Seasonal Jobs with Wilderness Lodges, Hotels, & Resorts
Alaska hotels, resorts, and Alaska wilderness lodges hire a huge variety of summer employees, including people to work in maintenance, housekeeping, food services, gift shop, and reservations departments. There are hundreds of lodging places in the state of Alaska. While not all of them hire summer employees, many of them do.
These include positions such as:
- Front desk clerk
- Night auditor
- Restaurant services manager
- Seasonal chef
- Line cook
- Prep cook
- Seasonal bartender
- Laundry attendant
- Maintenance staff
- Sales clerk
- Room attendant
- Trip packer
- Customer service/concierge
- Gift shop cashier
- Restaurant cashier
- Reservation clerk
- Food prep
Previous experience in the hotel and hospitality industry is helpful but not always necessary, although this can depend on the type of establishment. High end luxury hotels will prefer to hire people with experience, while economy motels may be more open to hiring people who are willing and able to be trained. If you’ve had any number of retail jobs in the past, then those should be on your resume. Just having ongoing contact with customers may be all that some employers are looking for, while some employers will train on the job. In addition, you should enjoy working with people, have a service-oriented attitude, and possess basic math, communication, and organizational skills.
Working in the hospitality industry is great for friendly, cheerful people who enjoy working with the public. The hours for hospitality jobs tend to be more regular than guide jobs, but you should be prepared to work many evenings and on the weekends, when guests are more likely to be at the hotel and need assistance.
While Alaskan hotels and resorts are like hotels everywhere in some ways, they tend to be more remote than most. Employee housing may be in tents or off-grid communal cabins, and the nearest town could be more than 100 miles away!
You might be called upon to pitch in with maintenance at smaller resorts, or you may be given the opportunity to learn how to be a nature guide during your time off. Alaskan hotels and resorts tend to be close to nature. Another working condition to be aware of is the fact that during this very busy season you may find that the work – no matter what kind it is – is very fast-paced. You may be serving many customers during your shift, depending on the hotel and its location. If you’re looking for a laid back atmosphere, this may not be the job for you.
In addition to hospitality jobs, many resorts and wilderness lodges also hire nature guides and tour drivers. During your time off you can go hiking, camping, fishing, or participate in other outdoor activities. Some resorts also provide entertainment for their guests and hire experienced entertainers.
While each lodging facility will try to be competitive when it comes to wages, you should know that the average salary for employees at these companies, especially for seasonal employees, is not as high as other hospitality employers. For example, similar positions with cruise ships or high end restaurants may be more lucrative because they also pay tips. As a hotel/lodge/motel employee, if your job involves serving guests, then you may also receive tips. For example, if you’re a tour guide, you can earn good tips. However, if you’re a member of the kitchen staff or housekeeping, you usually won’t receive tips.
How to Apply for Summer Hotel/Motel Jobs in Alaska
You’ll find that most lodging facilities in Alaska with summer positions begin posting their open positions as early as March or April. You should begin your job search then, and have your resume and cover letter updated and ready to submit. Make sure to make special note of any experience that relates to the duties of the job you’re applying for. It’s also important to note that some positions may require you to start in May and continue working through September. If you’re a college student or teacher, that may not work for your schedule. Be sure to notify the employer of the dates that you’re available if they vary from those advertised for the position.
If these types of jobs, with the outdoors activities and environment, sound good, then be sure to consider all types of dude ranch jobs. Located primarily in the western states (i.e., Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Arizona), dude ranches hire wranglers, kitchen staff, housekeeping staff, and guides. Our dude ranch section covers the entire industry.
If you find a seasonal job and company that you enjoy, it’s very possible that you can work there again during subsequent summer seasons. Many seasonal employees return to the same companies year after year, which employers like. It means less work to find employees to fill open positions.