Alaska Jobs FAQs
Q: What types of fishing industry jobs are available in Alaska?
A: There are opportunities in a variety of different sectors
of the fishing industry. We cover them all; from working in a
salmon cannery to being a deckhand on a king crab boat. We also
have a database of over 2,500 sport fishing charter boats.
Most of the processing jobs and many of the deckhand jobs can
be done by inexperienced workers. You just need to be a healthy,
able-bodied adult and be willing to work hard.
Q: Do employers provide free room and board? What about transportation?
A: It depends on where you work. In general, if you are
working as a deckhand or on an offshore processing vessel, you
will be provided with room and board. If you are working at an
onshore processing plant, then it depends on a number of factors.
In most cases, if the facility is located in a remote area, you
will be provided room and board for free or at a highly subsidized
rate. If the processing plant is located in a town, then it really
depends on the company. In the Members Services section we cover
the housing policy of each processing plant.
Many companies will also help pay for travel from Seattle to
Alaska and back after the completion of a work contract. If you
gain employment, and it's at a more remotely located onshore plant,
then it's more likely you may receive free room and board and
Q: What about earnings-what's realistic for me to expect?
A: It's difficult to predict earnings due to variables
such as employers' compensation policies, the size of the harvest,
the market price of fish, and so forth. However, through the use
of the Members Service, you'll learn how workers earn up to $1,000+
per week during the peak season in a processing plant.
Working as a deckhand, you can make substantially more if your
boat has a good season. But, there is also the risk that you can
make less. Due to all of the variables involved, we don't like
to quote estimated deckhand earnings, but every year we are amazed
at how much some of the deckhands make.
Here are a couple articles from the Seattle Times daily newspaper
which state some potential earnings figures (you will need to register on the Seattle Times website to view these articles - It is free to register):
Q: I am not a United States citizen, can I still get a job
A: Yes you can, as long as you are able to procure a
United States Work Visa. We are not experts at work visa issues
and do not offer any support or assistance in this area. However,
we have asked Alliance Abroad Group to put together a review
of your work visa options:
Work Visa Information for Foreign Nationals
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding Work Visas for Foreign
In addition to a United States Work Visa, you will probably
also need to pay for your own transportation to Seattle (Washington
State) or Anchorage (Alaska). Most companies will also require
that you are able to understand basic spoken English.
Warning - We have received numerous
reports about companies recruiting employees for work in Alaska
in such countries as
India and South Africa. It appears that these companies are charging
large amounts of money for "guaranteed" jobs in Alaska. Please
use extreme caution if you talk to any of these companies. Reports
to us say that they are fraudulent and don't provide a job as
promised. We are not aware of any Alaska companies that have
Q: I am an employer and I would like to know more about
the visa process for hiring foreign nationals?
A: We are not experts in this area, but have asked Alliance
Abroad Group to put together the following information:
FAQ's for Employers Looking to Hire Foreign Nationals
Q: How long does it take me to set up a job using your service?
A: First of all, we don't guarantee jobs. What we do is
provide you with the best resources and tools available to help
you research and apply for the jobs that are best suited to your
For those hired, the time it takes varies from several days to
several months. The process for getting a harvesting job is very
different than that for a processing job. Possibilities include
writing or calling ahead, hooking up with a boat in Seattle or
the boat owner in a town near you during the off-season, or just
showing up in an Alaska town and following the strategy outlined
in the Members Section. Your job hunting tactics will
vary depending on what type of work you're looking for and the
time of year.
Q: How long do I have to work?
A: Companies hire in summer, in winter, and year-round,
depending on the fishery and the type of work. Thousands of workers
spend their summers processing during the salmon peak, while others
head North in winter for the harvesting and processing of groundfish.
Still others work year-round or ten months out of the year. A
worker's schedule will depend on availability and the type of
work they seek. Offshore processing employment contracts generally
range anywhere from three to six months. A summer onshore processor's
average contract is two to three (depending on the region) months.
Employment can be abandoned anytime after signing a contract,
but expect to lose some potential benefits (such as room and board
coverage, return transportation reimbursement, and end of season
Q: Will I know if I have a job before I leave for Alaska?
