Summer Jobs in Alaska - Travel & Tourism, Fishing, Parks
Because Alaska's winters are so harsh, this state really comes alive in the summer, with jobs opening every single year as soon as the weather starts to warm. Working in Alaska does require commitment, since you have to travel to this state, which is a pretty far trip for most people. However, once you're there, you can actually make a substantial salary, depending on the job you take.
Summer jobs in Alaska typically fall into three categories: fishing, tourism/hospitality, and scientific. In each of these areas, there are jobs for beginners with little experience, as well as jobs for those who are professionals in the field. Many also give you the chance to come back season after season, so you can build experience over the years and even score a year-round position eventually. Let's take a look at some of the summer positions available in Alaska in all three of these industries.
Alaskan Fishing Jobs
Summer fishing jobs available in Alaska include both onshore and offshore opportunities. Onshore, you can work in a seafood processing plant, while offshore, you can work on a boat as a deckhand, a job made popular by the television show Deadliest Catch. Onshore workers are typically paid a per-hour rate, while deckhands earn a percentage of the boat's total catch value. Keep in mind that not all offshore jobs are with small crews like you see on TV. Some boats have more than 100 people on board.
If you're looking for excitement and don't mind hard work, fishing jobs on boats are your best bet - it's one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and while you will work long hours under high physical demands, the payoff can be extremely high for just a few months of work. The downside is that crew positions fill quickly and most of the time, people are hired by word of mouth. So, you may want to start by working in an onshore position as you get to know the industry and the people who can recommend you for a deckhand job.
Quick Fact: Over half of all seasonal Alaskan fishing jobs are filled by people who don't live in Alaska year-round.
Alaskan Park Jobs
Alaska is home to millions of acres of national parks, including a number of campsites, hiking trails, and other recreational areas open to Alaska's visitors and residents during the summer months. If you're interested in a job that combines science with hospitality, a seasonal national park job in Alaska might be right for you. There are maintenance and park ranger jobs for those who want to care for the land and provide safety for visitors, or you can instead consider working at a science/nature center, where you'll work more closely with tourists to provide information about the park.
Alaskan Tour Guides
During the summer months, many locations in Alaska hire tour guides to show visitors the natural beauty. These aren't just regular tour guides, though. You could work guiding rafters down the river, leading hikers through remote forest areas, kayaking with tourists around the coast, working on Alaska's network of ziplines as a canopy guide, and more. Some guides lead multiple tours every day, while others plan more lengthy excursions that require you to call on survival skills to ensure everyone on the tour is safe.
Alaskan Lodge Jobs
Not everyone visiting Alaska over the summer wants to camp or stay in an RV. This state is home to thousands of wilderness lodges, hotels, and resorts, all employing temporary staff during the busy tourist season. These locations hire housekeepers, front desk managers, gift shop cashiers, kitchen staff, bartenders, drivers, groundskeepers, security, activities directors, and other support staff.
Alaskan Science Jobs
During the winter months, scientific expeditions to study Alaska's wildlife are common. These research projects are organized by government departments, university research groups, non-profits, and other organizations. Some positions are paid, while others are internships for college credit only or volunteer positions that pay only for room and board while you're in Alaska.
Summer jobs in Alaska might be perfect for those who have a sense of adventure or who want to eventually land full-time year-round jobs in this state. But what if you're a teacher with some free time in the summer who wants to stay a little closer to home? Check out the next page to find some job opportunities for educators who want a temporary summer position.