It wasn’t until we all watched Deadliest Catch that we started to figure out how demanding and dangerous the job of crab fishing actually is. And while it’s no secret that these men quite literally put their lives on the line just to feed us crab, no one really knows what they get paid. How much do deckhands make on Deadliest Catch? The answer might just make you want to change careers.
Deckhand Salary for Deadliest Catch
Although people who are just plain simple deckhands on crab boats minus the cameras and dedicated TV shows don’t really make a lot, the deckhands featured on Deadliest Catch are some of the best paid in the industry. These guys get paid up to $170,000 a year for their appearance on the show.
That’s independent of whatever money they make with their crab haul. So yeah, these guys definitely get compensated with a handsome sum. But can the same be said for your average, everyday crab fisherman?
The Real Crab Boat Deckhand Situation
The reality is that a basic crab fisherman might get paid just a fraction of the Deadliest Catch deckhands’ salary. On average, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development estimates that a crab boat greenhorn will make around $30,000 a year. But there are a ton of factors that could affect the actual number.
To come up with a more accurate representation of their salary, you would have to compute about 6% to 8% of what they haul out of their boat. For instance, a $200,000 crab haul would pay a greenhorn deckhand between $12,000 or $16,000 for that single haul.
In terms of work hours, they could spend up to 15 hours a day doing their work which is labor intensive to say the least. And because crab boats don’t return home until after three or four weeks on the water, there’s very little rest to be had.
What Do Crab Boat Deckhands Do?
They’re mainly responsible for all of the labor-intensive jobs on the deck. That includes managing the lines, deploying pots, sifting through the catch, tossing back bycatch, processing the crabs, and cleaning up the exterior of the ship. They also relay information to and from the captain, and take orders from him as well.
Risks of Crab Boat Deckhand Work
As one of the most dangerous jobs on the water, deckhands are prone to all sorts of injuries including back, arm, leg, and neck injuries due to slips and falls. Seafarers have also been found to be more prone to depression because of the isolated and often strange conditions surrounding the vessel.
Going for long periods without any other human contact aside from the people on deck can also take a toll on mental health.
How Much Do Captains on Deadliest Catch Make?
If you thought the deckhands made a pretty penny, wait until you find out how much the captains make. These guys are paid close to $50,000 per episode. And with each season having anywhere between 10 to 20 episodes, it’s not hard to see how a crab boat captain might want a stint on the show.
The Wealthiest Catch
How much do deckhands make on Deadliest Catch? Well, a lot more than most of us, that’s for sure. So if you were thinking of getting started as a crab boat deckhand, you might have better chances of earning bigger bucks by getting a slot on the hit show.