fishing jobs in alaska

Fishing Jobs in Alaska: Opportunities, Challenges, and Rewards


fishing boats in Alaska

The fishing industry in Alaska is a vital component of the state’s economy. It supports thousands of jobs and brings in millions of dollars every year. With a coastline stretching over 6,600 miles and an abundance of marine life, Alaska is a prime location for fish harvesting. The industry’s success has caused it to become a staple of the state’s identity and culture.

There are various types of fishing jobs available in Alaska, including those that involve working on boats and those that are land-based. Many of these jobs require a significant amount of physical labor and can be quite demanding. However, they also provide great opportunities for adventure and personal growth.

One of the most common types of fishing jobs in Alaska involves working on commercial fishing boats. These boats can range in size from small vessels that are just a few feet long to large industrial vessels that are hundreds of feet in length. Working on a commercial fishing boat involves various tasks such as setting and pulling nets, sorting and processing fish, and general maintenance of the vessel.

Another type of fishing job in Alaska is shore-based processing. This involves working in facilities that process and package fish caught by commercial fishing boats. These facilities are typically located near the coast and provide a range of positions, including quality control, packaging, and distribution.

Fishing lodges are also a significant employer in Alaska’s fishing industry. These lodges provide accommodations for tourists who come to fish in the state’s abundant waters. Positions at fishing lodges can include boat operators, guides, and hospitality staff.

In addition to these roles, there are also jobs available in research and management. These positions involve monitoring fish populations, assessing environmental impacts, and ensuring compliance with regulations. These jobs require specialized knowledge and training, and they play a critical role in sustaining Alaska’s fishing industry for future generations.

The fishing industry in Alaska offers a diverse range of jobs that span from demanding physical work to specialized positions requiring advanced training. However, regardless of the job, working in Alaska’s fishing industry provides a unique and enriching experience that is hard to match anywhere else in the world.

Fishing Jobs Available

Fishing Jobs in Alaska

If you are looking for a job that allows you to work in the great outdoors while earning a good income, then consider fishing jobs in Alaska. The fishing industry is one of the largest employers in the state, offering a variety of positions for people with different skill sets and interests. Here is an overview of the different types of fishing jobs available:


Deckhands in Alaska

A deckhand is an entry-level position that involves working on a fishing vessel. Deckhands are responsible for various tasks, such as preparing gear, sorting fish, and cleaning the boat. This job requires physical strength, as it involves lifting heavy objects and working in adverse weather conditions. Deckhands are usually paid hourly, with salaries ranging from $10 to $20 per hour, depending on experience.


processors in alaska

Processors work in seafood processing plants, where they clean, fillet, and package fish. This job requires attention to detail and the ability to work quickly. Processors are usually paid hourly, with salaries ranging from $10 to $16 per hour, depending on experience. Some processors work on fishing vessels, where they process the fish as it is caught. This job requires working long hours in a cramped space while the boat is at sea.

Boat Captains

Boat Captains in Alaska

A boat captain is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a fishing vessel. This job requires leadership skills, as well as knowledge and experience in navigation, fishing techniques, and safety procedures. Boat captains are usually paid a salary, which can range from $50,000 to $200,000 per year, depending on the size and type of vessel.


Engineers in Alaska

Engineers are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the fishing vessel’s engine and other mechanical systems. This job requires technical skills and knowledge in diesel engines, hydraulics, and electrical systems. Engineers work closely with the boat captain to ensure that the vessel is operating safely and efficiently. They are usually paid a salary, which can range from $40,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on experience and qualifications.

Working in the fishing industry in Alaska can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It offers the opportunity to work in a beautiful and remote environment, while earning good pay and gaining valuable skills. If you are interested in pursuing a fishing career in Alaska, be sure to research the different types of jobs available and find one that suits your interests and skills.

Physical Fitness Requirements for Fishing Jobs

Physical Fitness Requirements for Fishing Jobs

If you are considering a career in fishing, it is important to understand that the work can be physically demanding. Most fishing jobs require lifting, carrying, pulling, and pushing heavy equipment and machinery. Workers must also be able to work long hours on their feet in all types of weather conditions, including rain and high winds. For this reason, physical fitness is a must for anyone looking to work in the fishing industry.

