Alaska Employment – Leading Summer Employers
Alaska summer employment is very popular among college students, recent college grads, and people who want to escape big city traffic and foul air. Some teachers and others who have the summer off may use summer employment in Alaska as a way to explore the state.
Fortunately, summer jobs in Alaska are typically plentiful as the state’s tourism industry is in overdrive from late-May through September.
But you may be wondering what kinds of companies are doing all of the hiring.
JobMonkey frequently has job listings posted by Alaska lodges and hotels, white water rafting guide services, and we also tell job seekers to pursue work in Alaska national parks and other seasonal government jobs. Thousands of opportunities are made available with ‘work seasons’ beginning in mid-May and ending in September.
But here is a list of the kinds of businesses that look for seasonal help during the summer months:
- Gift shops
- Stores near tourist locations
- Alaska cruise lines
- Tour guide companies
- Adventure tour companies
- Whitewater rafting companies
- Canoeing and kayaking companies
- Horseback riding camps
- Tourist fishing boats
- Commercial fishing boats
- Fish canning and processing factories
- National parks
- State parks
- Road crews
- Entertainment venues
Keep in mind that if the hospitality industry doesn’t interest you, the Alaska fishing industry is one of the largest summer employers, offering more than 20,000 Alaska fishing jobs. In fact, more than 50% of all the seafood produced in the United States comes from Alaska. That’s a lot of fish, and takes a lot of people to catch them, process them, and ship them. During the summer, most of the fishing industry jobs revolve around Alaska’s huge salmon fishery, but you’ll also find pollock, crab, herring, halibut, shrimp, sablefish, and Pacific cod. You can find work on a fishing boat or in the processing factory, as well as in a warehouse or in shipping and receiving.
Your Alaska job search can begin with JobMonkey but should include other resources such as the Alaska Job Center and the National Parks Service and Forest Service websites. You can also do your research and look for specific employers that interest you, and then visit their websites. Often, these employers will post job openings as well as a way for you to apply to them.
If you’re a college student looking for unskilled labor positions, the primary summer jobs include food services, seafood processing and fishing, guest services in the hospitality industry, retail sales, tour guiding, and a variety of outdoor and tourism related positions.
Positions for people with a higher level of skill and experience include seasonal cooks, tour bus drivers, forestry workers, fishing guides, and office workers. You should also check into internships that relate to your college degree. In just about every industry (forestry, naturalist, hospitality, hotel/motel, teaching, health care, marketing and business are a few examples) there are paid and unpaid summer internships. The benefit of pursuing one is that not only can you make money, but you’ll be gaining valuable experience that you can include on your resume, which can improve your chances of getting hired after you graduate.
Whether you’re a college student or any other kind of potential summer employee, all kinds of hospitality jobs need to be filled. You should also keep in mind that there are entertainment venues such as cruise ships, resorts, etc., that hire performers for the summer. If you have experience as an entertainer, don’t forget to research this kind of job. Although there are fewer of them, they do exist, and there is a need for performers that have some experience.
Take note that it’s harder to find work in the winter months, but outside of Anchorage there are several resorts offering ski jobs or hospitality jobs at ski resorts. Additionally, the Alaska oil industry in Prudhoe Bay provides many year-round oil jobs, but keep in mind that according to the state of Alaska, the number of jobs in the oil industry has fallen over the last five years. The two industries in which growth is expected, are in transportation and for teachers, especially rural areas. These do include seasonal jobs.
The bottom line, is that once you spend time working in Alaska, who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with the state and choose to look into year round Alaska teaching jobs, Alaska nursing jobs, or other Alaska careers. Your adventure in the north doesn’t have to be a ‘summer only’ affair.
After reading the next several pages you’ll have a better idea as to what kind of job you want to work in Alaska.