You want a job in Alaska as a king crab fisherman? Have you seen “The Deadliest Catch”? Are you borderline crazy?
In College, I took a class with a guy who worked every crab season up in Alaska as a crab fisherman. He had way too much money.
Making good money in a short period of time, yeah, I can see why the job is appealing.
Crab fishermen are paid a portion of the boat’s profits generated from a crabbing trip, which is generally anywhere from a few weeks to a few months long. The earnings vary based on numerous factors such as crew size and the size of the crab haul. A worker can easily earn a five-figure profit for a single crabbing trip. Since Alaska crab fishing jobs revolve around the winter crabbing seasons, the money earned during these short seasons is equal to a whole year’s worth of income in other professions.
But it’s risky. The decks are slippery, the waves are taller than skyscrapers and, dude, it’s Alaska. It’s friggin’ freezing.
Let’s put this into perspective.
Alaska crab fishing jobs are considered some of the deadliest jobs in the world, with worker death rates up to 90 times more common than the average profession. During the crabbing seasons in Alaska, an average of one worker per week dies doing their job.
King crab fishing jobs involve working on slippery boats in the Bering Sea and other freezing waterways off the coast of Alaska during the dead of winter. Workers are exposed to numerous occupational hazards, such as hypothermia, drowning and injuries or death due to the heavy commercial fishing equipment used.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch “The Deadliest Catch”, check it out. The popular Discovery Channel television show focuses on crab fishing in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, and the dangers associated with this profession. This documentary series shows the risks involved with Alaska crab fishing jobs, such as dealing with the huge crab pots and the tumultuous weather on the Bering Sea. The show also gives an insider look at the crab industry, and how those with king crab fishing jobs manage to hold up under the pressure of their profession.
So if you are still determined to do this line of work then prepare yourself. Only after you are prepared and committed should you head down to the docks and find out who is looking for some new crew members. No crab fisherman will consider having you on their boat if you’re not fully prepared.
First of all you need to have experience being on water for more than a ferry ride. No crab employer will take you on their boat if there’s a chance you could instantly become sea-sick and render yourself useless dead weight.
Secondly you need to have some contacts and people to vouch for you. It’s all about who you know and word of mouth in this business. Jobs aren’t advertised, you need to know who to talk to.
Get yourself equipped with the right gear…before you start looking. You need to take this job seeking seriously.
Sometimes it helps to take on a job as a salmon fisherman first, just to get your foot in the door.
Good luck to you!