As the fishing industry is so big, there are many other opportunities if you’re not interested working in a processing plant or an ocean-bound boat.
These jobs may be more up your alley.
Fish Biologist – This job usually requires at least a college degree in ecology, biology, zoology, fisheries management, or wildlife conservation. Biologist jobs are slim for the pickings, but when opening occurs be sure to jump on them. You will spend your time study the health of fish in hatcheries. You research will help find new ways to manage fish populations and regulations. It’s fun stuff and you can make anywhere from $35,000 to $70,000 a year, with minimal expenses.
Every aquaculture location needs a fish culturist. The culturist is in charge of any and all laboratory work. After a few summers in Alaska, it may become your dream career. The job requires a degree in fisheries and knowledge of computers and labs. As for the day-to-day grind, you’ll be transporting fish, buying supplies, feeding incubators, educating visitors, studying and researching fish populations, and supervising the aquaculture stations. You’ll start with a salary of around $30,000 a year, with very few expenses.
Fish Technician – This can be a hard, wet, cold, and tedious job available to newcomers. If you’re interested in fisheries this is a good way to get your foot in the door of this lucrative industry. Essentially you’ll be rinsing eggs or killing and “bonking” fish. It’s not a glorious job, but it’s a great environment. You’ll earn around $1,600 a month, Overtime is rare and budget cuts are common. There are lots of opportunities for advancement. If you’re truly interested in this field, a job as a fish technician is a great place to get started.
Temps – As budgets are cut, there are less full-time seasonal employees and there are more opportunities to do temporary work. If you’re traveling around Alaska, this may be a good way to keep your travels going and make a quick buck. How much you make depends on what temp job you get though.
Government Aquaculture – The Alaska Department of Fish and Games is a big employer of aquaculture because it helps support the state. They supervise many of the government run aquaculture locations and also do the hiring. Usually these state hatchery jobs are reserved for Alaskans and pay around $45,000 a year. If you’re from out of state look for jobs in the private sector.
Domestic Observer – This may be one of the best jobs ever. As required by the National Marine Fisheries Service, a domestic observer must be present at all fish facilities – onshore and offshore to collect fish-catch data. The data is used to ensure no rules are broken, but also to help manage fish populations and sustain Alaska’s fishing industry. This job is sweet, but don’t expect to be hired unless you have a college degree in a related field.
All hiring and training is done by the NMFS. As the liaison between the fishermen and the government you play an important role as mediator between the two groups. You get paid well, around $120 to $185 a day, to go observe fishing practices and you can even help out.
Alaska has a wealth of fishing jobs for summer workers. You just need to figure out what you want to do and send off your application. You’ll be working in Alaska before you know it.