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

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 8,800 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 71.1% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 33.9 hours Average full-time
  • 37 years Average age
  • 6.7% female Gender Share

The number of Deck and Fishing Hands grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 8,800 in 2017 to 9,500 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created (a large number for an occupation of this size).

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Deck and Fishing Hands work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Transport, Postal and Warehousing; and Mining.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (71.1%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 33.9 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (25.9%).
  • Gender: 6.7% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

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

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Fishing49.4
Transport, Postal and Warehousing33.6
Mining5.7
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services2.2
Other Industries9.1

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 2017, 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
NSW20.231.6
VIC4.326.2
QLD19.919.7
SA5.56.7
WA43.710.8
TAS3.52.0
NT2.31.1
ACT0.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-198.4-5.25.2
20-2417.5-9.99.9
25-3415.2-23.623.6
35-4414.1-21.721.7
45-5429.3-20.820.8
55-595.5-8.88.8
60-647.4-6.06.0
65 and Over2.7-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Seafood Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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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