Alaska Onshore Fish Processing Plant Jobs
There are several different types of processors in Alaska, the most common of which are fresh-frozen plants and salmon canneries.
There are relatively few actual “canneries” in Alaska anymore. While the term “salmon cannery” is still widely used, very few processing plants actually “can” fish.
The majority of so-called “canneries” are really fresh frozen plants that clean and freeze whole fish, which are later sold. The plants themselves are usually permanent structures found in coastal Alaska towns convenient to major fishing areas. Where do they get the fish? Plants purchase fish from vessels that come in during periodic fishing closures or when their below-deck fish holds are full.
These onshore processing outfits employ the majority of first-time workers and people traveling to Alaska to work each summer (especially college students). Most work requires little or no special training. As you’ll see, though, the work can be wet, cold, and monotonous. The possibility of making good money in a short time is a major incentive for workers. Earnings of over $7,000 for only two short months of work are common during a good season.
In this section, our goal is to provide you with specific information about onshore processing, from what the work entails to how plants are structured. We also hope to give you a sense of how much you can expect to earn in a summer and what the job-related risks are for workers in the industry.