Some of the physical fitness requirements for fishing jobs may include:

  • Being able to lift heavy loads up to 100 pounds
  • Holding your breath for up to 1-2 minutes while diving for fish
  • Having good balance and coordination while on a fishing boat that can sway in rough waters
  • Walking for extended periods of time without experiencing fatigue or muscle weakness
  • Wearing protective gear, such as rubber boots and rain gear, for long periods of time

Many fishing companies will require a physical fitness examination before hiring an employee to ensure that they are physically able to perform the job duties.

Certifications Required for Fishing Jobs

Certifications Required for Fishing Jobs

Certifications can be required in certain situations for fishing jobs. One of the most common certifications is the US Coast Guard Master Captain’s License. This certification allows an individual to operate a commercial fishing vessel and is required by law for anyone who wants to work as a captain on a fishing boat.

Other certifications that may be required for fishing jobs include:

  • First Aid and CPR Certification
  • Marine Radio Operator Permit
  • Fishing License
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Certification

Employers may also require certain training programs or courses to be completed before starting work. For example, workers may need to complete a safety training program or a course on handling and storing fish properly.

Experience Required for Fishing Jobs

Experience Required for Fishing Jobs

The level of experience required for fishing jobs can vary depending on the position. Some entry-level positions may require little to no experience, while others may require several years of experience in fishing or a related industry.

For example, a deckhand, or a person who assists the captain with the operation of the fishing vessel, may not need any experience, but it is helpful for them to have completed training programs or courses related to the fishing industry.

On the other hand, a fisherman who operates equipment and machinery may need several years of experience in the industry. This experience can be gained by working in entry-level positions and working their way up to higher-paying positions.

Ultimately, having experience in fishing or a related industry can be beneficial when looking for a job in the field. Employers may prefer to hire individuals with experience because they may require less training and can be more efficient at the job.

In summary, if you are interested in working in the fishing industry, you must be physically fit, have the required certifications, and the necessary experience. Each job may have different requirements, but by having these three components, you can increase your chances of being successful in finding a job in this exciting industry.

Work Environment

fishing jobs in alaska

Working in Alaska’s fishing industry is not for the faint of heart nor for those who are not used to hard work. The job requires long hours, physical endurance, and mental toughness, but it offers a sense of adventure that is hard to find in other industries. The work environment is challenging due to the unpredictable weather conditions, remote locations, and harsh work conditions.

The most significant challenge that fishermen face is the weather. Alaska’s weather can be erratic, with sudden storms and gales of wind. It is not uncommon for the weather to change quickly and unexpectedly, so fishermen always need to be prepared for the worst. The work demands that they have to be ready year-round to sail out no matter the weather conditions, which often results in working in extreme conditions of cold and wetness.

The work is demanding and may require long hours of labor. Fishermen sometimes spend days and even weeks in the open sea, fishing for salmon, cod, halibut and crab. Working onboard can mean a lack of sleep, cramped living quarters, and tough physical exertion. The work conditions can be grueling, especially for those who are not used to it. Physical strength and endurance are necessary to do this job.

Fishing vessels are usually stationed in remote areas, meaning that the workers are away from their families and friends for the duration of their contract. They are in close quarters with their fellow workers, and communication with the rest of the world is limited. It requires mental, physical and emotional preparation to maintain oneself while working for months on the open sea.

Despite the challenges, working in the fishing industry provides an opportunity for adventure-loving individuals who are not content with the usual desk job. For those willing, the rewards can be great. Not only is the earning potential significantly high, but the breathtaking scenery, the fresh air, and the camaraderie among crew members make for a memorable experience.

In conclusion, working in Alaska’s fishing industry is undoubtedly challenging, but for those who are prepared, it is an opportunity to earn a good living while enjoying an adventurous lifestyle. The work conditions are harsh, but those who are hardworking, mentally and emotionaLly prepared while having physical endurance can find a sense of fulfillment in the fishing industry.

