Fishermen Prepare Nets

Fishers catch fish and other marine life by net, trap, and hook and then sell their catch to commercial food processors, restaurants, and fish markets. Fishers work in both the ocean and fresh water bodies. Some fishers run recreational charter fishing businesses: They rent powerboats, provide fishing expertise, and take customers out on the water for sport fishing trips. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that fishers and fishing vessel operators hold approximately 28,400 jobs, with about 57 percent of these workers self-employed.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Line Fishers, Net Fishers, Oyster Fishers, Pot Fishers, Skiff Operators, Terrapin Fishers
Duties Catch fish and other marine life; some fishers also operate recreational charter fishing businesses
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Work Environment Primarily Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities for professional fishers are located in areas that neighbor the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Great Lakes, and major rivers and inland lakes
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
School Subjects
  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Any fishing experience will be useful
Personality Traits
  • Athletic
  • Hands On
  • Technical
  • Business Management
  • Leadership
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Fishing Business Owner or Processing Operations Owner
  • Captain
  • First Mate
  • Boatswain
  • Deckhand