Becoming a Deck Hand
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Becoming a Deck Hand

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Also known as Seafarer.
Performs maintenance and lookout tasks aboard a ship.
Training time 2 weeks - 1 year
Average pay $83,963
Employment prospects Poor
Employment size 400

What does a Deck Hand do?

  • 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


  • Barge Hand
  • Ferry Hand
  • Tug Hand