Fisher  What They Do

Just the Facts


Uses nets, fishing rods, traps, or other equipment to catch and gather fish or other aquatic animals from rivers, lakes, or oceans, for human consumption or other uses. May haul game onto ship.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Natural Resource Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Steers vessels and operates navigational instruments.
  • Puts fishing equipment into the water and anchors or tows equipment, according to the fishing method used.
  • Maintains engines, fishing gear, and other on-board equipment and performs minor repairs.
  • Sorts, packs, and stores catch in holds with salt and ice.
  • Removes catches from fishing equipment and measures them to ensure compliance with legal size.
  • Locates fish, using fish-finding equipment.
  • Returns undesirable or illegal catches to the water.
  • Pulls and guides nets, traps, and lines onto vessels, by hand or using hoisting equipment.
  • Directs fishing operations, and supervises fishing crew members.
  • Signals other workers to move, hoist, and position loads.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



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Fishers and Related Fishing Workers

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves keeping or regaining your balance more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Whole body vibrations, such as when operating a jackhammer

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Boat Deckhand --
  • Clam Digger --
  • Crab Fisher --
  • Fish Seiner --
  • Frog Farmer --
  • Net Repairer --
  • Oyster Harvester --
  • Salmon Troll Fisher --
  • Scallop Dredger --
  • Shrimp Trawler --