Summer Jobs in the Great Alaska Wilderness

If you still haven’t found a job that sounds ideal work. Here are some more ideas that you might enjoy.

Adventure/Guiding – Tourists want to experience the great outdoors when they visit Alaska. This is a huge market and there is a big demand for guides of all sorts. You may lead kayak tours in Glacier Bay, guide the rapids on the Six Mile River, take people to float and fly fish on the Portage River, guide in avalanche terrain in the Chugach, lead backpacking trips in the Talkeetnas, point out wildlife in Kenai, go for an off-road adventure in Sitka, or take people deep sea fishing in Homer. You’ll make around $50 to $100 a day for most of these sweet gigs. These jobs are some of the hardest jobs to get because everyone wants them. If you do land one of these dream jobs, you probably will come back summer after summer. Possibly, forever.

Outdoor Hiking Guide in Alaska

Parks – Alaska is almost all wilderness area. That’s part of Alaska’s allure. And it makes sense that the main tourist attractions are the National Parks. There are lots of seasonal positions there that would excite anyone. It’s a tough job market and a difficult process to get a job with the federal government, but you should try. You’ll make an average of $15 an hour. If you do land a job as a park ranger in one of the big parks in Alaska, you may never go back to the traffic-ridden cities you used to call home.

Science – The National Parks are prime locations for scientists. Glacier Bay is constantly changing and Denali spans several eco-systems. There is an abundance of pristine nature to study in Alaska and it makes the place an ideal research spot. Biology, forestry, geology, geography, zoology, and glaciology are all big topics. Positions will require higher education in the chosen field, but internships, where you need less experience, are widely available. You may work for a private firm, a university, or the government. And these are jobs that pay well. Scientists often make upwards of $75,000 a year. There are also science centers spread across the state to help educate tourists. This means more basic and less experienced science-based jobs are available too. These jobs, like speakers and nature guides, pay around $9.75 to $15 per hour.

Fishing – The fishing industry provides over 20,000 jobs every summer. Opportunities exist both onshore and offshore. You may be catching fish, cleaning decks, gutting salmon, loading boats, or working in a cannery. You could be harvesting, processing, or working in aquaculture. The money can be absolutely incredible if you’re part of a boat crew or menial if you’re gutting fish. The range can be from $9.75 an hour to over $20,000 for an epic summer season.

It’s a cool industry and one of Alaska’s largest summer employment opportunities.

Alaska Pipeline Jobs photoOil Jobs – OK – not really summer job but worth looking into! Alaska is oil central. There are tons of lucrative jobs on the oilrigs above the Arctic Circle or at various stations along the pipeline. The oil industry is very rich and this means these jobs pay well. You’ll make an average of $18 to $25 an hour, plus overtime. There is lots of overtime to boost your hourly wage. They are located in very remote areas. This means that all the jobs for a small city or oilrig are necessary. These jobs are often hard to get for people from the Lower 48 and often require year-round commitments, but there are also plenty of seasonal jobs available. You may push a button or flip a switch every hour on the hour, or fix and repair the oilrigs, or cook delicious meals for the workers. There are lots of options.

Jobs and more jobs. The big problem here is that they are all great ways to spend your summer so it may be hard to choose. Take a look around, do some research, then most importantly pick a job that appeals to you. No matter what you do, just being in Alaska is what it’s all about. Take advantage of your time up north. It’s an incredible place.


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