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 31,300 jobs, with about 57 percent of these workers self-employed.

Quick Facts
Duties Catch fish and other marine life; some fishers also operate recreational charter fishing businesses
Alternate Title(s) Net Fishers, Skiff Operators, Line Fishers, Pot Fishers, Terrapin Fishers, Oyster Fishers
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
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
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
Related School Subjects
  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Any fishing experience will be useful
  • Business Management
  • Leadership
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Personality Traits
  • Athletic
  • Hands On
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Fishing Business Owner or Processing Operations Owner
  • Captain
  • First Mate
  • Boatswain
  • Deckhand

Career Update Newsletter

Tips and tools to help you manage your ideal career.