after a fishing trip. The work might include the responsibility of sorting and cleaning the catch.

What are the daily tasks of a Fishing Hand?

  • Taking care of fishing gear before, during and after a trip
  • Cleaning and sorting the fish
  • Clean and maintain the fishing deck

The working environment of a Fishing Hand

Where does a Fishing Hand work?

Environment –

Fishing Hands will spend all their work time on board of the fishing vessel.

Places of Employment –

In most cases the Fishing Hand works for medium to large commercial fishing businesses or companies.​

What is the average annual salary of a Fishing Hand?

The starting salary of permanent stud hands is around US$30,000 per year. The salary will be different from county to country.

Can a Fishing Hand be promoted

Large commercial fishing vessels do have different ranks through which a fishing hand can be promoted.

fishing hand > fisherman > deck captain

What kind of difficulties can a Fishing Hand face?

The most difficult part of this career is being able to work in extremely difficult weather conditions.

They may also be required to work irregular hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays.

The work also requires a fair amount of physical work and you need to be fit and strong for many of the daily tasks.

Which Skills are required by a Fishing Hand?

The skills required for a career as a Fishing Hand can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • ​Animal handling
  • Animal care
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Fishing Hand?

Minimum educational requirements

Generally, Fishing Hands must have at least a minimum of a high school diploma (certificate), when working for a large commercial fishing vessel.

Although further education is not necessary, the best Fishing Hands learn additional skills on the job, or acquire skills through completing short courses. 

Study Focus

When you do decide to further your skills, you might want to focus on short courses that specialize in catching and processing fish.

Study Duration

The duration of short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few weeks.

​Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

​Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career

Being a Fishing Hand can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach at first (such as high study fees etc).

You can begin as a Fishing Hand after basic short courses and expert guidance. The money you make can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience also helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and Apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal care careers, most of the required skills will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Join the Fishing Hands Group to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Professional Associations


Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards trawler fishing.

Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this course? Please click on the red beetle to access the contribution form.

OZT Community Logo

Join our OZT community and Stud Hand Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a Fishing Hand.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Fishing Hand, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu.

  • Group logo of Fishing Hands

    Fishing Hands

    Public Group / 1 member

    active 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    The Group was created to bring together all those interested in learning more about the career while having access to free resources, short courses, expert advice as well as the option to interact with other students from around […]

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