Deckhand Job Description

Deckhand Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a deckhand. Feel free to use our deckhand job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a deckhand.

 

Who is a Deckhand?

Deckhands are service personnel employed in the maritime sector. In other words, the workmen who operate on ship decks are referred to as deckhands or seafarers. A deckhand is an essential member of the yacht crew who is in charge of maintaining the exterior of the boat among other duties. They carry out a range of duties that ensure the smooth operation of boats, ferries, and ships.

A deckhand might be requested to, for instance, clean and maintain equipment, fix various aspects of the shift, and stay watch for portions of the night. Deckhands must be adaptable and capable of performing maintenance- and cleaning-related jobs. The ship’s cleanliness and ability to navigate the lakes or oceans it travels on are typically its main responsibilities. They are in charge of a variety of tasks, including running cranes and forklifts, repairing equipment, and keeping the deck tidy and safe. Deckhands frequently operate in teams, guided by the captain or other senior crew members. They spend their days climbing the rigging, hauling bulky freight, and engaging in other physically demanding activities as part of their employment. A deckhand is crucial to a ship’s or boat’s upkeep and functioning. They could operate yachts and assist in planning the entertainment for the visitors. They might also be employed on a transport or shipping vessel, where part of their duties entail setting up barges for loading and unloading. Cruise lines and fishing boats are some more workplaces.

A deckhand’s duties include keeping the yacht’s exterior in good condition. Your responsibilities on board can alter, much like those of a yacht stewardess. You will be required to possess the same abilities and outlook as a Deckhand even though you are a Junior Deckhand because you lack experience. Deckhands and Senior Deckhands will have years of experience working on larger boats, and they may be required to supervise the Junior Deckhands. Washdowns, polishing, varnishing, cleaning teak, sanding, painting, and basic maintenance are examples of daily chores. You might be requested to operate the yacht tenders or help out. You might work with other deckhands as a team or by yourself, depending on the size of the yacht.

The Bosun or First Officer is likely to assign you your daily duties. You might even assist other departments during busy times. For instance, the stewardesses might need assistance in getting ready for visitors or the owners’ arrival. So, you might even be expected to set up tables or serve food. Deckhands should have some familiarity with boat operation, as well as navigation, VHF radio, and engine maintenance experience. These skills are frequently exhibited through the certifications you might acquire by taking different courses. A popular path taken by those looking to start working aboard superyachts is to finish a specialized deckhand course. You will complete these courses with all the essential certifications and credentials, which will give you an advantage when applying for your first yacht crew post.

Although occasionally working in the engine room may be required, trainee deckhands perform tasks on the deck of the ship, such as using, storing, and maintaining fishing equipment. With practice, novice deckhands develop into skilled deckhands who can advance to become engineers or deck officers on bigger vessels or mates or skippers of inshore vessels. New applicants are required to do foundational courses that cover the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) legal requirements for safety training in first aid, fire fighting, sea survival, and health and safety. Additionally, all deckhands are required to be in high physical condition, have a clear vision, and have excellent interpersonal skills.

Skilled deckhands must set up the deck and equipment for catching, operate and maintain fishing gear and other equipment, and gut and store fish. Deckhands are required to keep the ship clean and may participate in cooking for other crew members. Once the necessary credentials have been met, seasoned deckhands can advance to become a mate and subsequently a skipper, or they can go into engineering. Some dock workers might buy their small boats and transition to inshore skippering. It is also feasible to transition into adjacent marine businesses, such as the Merchant Navy, offshore support, and harbour tugboat jobs. Experienced deckhands must take an additional basic course that includes the MCA’s statutory safety training requirements in safety awareness in addition to the prerequisites for new entrants. All deckhands must also be physically fit, have good vision, and have decent interpersonal skills. Following instructions and abiding by all laws and regulations is necessary for success as a deckhand. The strongest and most physically capable individuals can carry out instructions while taking in their surroundings.

