Tourism and seafood – Alaska’s big seasonal employment industries.
The seafood industry includes onshore and offshore processing and harvesting (fishing) job opportunities.
There’s another type of Alaska summer job to look into as well: Aquaculture. Maybe that word’s foreign to you…so how about ‘salmon hatcheries?’
Aquaculture is an industry that brings science and fishing together. It is the process of raising aquatic creatures in a man-made environment. In Alaska, this means salmon fish hatcheries.
Hatchery raised fish make up a significant percentage, 15% to 20%, of fish harvested in Alaska and subsequently served in restaurants and on dinner tables. The hatcheries can be run by the state or private organizations. The state focuses on spawning the fish in natural environments and the private groups focus more on rearing the fish in salmon pens.
The perks for working in the aquaculture world are good. You may end up in a remote and scenic location usually near an ocean or river, with an endless wilderness in your backyard. It may only be accessible by floatplane or boat. Wildlife, fish, fresh air, endless sunlight, and the great outdoors surround you all day every day. Granted you may get a little cabin fever, but the work keeps you busy and entertained.
You’ll get to work with a small team of people. The atmosphere is laid back as long as you get your work done on time and in good form. The team usually consists of a biologist, a fish culturist, and about a dozen seasonal workers. Seasonally workers in aquaculture often want to become full-time employees because they love what they do. The money isn’t half bad. Everything is provided for you.
Depending on the organization you’re working for, you might get three meals a day, a nice bed, and a solid paycheck, which ranges from about $1,200 to $2,000 a month.
If you take the career route, you’ll make a nice annual salary. Working in a remote location means you don’t have many places to spend money, so most money you make, you’ll be able to save.
Then when the summer ends you can head back to the “real” world with money in your pocket and quality memories in the back of your mind.
Overall this is one of the better summer seasonal fishing positions because of the cool outdoor locations, close camaraderie of the team, and the money saving potential. It’s definitely one to consider when you’re thinking about heading all the way to the Alaska.