How Much Does A Deadliest Catch Deckhand Make?

Crab fishing is a dangerous, deadly sport to participate in.

How much does a deadliest catch deckhand make to risk his life this much is the question I expect you to ask if you watch the Deadliest Catch Show.

The deadliest catch is a lucrative venture as detailed in our short write-up here.

How Much Does A Deadliest Catch Deckhand Make?

Deckhands do not have a fixed amount of salary. Their take home depends on the amount of catch they make.

A crew member’s rate is usually computed as 1.5% to 10%) of the total harvest earnings. An Alaska Fishing Employment Centre report indicates that a deckhand’s wage ranges between $15k and $50K for a couple of months.

In an interview, Gary, a famous captain of the Deadliest show, explained that his deckhand crew members made $30k for six weeks. He said it was a handsome compensation bearing the short period involved.

Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers Trade Association’s spokesman also confirmed that crab fishers earn up to $100k in a good fishing season.

A recent trend shows that since the corona pandemic, some crew members have chosen a fixed daily rate of between $50- $100, which is a better deal.

Other sources that fill the deckhands’ wage bag include:

  • Public appearance in the spin-off shows earns the crab crew some commission.
  • Annual bonuses also earn the deckhands a pretty penny depending on the company they work for.

A deckhand’s wage, however, is subject to tax like any other profession’s income. The crew members pay a Federal tax rate of 22% of their total earnings.

Other estimated expenditures add up to roughly $400.These include:

  • A commercial fishing license costs $60 for a resident deckhand and $165 for an alien deckhand.
  • Comfortable Rubber boots
  • Warm sleeping bags
  • Gloves

An experienced captain earns twice the salary of one deckhand. Former stars Gary and Kenny Ripka made an average wage of $150k-$ 170k annually.

Crab fishing is a dangerous yet lucrative venture. The decent compensation the crab crew gets is worth the risk.

Factors That Determine a Deckhand’s Wage

Besides the amount of catch made, the following factors also affect a deckhand’s wage:

  1. The Skills and Competence of The Crab Fisher Based On Their Experience.

Reputable crab fishing companies hire competent deckhands with several practice years.

A crab fisher’s experience is directly proportional to his remuneration. Therefore, an entry job as a deckhand will not be as much as a professional deckhand’s job.

  1. Academic Qualification

A meticulous educational background offers more bargaining power.

Marine-related certificates are an added advantage when quoting your salary expectation as a deckhand. Such certificates include:

  • First Aid Administration certificate
  • A commercial crab-fishing certificate
  • STCW- Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping FOR Seafarers.
  1. Job Growth Trend

Crab fishing jobs are affected by job growth trends such as supply and demand. A high supply of labor means many job seekers in the market are willing to take any offer, lowering their rate.

High demand for human resources means the industry needs more crab fishers than the market can offer, and the employers have to meet the demands of the available employees, including pay rise.

  1. Job Description

The work environment determines the hourly rate of a deckhand. Crab fishers working in hostile conditions like extreme weather and long hours tend to demand more from their companies.

Professional crab fishers demand a healthy risk-reward ratio since their job involves too much risk.

  1. The Industry

The hourly market rate for a deckhand depends on the total daily yield. Labor statistics Bureau gives an estimate of $ 13.72 per hour.

Other factors that influence a deckhand’s pay are:

  • Self-drive (hard work, discipline and commitment).
  • The type and location of the fishery.
  • If they are featured in a famous Deadliest Catch Episode


What Are the Requirements For a Deckhand’s Job?

If you are planning to apply for a deckhand job, you must be:

  • A team player
  • Physically fit to stand work for long hours and to lift heavy loads.
  • Available to work for either the short contracts or the entire fishing season.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Be disciplined and submissive.
  • Ability to multitask.

What Are The Risks of a Deckhand’s Job?

Crab fishing is among the riskiest jobs in the USA. A 2019 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report rated crab fishing the most dangerous compared to logging, construction or engineering.

Crab fishing is risky because:

  • One can drown in the line of duty.
  • One has to endure long working hours.
  • Extreme cold from unforgiving winds and ice exposes you to hypothermia.
  • It is a seasonal venture that lasts a few months.
  • Pay instability with no guaranteed fixed returns because the pay depends on the harvest yielded.
  • Exposure to accidents from the open sea and heavy machine operation.
  • Hefty expenses to meet federal requirements.
  • It exposes you to sudden death. However, deaths have been incredibly reduced following strict rules and implications by maritime authorities.

Final Thoughts

A deckhand’s job is not a walk in the park. It involves a lot of risks hence a handsome pay demand.

The crab fishers’ rate depends on the daily harvest yielded.

A typical deckhand rate ranges from $15k- $50k.Y

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