How Much Fishing Boat Crew Get Paid
Jobs on a ship in the fishing industry are unique because you aren't guaranteed a flat rate. Instead, in most cases, you'll be paid a percentage of the profits for the season. This is called a "crew share," and working for a crew share is often a gamble. During a bad season or with an inexperienced captain, you may not make any money at all.
The percentage you are offered depends on the size of the boat. Typically, the captain will take the first cut, usually around 40%. Next, the ship's expenses are paid. Sometimes the captain pays for some of them himself, but in general, groceries, fuel, the engineer's wages, and other supply expenses are taking from the remaining 60%.
If the ship needs repairs, the captain or ship's owner usually pays for that. The rest of the money is split evenly among the crew. Sometimes, certain crewmembers get slightly more than others based on extra job duties or seniority, but generally, everyone works as a team and takes home the same amount of money.
How much can you expect to make? Again, it depends on the ship and the type of fish you are catching. It also depends on the competition and the weather - more boats and more storms mean a smaller catch. Before signing on to work on a ship, as for pay figures from the last five years to see what you can expect to make, on average.
On larger ships, you may be given a flat hourly fee or a monthly salary for your work. There's huge potential for overtime, where you'll get paid time and a half for your work. Typically, hourly wages start out at minimum wage to $10.50 per hour, but your overtime pay rate can more than make up for the low starting rate.
Working on a ship is always a gamble. It is extremely dangerous, and you may not make any money, even after putting in grueling hours and weeks at sea. Before you leave, make sure that you truly understand the risks so that you are prepared for the paycheck at the end of the season.