Before You Grow Up: Be a Lobster Boat Deckhand

There are only a few carefree summers in your life. Don’t waste them interning at law firms—opt for one of these adventure-packed seasonal gigs instead.

(Photo: Monty Rakusen)
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The Good: you’re on the open ocean, the pay’s great, and you’ll never complain about hard work again. The Bad: it’s nearly around-the-clock, demanding physical labor—hauling traps out of the water, removing the lobsters, cutting up bait fish with huge knives on rolling waves. After 20 hours there’s a four-hour break—sometimes. “If weather gets rough, I’ll keep guys on duty for up to 48 hours if I need to,” says Morgan Garrett, captain of the 64-foot Sea Star in Point Judith, Rhode Island.

Prereqs: “A driver’s license,” says Garrett. “A lot of deckhands are alcoholics and drug addicts who can’t keep a license and don’t show up for work on time, so a valid license says a lot.”

How to Break In: Walk the docks from New York to Boston, handing out résumés at boats. “Avoid Maine, where there’s a required two-year apprenticeship,” says Garrett. There’s no minimum age, as long as you can handle the work.

Pay: A share of the catch, which ranges from $600 to $1,800 per week, plus room and board at sea.

Romance Potential: Decent, just as soon as you get into shore, where you’ll be flush with cash at the port bars.

Résumé Skills: Knot mastery, ability to work like a mule, knife play.

Filed To: NatureWater ActivitiesFishing
Lead Photo: Monty Rakusen