A: Many employers pre-hire, attempting to hire most of
the workers before the season. In our Members Section it explains how to apply in advance or apply as a walk-in at the
facility in Alaska. We provide information on getting a job in
each of the different fisheries and any of the five fishing regions
in Alaska; you choose the best option and pursue that avenue.
Q: How old do you need to be to work up in Alaska?
A: Although legally 16 year olds can work many of the positions in Alaska's fishing industry, we generally recommend people wait until they are 18 years or older.
There is no maximum age, as long as you are physically fit and can perform the work.
Q: Where should I work?
A: Different species of fish are caught and processed
in different areas. We divide up the territory into five distinct
fishery regions, each with its own peak season and living and
working opportunities: Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound
and Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian
Islands, and the Bristol Bay area. Using the information provided
for each region, potential applicants can evaluate not only the
type of work, but the cost of getting to the work site, the local
climate, and living conditions. Plus it's nice to consider the
proximity to desirable travel destinations (for after the season!).
Q: Do companies provide health insurance?
A: Some do and some don't. Workers with longer contracts
may have insurance; this depends on the company's policy. Most
seasonal workers will not receive company health insurance but
have coverage through Labor & Industries laws (i.e. worker's
Q: Do you have to be a student in order to get a job?
A: Absolutely not, but students looking for employment
like to work in Alaska because of the months of operation (summer)
and the wonderful experience it provides. Alaska fishery workers
come from a variety of different age groups, states (and countries),
Q: What if I don't have any experience in this type of work?
A: Most processing jobs, about 75 percent of ship based and shore based processing jobs require no previous experience. On the other hand,
skippers usually prefer to hire experienced deckhands, but lots
of individuals with no prior experience get hired because they
are able to convince the skipper that they are good hard workers
and would make a good addition to the crew. In the Member Services
section, we teach you the best strategies to land a job as a deckhand.
Q: What makes the information in the Members Services section
of AlaskaJobFinder.com better than other information on the internet?
A: We have been the leading Alaska fisheries employment
research organization for over seventeen years. No other company
has the experience that we have in helping people navigate their
employment options in Alaska's fishing industries. Hundreds of
industry insiders and experts have played a part in helping us
putting our resources together. There simply isn't any other information
available anywhere that is as thorough, up-to-date, and dedicated
specifically to help people find employment in Alaska's fishing
Yes, you can find some limited information for free on the internet.
But, to maximize your earning potential it is important to understand
the fishing industry. The fishing industry is a complex industry,
there are a number of different types of fish harvested, types
of fishing gear used, different regions with different fish
runs, and annual fluctuations. All of this can have a large
impact on how much you can make in the Alaska fishing industry.
We simplify everything for you and provide you with a strategy
to succeed. We don't charge much for access to our Member Services
section; in fact you can test out the service for five days
for only $3.95!
Q: Can my family go to Alaska with me and will the company
pay for their room and board?
A: The companies that offer room and board usually don't
make a habit out of subsidizing accommodations for families-only
for employees. Sometimes families can find independent housing
in the town they are working in, but the costs will usually be
the responsibility of the employee.
Q: Is it hard for women to find work?
A: While still largely a male-dominated industry, fish
harvesting and processing employs a considerable number of female
workers. Especially at onshore and offshore processors, women
are very much a part of the work force.
The number of women deckhands is increasing every year. There
are even a number of woman-owned and operated harvesting boats.
Nearly all employers would consider themselves Equal Opportunity
Employers (which is the law).
Q: Can a friend and I go up and work together?
A: It's common for friends to look together for work in
Alaska. If you gain employment, there's no guarantee that you'll
end up working together every day; it depends on which companies
you apply to and their individual employment practices and needs.
Q: What taxes do I have to pay when I am working in Alaska?
A: Workers in Alaska pay their required Federal taxes
like Social Security, Medicare, and regular federal withholdings.
Alaska does not have a state income tax. Generally, workers pay
the same taxes in Alaska that they pay back home.
Q: Are there any office jobs available?
