How to become a fishing vessel skipper
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
If you are 16 to 19 you could start off as a fishing boat deck hand. You can do a Diploma in Sea Fishing while getting experience at sea through a fishing industry college.
When you have experience you can learn and train on the job to go on to become a skipper.
There are no set entry requirements for this route but it may help you to get in if you have:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
Advanced apprenticeships relevant to this role include:
- Workboat crewmember
- Officer of the watch
These apprenticeships typically take 24 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can start as a deckhand at sea and learn on the job. You'll usually need around 18 months' experience before you can skipper a boat. You'll also need to have completed mandatory basic safety training for:
- sea survival
- fire fighting
- health and safety
- first aid
You can find more advice about being a skipper and other careers in the fishing industry from Seafish.