Salaries for Fishing Jobs in Alaska

Salaries for Fishing Jobs in Alaska

Fishing jobs in Alaska can be lucrative, but salaries can vary depending on the type of fishing job and the employer. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, in 2020 the average annual wage for commercial fishermen and related workers in Alaska was approximately $47,500. However, some experienced fishermen can earn more than $100,000 a year, while entry-level positions may pay closer to the minimum wage.

In addition to standard wages, many fishing jobs offer other benefits, such as room and board, transportation to and from the vessel, and a share of the catch. Some employers also offer signing bonuses or bonuses based on catch performance. It’s important to note that fishing jobs are often seasonal, and workers may only work a few months out of the year.

Health Insurance for Fishing Jobs in Alaska

Health Insurance for Fishing Jobs in Alaska

Fishing jobs in Alaska often come with health insurance benefits. Many employers offer private health insurance plans, while others provide coverage through the Fishermen’s Fund, which is a state-run program that provides medical benefits for commercial fishermen who have a history of working in Alaska. The program covers medical, dental, and vision care expenses, as well as emergency medical transportation.

Commercial fishermen are also required to have a United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) and must pass a physical examination. The MMC serves as a form of identification and proof of a fisherman’s qualifications to work on commercial vessels. It also ensures that the fisherman is physically able to handle the demands of the job.

Vacation and Retirement

Vacation and Retirement for Fishing Jobs in Alaska

Many fishing jobs in Alaska offer paid vacation time and retirement benefits. The amount of vacation time varies depending on the employer and the position, but it typically ranges from one to four weeks per year. Employers may also offer paid sick leave and personal days.

Retirement benefits can include 401(k) plans, pension plans, or other retirement savings plans. Some employers also offer profit-sharing programs, which allow workers to share in the company’s profits.

Other Benefits

Other Benefits of Fishing Jobs in Alaska

Other benefits of fishing jobs in Alaska may include opportunities for career advancement, on-the-job training, and the chance to work outdoors in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the state. Fishing jobs also offer a sense of adventure and camaraderie with other fishermen, as well as the satisfaction of providing a valuable resource for consumers around the world.

Overall, the pay and benefits of fishing jobs in Alaska can be attractive for workers who are willing to work hard and take on the challenges of the job. While the work can be physically demanding and often takes place in harsh weather conditions, the rewards can be significant, both financially and personally.

Online Job Boards

Online Job Boards

One of the best places to start when looking for fishing jobs in Alaska is online job boards. These job boards are specifically designed for job seekers to find employment opportunities in various industries, including fishing. Some of the most popular online job boards for fishing jobs in Alaska include:

  • Indeed is one of the largest job boards in the world. It aggregates job listings from various sources, including company websites and other job boards, making it a great place to find fishing jobs in Alaska.
  • Craigslist is a popular classified ads website that also has a job board. The website is categorized by city, making it easy to find fishing jobs in specific locations in Alaska.
  • Coolworks is a niche job board that specializes in outdoor jobs, including fishing jobs in Alaska. It’s a great place to find seasonal jobs in the state’s fishing industry.
  • is a job board specifically designed for job seekers looking for employment opportunities in Alaska. It has a section dedicated to fishing jobs in the state.

When searching for fishing jobs on online job boards, it’s important to use specific keywords related to the industry. Keywords such as “fishing,” “commercial fishing,” and “cannery worker” can help job seekers narrow down their search and find relevant job postings.

Local Fishing Companies

Local Fishing Companies

Another great place to find fishing jobs in Alaska is by contacting local fishing companies. There are many companies that operate in the state’s fishing industry, including commercial fishing companies, processing plants, and more. These companies may not always post their job openings online, so reaching out to them directly can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Some of the largest fishing companies in Alaska include:

  • Alaska Seafood: Alaska Seafood is a large processing company that specializes in wild-caught seafood. They operate throughout Alaska and hire workers for a variety of positions in their processing plants.
  • Bristol Bay Native Corporation: Bristol Bay Native Corporation is a diversified company that operates in many industries, including fishing. They work with a number of local fishing companies in Alaska and offer jobs in both commercial fishing and processing.
  • Icicle Seafoods: Icicle Seafoods is a large fishing company that operates in Alaska and other locations. They offer jobs in commercial fishing, processing, and shipping.

