Deck and Fishing Hands maintain ships' equipment and structures, and catch fish, crustacea and molluscs.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

Tasks

  • handling ropes and wires, and operating mooring equipment when berthing and unberthing
  • standing lookout watches at sea and adjusting the ship's course as directed
  • assisting with cargo operations using on-board equipment and stowing and securing cargo
  • patrolling ships to ensure safety of the vessel, cargo and passengers
  • performing routine maintenance and checks on deck equipment, cargo gear, rigging, and lifesaving and firefighting appliances
  • attaching gear and fastening towing cables to nets
  • casting and lowering nets, pots, lines and traps into water
  • preparing lines, attaching running gear and bait, and setting lines into position
  • hauling in fishing gear and removing fish and other marine life
  • sorting, cleaning, preserving, stowing and refrigerating catch

Job Titles

  • Deck Hand, or Seafarer
  • Fishing Hand
  • Deck Hand, or Seafarer

    Performs maintenance and lookout tasks aboard a ship.

    Specialisations: Barge Hand, Ferry Hand, Tug Hand

  • Fishing Hand (also called Fishing Boat Mate)

    Catches fish, crustacea and molluscs using nets, pots, lines and traps in ocean and inland waters.

    Specialisations: Cray Fishing Hand, Prawn Trawler Hand, Purse Seining Hand

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    8800
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    92.3%
  • Female Share

    7.7%
  • Full-Time Share

    90.2%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 8,800 workers. The number of workers has grown very strongly over the past 5 years.
Over the next 5 years (to May 2022) the number of workers is expected to grow strongly to 9,500. Around 9,000 job openings are likely over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created (a large number for an occupation of this size).

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania have a large share of Deck and Fishing Hands.
  • They mainly work in: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Transport, Postal and Warehousing; and Manufacturing.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 41.2 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20076800
20089900
20096000
201010400
20118400
20126900
20138500
20146300
20156800
20169900
20178800
20229500

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Hours

Full-Time and Part-Time Status (% Share) and Average Weekly Hours (Full-Time)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDeck and Fishing HandsAll Jobs Average
Full-time90.268.4
Part-time9.831.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.240

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing54.1
Transport, Postal and Warehousing26.6
Manufacturing3.7
Public Administration and Safety3.4
Other Industries12.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDeck and Fishing HandsAll Jobs Average
NSW9.831.8
VIC16.225.5
QLD28.619.8
SA9.36.8
WA26.811.2
TAS7.32
NT2.21.1
ACT01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDeck and Fishing HandsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.7-5.45.4
20-242.9-9.99.9
25-3427.6-23.423.4
35-4418.1-21.721.7
45-5425.9-21.121.1
55-598.6-8.78.7
60-641.4-5.95.9
65 and Over10.9-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDeck and Fishing HandsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males92.3Males53.6
Females7.7Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Deck and Fishing Hands who are fit, reliable and willing to take direction.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Food Production

    74% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  2. Mechanical

    74% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. Transportation

    64% Important

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  4. Geography

    63% Important

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  5. Production and Processing

    61% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-3011.00 - Fishers and Related Fishing Workers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    78% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    74% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  3. Controlling Machines and Processes

    70% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  4. Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment

    67% Important

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing mechanical machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  5. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

    66% Important

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-3011.00 - Fishers and Related Fishing Workers.

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