 

Deckhand Job Description

Below are the deckhand job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a deckhand job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

  • Check for issues with equipment by inspecting it, such as cargo handling equipment, lifesaving equipment, visual signalling equipment, fishing, towing, or dredging equipment.
  • Make that handling and storage are carried out by specifications by watching the loading or unloading of equipment or cargo.
  • Make sure everyone on the boat is safe.
  • Keep a watch out for perilous underwater obstructions.
  • Determine whether the ship’s cables are nice and snug and in compliance with safety requirements.
  • Use navigational tools like compasses or sextants to steer boats, as well as navigational aids like lighthouses or buoys.
  • Locate ships’ locations and utilize this data to calculate a ship’s course and speed using loans, celestial body azimuths, or computer programs.
  • Keep vigil on ships during certain times while they are at sea.
  • Control crew members as they replace or repair damaged gear or equipment.
  • Control teams that are cleaning or maintaining bridges, superstructures, or decks.
  • Make arrangements for the refuelling, stocking, or repair of ships.
  • Use satellite technology and radio to communicate information to the harbour officials and other crew members.
  • Take leadership of the ship in the case of the incapacitation of the ship’s masters
  • Take part in operations related to maintaining vessel security.

 

Qualifications

  • A minimum of 20 years of age or older.
  • Possession of the ability to work in any weather.
  • Possession of a current driver’s license.
  • Minimum of a high school diploma.
  • Experience with radio equipment, engines, and boat handling.
  • Possession of a working grasp of maritime techniques.
  • Experience in the hospitality industry, cruise ships, mechanics, engineers, tour guides, fresh graduates, divers, and anyone who can demonstrate a willingness to learn the proper work ethic.
  • Strength and physical conditioning.
  • Awareness of maritime security.
  • The great synergy between the hands and the eyes.
  • Ability to work in difficult conditions.
  • Certification may be required even though the majority of the training happens on the job.

 

Essential Skills

  • Machinery expertise: A deckhand needs to be knowledgeable about the tools and machinery of a boat. This includes understanding how to steer a boat, how to operate various pieces of technology and equipment used on a boat, as well as how to control the engine of a boat. A deckhand should be able to recognize and comprehend the various pieces of machinery and equipment utilized on a boat.
  • Attention to detail skills: To ensure that their jobs are correctly completed, a deckhand must pay close attention to detail. This can involve activities like using machinery, keeping records of data, and storing information. A deckhand can recognize dangers and risks on the sea by paying attention to detail.
  • Ability to follow instructions: Following directions is a crucial skill for a deckhand to have when working on a boat. You might be given specific jobs to finish by the captain or other crew members, and you’ll need to be able to follow their instructions to do them successfully. Working with other deckhands on a boat is possible, and it’s crucial to listen to their directions to keep everything running properly.
  • Communication skills: Deckhands must be able to communicate effectively to comprehend and adhere to the commands of their captains and fellow crew members. They also use their communication abilities to update the other crew members on the ship’s state and convey information to them.
  • Physical stamina: The capacity to work continuously for extended periods is known as physical stamina. Deckhands must have a high level of physical endurance because they frequently have to labour on the water for extended periods. Working in hazardous weather circumstances, pulling ropes, moving big objects, and working on a ship’s deck are examples of this.

 

How to Become a Deckhand

Step 1. Enrol in marine education

When you enrol in a maritime training program, you gain the information and abilities required to begin a job as a deckhand on a commercial ship or other large ship. Your comprehension of maritime safety procedures will also get better after the training. Your career will advance more quickly if you receive the knowledge and skills necessary for job advancement. Professionals seeking positions on sizable ships, such as container and cruise ships, are best served by maritime training programs. It is also possible for skilled deckhands to go up the corporate ladder and become senior captains, engineers, and deck officers. Deckhands who complete specialized training can choose from a variety of career options, and there are training programs available to support your professional development.

Step 2. Apply for entry-level positions

Applying for maritime employment that doesn’t need specialist certification and training is the fastest way to become a deckhand. The majority of the maritime industry’s unskilled workers are given jobs on inland vessels. A deckhand position on an inland ship offers the chance to learn more about the maritime business without needing a license or certification. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop in your profession if you’re not employed on a container or cruise ship. Most deckhands who begin their careers working on inland vessels take advantage of their free time to gain knowledge and abilities that will help them develop in their jobs.

