Get a job on a crab fishing boat by consulting job centers and networking with other crab fishers. It helps to have some prior fishing experience, but this isn’t always necessary. New workers on crab fishing boats are commonly referred to as greenhorns.
Most crab fishing boats are family-owned and operated, and the captains typically only hire employees they trust. Without a family connection, aspiring greenhorns can visit job centers in Alaska, where the majority of crab fishing in the United States occurs. These centers can direct workers to areas where crab fishers are hiring. It’s important to research the industry first to determine the start of crab season.
After determining where to go for employment, aspiring crab fishers still have to make connections to get on a boat. Many Alaskan employment centers recommend that workers simply show up and hang around docks and nearby bars to meet other crab fishers. By networking in this way, aspiring crabbers can prove their worth to a captain.
Crab fishers learn on the job, so no prior experience is necessary. However, workers with previous fishing experience may be able to distinguish themselves more easily. Some aspiring crabbers work as deckhands during the summer salmon season to gain experience before crab season.