A: Yes, each year there are a number of office jobs available.
Each processing facility has an office. Some people consider these
jobs more desirable, others prefer to work in the plant because
they often get more overtime hours there.
Q: Is coed housing available?
A: Sometimes yes. Of the companies that offer housing,
some provide for this arrangement, but the majority of accommodations
will separate men and women. If workers camp or find their own
housing, this obviously won't be an issue. Lots of options are
available and it varies from company to company.
Q: What types of boats and employers are profiled in your database?
A: We list and profile the following types of fish processors
and fishing boats:
- Onshore Processing Plants (90+ profiles): canneries,
fresh frozen facilities, and combination cannery and fresh frozen
- Other Onshore Employers: aquaculture centers and fish
- Offshore Processors (60 + company profiles): factory
trawlers, floating processors, factory longliners, and crab/catcher
- Fishing and Harvesting Boats (over 8,000 profiles):
purse seiners, drift gillnetters, set gillnetters, herring gillnetters,
long liners, power trollers, hand trollers, otter trawlers,
double otter trawlers, beam trawlers, pair trawlers, pots (i.e.
crab and shrimp), scallop dredgers, mechanical jiggers, and
- Other Commercial Fishing Operations: beach seine,
set gillnet, and fish wheels
- Commercial Fishing Support Vessels: tender and packing
- Other (over 2,500 profiles): sport charter fishing
Even though we have over 12,000 employers profiled in our database,
it is very easy to perform searches in the database to isolate
the subset of employers you would like to review or apply to.
Q: Is working on a sport fishing charter vessel a good job?
A: Yes, working on a sport fishing charter boat can be
a great job. Most of the jobs are during the summer, on salmon
or halibut charter boats. Deckhands get to meet a lot of interesting
people and usually have a decent amount of free time to explore.
Sport charter deckhands also can make excellent money. Most deckhands
get paid an hourly or daily wage plus tips. Combined it can amount
to $150 to $200 or more a day. If you enjoy fishing and have good
people skills, this can be a great way to spend your summer. We
profile just about every sports charter vessel that operates in
Alaska (over 2,500) in the Member Services section.
Q: Are there other jobs in Alaska beyond the fishing industry?
A: AlaskaJobFinder focuses on the Alaska fishing industry, but our team has expertise on many other seasonal industries as well. For instance, our job board features listings from oil companies, wilderness lodges, airlines, ski resorts, cruise and tour companies. If you're looking for a seasonal job or just adventurous employment in Alaska then a membership will be a helpful resource.
Q: What is the price of a subscription to your Member Services
A: Subscription to the Member Services section is very
reasonable. We charge $12.95 for 30 days; $29.95 for 90 days
and just $49.95 for a full year. We also offer a special five
day trial for only $3.95. We offer the trial, because we want
to make our service practically risk free. We are fully convinced
you will think a membership is an excellent value. If you are
even remotely considering spending some time working in one
of Alaska's fishing industries, a subscription to our Members
Service is well worth the price.
Annual memberships expire 365 days after registration. Annual
memberships do not automatically renew. Five day, 30-day and
90-day memberships do automatically renew at 30 day intervals
until cancelled by the member.
When you are ready to cancel your membership, we make it very easy, simply go to our MEMBERSHIP CANCELLATION PAGE and follow the instructions.
The transaction will show up on credit card statements as "JobFinderSites.com - 866-721-6083.
After you cancel, you can continue to use your membership until it expires. We do not refund unused portions of memberships.
Q: What if I lost or forgot my Username or Password?
A: You can retrieve lost or forgotten Usernames and Passwords by going to our Account Management Page and follows the instructions.
Q: What if I want to change my Username or Password?
A: You can also change your Usernames and Passwords by going to our Account Management Page and follows the instructions.
Q: How do I cancel my membership?
Cancellations must be done through the following links based on the method of payment you used:
if you paid by credit card.
if you paid by online check.
If you have trouble canceling your membership, please go to our MEMBERSHIP CANCELLATION PAGE and follow the instructions. *Please do not send a membership cancellation request by email.
Get started on your Alaska job search now!