Step 3. Learn about deckhand duties and responsibilities

Before looking for work as a deckhand, it is crucial to be aware of your obligations. A physically difficult job requiring perseverance and hard labour is being a deckhand. Working on inland or big ship with experienced crew members can help you develop the skills necessary to be a competent deckhand. Deckhand responsibilities vary according to a vessel’s schedule and purpose. Deckhand responsibilities include general upkeep, watch duties, operating the tender, and cleaning the ship.

Step 4. Know the deck structure

The youngest members of a deck crew are the deckhands. Deckhands should be mindful of their surroundings when starting as they learn from the more seasoned crew members. Respect the more seasoned crew members and always try your best to comply with their recommendations. To ensure that you work securely, experts advise asking clarification questions. The size and purpose of a yacht or ship determine the deck’s structure. A deckhand employed on a small boat will never have the same responsibilities as one employed on a cruise or container ship.

Step 5. Obtain certification

Getting the required certification is the next step after realizing what it takes to be a deckhand. Once you possess the required papers and certification, you will be eligible for highly-regarded professions and lucrative roles. Before going to maritime hubs for interviews, a deckhand needs to have a visa. Being registered with crew agents will give you access to a variety of vacant employment in the marine industry, which is another essential step in becoming a deckhand. Additionally, you’ll need a strong reputation and a wide network of contacts in the maritime industry. Deckhands who want to work on any ship other than an inland vessel must have an STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) certification. Each year, it must be renewed. The classes address the fundamentals of deck work, including safety, rules, and regulations.

The qualification is accepted all over the world and lays the groundwork for additional marine education. Basic firefighting, survival skills, social responsibility, and first aid are among the other subjects covered. Many Deckhands must have STCW, but technical or advanced certificates can give you an advantage. You can advance your knowledge in particular areas, such as crew endurance, meteorology, or navigational systems. To rise to Master status, you could also enrol in advanced courses. The highest position in the maritime industry, this one might help you earn more money as a deckhand. A different choice is to in classes to one day work as a captain, mate, or pilot of a watercraft, positions that pay much more on average.

Step 6. Seek opportunities to hone your skills

To help you become a successful deckhand, the internet contains a wealth of tools and training programs. Additionally, you can learn from more seasoned deckhands by asking them for advice when you stray from the path. Always put up the extra effort and seize any chance to establish a solid brand identity for yourself. To advance their careers, deckhands should conduct themselves professionally at all times. Always be ready for opportunities to arise. You will face difficult roles where you can either stand out or come out as a novice professional, so be prepared for that. On the other hand, be open to learning and learn how to work with others.

 

Where to Work as a Deckhand

There are many places to work as a deckhand, including research vessels, fish processing businesses, fisheries, producers of fish gear, and equipment suppliers. Large ships including cargo ships, oil tankers, and cruise ships all have decks where deckhands are employed. They are in charge of performing all necessary maintenance and upkeep on the deck, such as cleaning, painting, and fixing things. Additionally, they help with the loading and unloading of goods and carry out any other tasks that the captain or first mate may give. The majority of small fishing boats are family-owned and operated, thus there aren’t many job prospects on them.

While there are chances for deckhand employment on commercial, transit, and leisure vessels, the demand for deckhands on fishing vessels typically fluctuates seasonally. Deckhands frequently put in much than 12 hours every day, and they could even have to work on the weekends and holidays. Deckhands frequently have to lift big materials and do their duties in all types of weather, which can make the job physically taxing. You could have to work in confined spaces and irregular hours as a deckhand. Deckhands working under pressure may only get four hours of sleep and downtime.

 

Deckhand Salary Scale

According to the website Payscale, deckhand pay can vary greatly, but the typical yearly compensation for a deckhand is between $24,000 and $54,000. A junior deckhand’s salary in the UK starts at about €2,000 per month. With greater expertise, a Deckhand may make over €2,500 a month.

Deckhands in Nigeria can earn between 24,597 and 155,927 Naira (NGN) each month. Your compensation may increase dramatically if you complete maritime training programs, earn certain certifications, and work as a Deckhand on a large ship or other specialist craft, such as a tugboat. Additionally, you will have the chance to advance through the ranks more swiftly and receive large pay raises. Your deckhand salary will also vary depending on the sorts of ships you work on and the demands and circumstances they encounter. When compared to tugboats, cargo ships often provide lesser compensation.

 

Job Description

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