Warning: ob_start(): output handler 'ob_gzhandler' conflicts with 'zlib output compression' in /home2/tliscorg/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-gzip-compression/ezgz.php on line 39
Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council » Deck Hand/General Purpose Hand

Deck Hand

A Deck Hand is an entry level position within the maritime sector. Deck Hands undertake a wide range of fishery and maritime work, both on land and at sea. They work closely with the Master/Engineer to ensure the safety of the vessel, passengers and crew.

The responsibilities of a Deck Hand include:

  • Assisting in berthing and unberthing vessels
  • Maintenance duties such as greasing machinery, cleaning and painting
  • Watchkeeping
  • Operation of winches and equipment

The duties of a Deck Hand can vary depending on the type of vessel they work on. A fishing vessel may require the use of pots, lines and scuba equipment. A recreational or charter vessel may require hospitality services, including taking care of passengers and serving refreshments. The position of Deck Hand is also the starting point for career progression within the sector to other occupations such as a Coxswain, Master and Engineer.

Industry facts

  • Deck Hands may work on a wide range of vessels including; ferries, trawlers, dredgers, customs patrol vessels, fisheries patrol boats and pilot vessels.
  • Deck Hands must be physically fit, have normal colour vision, an awareness of maritime safety issues and excellent hand-eye coordination.
  • Deck Hands work in all types of weather conditions and some positions require long hours at sea.

Entry Qualifications

Workers must hold a First Aid Certificate and a current certificate of medical fitness that certifies they meet required medical and eyesight standards.


  • AMSA Certificates of Rating apply to this role dependent on vessel type/size.

Training qualification:

  • Certificate I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand)

Estimated Salary

$41,000 – $82,000*
*Wages will vary according to your level of skill, experience, employer and geographical location.

Download Profile

PDF document Deck Hand/General Purpose Hand Career Overview