Alaska Fish Processing Jobs – Onshore Worker Housing

Housing in Alaska is limited and often very expensive. Fortunately, most of the processing facilities in the smaller, more remote towns offer employees some
kind of room and board free of charge. Seafood processing plants in the more populous areas will generally charge a subsidized fee between $8 and $15 per day for a bunk-style room and three hearty meals, or will provide free camping facilities that include showers.

Company-subsidized room and board is quite common in remote processing towns; however, accommodations vary by employer. The most luxurious facilities are two- to eight-person bunkhouses with amenities including laundry facilities, showers, a recreation center, and food service. At the other end of the spectrum, some companies offer nothing more than a spot to pitch a tent in a gravel parking lot. Do your homework before leaving to figure out what your options might be in each area you’re targeting.

One summer worker was pleasantly surprised by the living conditions:

    “They spoiled us. They had large tents, cheap, good food, free laundry for fish clothes, friendly staff.”

The fee charged to workers to stay in on-site facilities was introduced by fisheries as a cost-cutting measure. Some companies offer higher wages to workers who are willing to arrange for their own accommodations. In larger towns like Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Kenai, subsidized housing is offered less frequently, so many employees have to find their own accommodations. Many company bunkhouses are co-ed but the arrangement usually allows for separation of the sexes.

Of those employers that do provide housing for fee, many offer to reimburse all or a portion of housing costs upon completion of a pre-determined work contract. For instance, if you work until your employer’s ‘season’ is over, you’ll find reimbursement monies – perhaps even a bonus – on your final check.

Investigate the terms of your employment before you embark on your trip to Alaska. Don’t make assumptions about housing because you could end up very disappointed.

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