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Tips For Those Who Would Like To Become King Crab Fishermen
King crab fishermen may earn a great deal of money, or may earn very little. It all depends on the catch. Television has romanticized this job, but what is it really like?
Crab fishermen do at times earn a great deal after working only a few months, but they do work very hard to earn it. Crab fishing, which is carried out primarily off the coast of Alaska, is not an easy or pleasant way to make a living.
The weather in this area can be violent, with heavy cold rains, or snow, and sleet, that can leave a layer of ice over both boat and equipment. The crew must work long hours, often overnight, if conditions demand. Fishing for king crab also means being away from home and family for long periods of time.
Crab fishing boats are small, some no more than seventy feet in length. The boat offers the bare minimum in the way of comfort and privacy. On board supplies are limited to only what is necessary. There is little in the way of entertainment.
Fishing for king crab is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Boats are a long way from port, and anyone who is seriously ill or injured on the high seas may have to suffer for many days before getting professional medical attention.
To be able to do the work demanded of them, crab fishermen must be in excellent physical condition, have good balance, have great endurance, and be able to work for long hours under stress and extreme weather conditions. They must have good eye-hand coordination, be able to take orders, and be able to work efficiently as part of a team. Crab fishermen must be reliable, confident, and mature adults.
EDUCATION AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
If you want to become a king crab fisherman, you must be determined, as there are many jobs available, but there are also many applicants. If you can afford it, consider spending a summer in Alaska, so you can get some idea of what life there is like. Alaska is a beautiful state, but living there is not always easy.
Boat owners are not willing to take on inexperienced crew members, so your first job is to get all the experience you can aboard boats, and in the fishing business.
While you are in high school, take courses in English, computers, a second language, a science, and any courses that are available that will give you some mechanical skills Many things can go wrong aboard a boat, so the more general skill and knowledge you have, the better.
Consider getting a college education. If you cannot get a job crab fishing, or find that is not the life you wish to lead, you will want to be able to move smoothly into another line of work.
Take courses in first aid and CPR. This will make you a more valuable employee wherever you are.
Start, while in high school, to get some experience working as part of a team, in any job, but preferably one related to the fishing industry.
You may feel that you do not need much formal education to work on a fishing boat. This is not true. Boat captains want intelligent crewmen. Alaska is an expensive place to live, and it is unlikely that you will immediately get a job on a crab fishing boat. You will not be able to live there long without having some type of job. Even when you do find a job on a fishing boat, you may wish to find other employment during the off season.
Do not plan to go to Alaska without having a reserve of at least two and preferably three thousand dollars. It is much easier to get a job in a canning factory than as a crab fisherman, so consider starting here.
Once you have your education, and some cash in hand, prepare a resume. Try to line up a job before you leave home. With the assurance of a job, no matter how menial, you can confidently head for Alaska.
Once you find some type of work, spend all your spare time letting everyone you meet, know that you are looking for a job on a crab boat. Post resumes. Talk to crew members, and captains. Don't think that you can start at the top. If you are polite, knowledgeable, and persistent, you may be able to get an entry level position.
Be aware that there are many internet sites offering jobs in Alaska. Be very careful when dealing with any of these. A fee is usually involved, and the job may not materialize as expected. Be cautious about signing anything.