How Much Does a Barge Deckhand Make? Pay & Salary Scales

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Barge refers to a special type of self-propelled boat that is used for carrying heavy goods in bulk. You will get to see this flat-bottomed boat or barges in the river, canal and other water bodies. To conduct the day-to-day tasks, the barges recruit some deckhands. The deckhands generally take up tasks like cleaning the boat, breaking the tow, accumulating the tow ropes, etc.

Seeing these hard-working deckhands, a question can pop in your head ” How much does a barge deckhand make?”. Well, the deckhands on large commercial water vessels earn around 13 dollars for an hour. But, you should remember that the payment of the deckhands varies from one city to another.

Salary of barge deckhand in various states of United States of America

As we have told earlier, the deckhands get paid differently in various places. If you love to travel on the waters of the USA, you will get to see barges passing by the river and canals frequently. Here, we are going to talk about the salary of diligent deckhands in different states of the USA.


This American state is full of rivers and lakes. The deckhands receive around 163 dollars at the end of the day on barges of Alabama.


When it comes to Georgia, the boat crew members get one of the highest daily payments. The barge deckhands in Georgia earn around 170 dollars or more in a single day.


Situated near the Mississippi River, Illinois is one of the wealthiest states of America. Here, deckhands get paid approximately 176 dollars per day which is the highest in terms of crew member’s salaries.


In Indiana, the deckhands get around 21 dollars per hour. If they work around 8 hours a day, they can get a total of 172 dollars easily.

It has been seen that Texas and Louisiana offer the lowest amount of daily payment for crew members among the American states, including the deckhands. Deckhands will get approximately 138 dollars and 147 dollars in Texas and Louisiana, respectively.

Responsibility of deckhands on a barge

The deckhands get such a handsome salary because of their role in barges, ships, and other boats. They totally deserve the amount they are getting in various American states these days. Let’s know about the job detail of the deckhand in detail.

Do you know that sometimes the deckhands work up to 30 days at a stretch on boats without any break? Not only is this, but the deckhands are also called immediately when an emergency situation arises on the barges or other boats. They stand-watch for hours, lift heavy objects, monitor the water, and help in food preparation. The deckhands know how to handle marine VHF radios, and they are well-apprised of the navigation lights of various water vehicles.

What is the annual pay package and perks of deckhands?

Though it depends on the boat, the pay package is a minimum of 20,000 dollars in every case. In the case of fishing vessels, the deckhands undergo a hectic schedule, and they receive an annual salary of around 38,000 dollars. For barges, it can increase up to 44,000 dollars in a year. When onboard, the deckhands get free food and depending on the boats, they can also receive an extra amount if they put over time.

For the final words, if you are seeking a career in the boating and water world, you can consider being a deckhand for a while. Though it is a demanding job, it is good money, and you will get to learn a lot.