When contacting local fishing companies about job opportunities, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the type of work you’re interested in. Many companies offer a variety of positions, from deckhand to processing, so knowing what you’re looking for can help you target your job search.



Finally, networking can be a valuable tool when looking for fishing jobs in Alaska. The fishing industry is a tight-knit community, and many jobs are filled through word-of-mouth recommendations. By networking with people in the fishing industry, job seekers can learn about job openings before they’re posted online and can get a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in the industry.

There are many ways to network in the fishing industry, including:

  • Attending industry events: Fishing industry events, such as trade shows and conferences, can be a great way to meet people in the industry and learn about job opportunities.
  • Volunteering: Volunteering with a local fishing organization or charity is another way to get involved in the industry and make valuable connections.
  • Using social media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can be great tools for networking in the fishing industry. Joining industry groups and connecting with people in the industry can help job seekers learn about job opportunities and make connections.

Networking takes time and effort, but it can lead to valuable job opportunities in the fishing industry in Alaska.


Alaska Fishing Jobs

Alaska is a paradise for fishermen and job seekers who want to work in the great outdoors. The state’s vast expanse of water bodies and the diverse range of fish species make it a perfect place for getting a job in the fishing industry. Any person who is willing to work hard and adapt to difficult working conditions can easily land a job here. Being a fisherman in Alaska does not only offer the chance to earn a good income but also an opportunity to have a unique experience. In this article, we have discussed the subtopics of fishing jobs in Alaska, and how each one leads to different methodologies, requirements, and advantages.

Types of Fishing Jobs

Types of Fishing Jobs

There are many types of fishing jobs in Alaska, ranging from commercial fishing to recreational fishing. Commercial fishing jobs offer the opportunity to catch high-value fish species such as salmon, crab, herring, and halibut. Meanwhile, recreational fishing jobs give fishermen the chance to participate in guided tours and experience fishing in a social setting. Other fishing jobs in Alaska include fish processing, fishery observer, fish biologist, and boat repair technician. Each type of fishing job requires different skills and qualifications.

Requirements for Fishing Jobs

Requirements for Fishing Jobs

Getting a fishing job in Alaska requires some level of physical fitness, as it can be both physically and mentally challenging. Most fishing jobs require the applicant to be at least 18 years old with a valid fishing license and a good level of health. Some jobs may also require specific certifications or training, such as a Coast Guard certification, CPR certification, or a safety training course. Additionally, being able to communicate effectively and work as part of a team is also important, as the work may involve long hours and working in harsh weather conditions.

Advantages of Fishing Jobs

Advantages of Fishing Jobs

There are many advantages of working in Alaska’s fishing industry. One of them is the potential to earn a good income, especially during the peak fishing season when the demand for fish is high. Another advantage is the opportunity to work outdoors and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Alaska’s landscape. Furthermore, working in the fishing industry means you’ll get to form close working relationships with coworkers, building up a camaraderie that can last a lifetime. Plus, if you live in Alaska during the winter off-season, you’ll be surrounded by a unique blend of American and native cultures and the ambiance of small-town living.

Challenges of Fishing Jobs

Challenges of Fishing Jobs

A fishing job in Alaska can also present challenges, including the potential danger of navigating rough seas and unpredictable weather conditions. Working hours can be long and irregular, and the conditions on fishing boats and in fish processing plants can be cramped and uncomfortable. The work can also be physically demanding and requires a high level of concentration. Moreover, you’ll be away from your family and friends for extended periods, and job security can be less predictable in years when fish stocks decline.


Alaska Fishing

Despite the challenges, fishing jobs in Alaska can offer a unique and adventurous experience that few other jobs can match. The opportunity of being a part of the state’s fishing industry offers both personal and professional growth which can instill lifelong lessons and skills. From the chance to earn a good income, the opportunity to work with Mother Nature, and experiencing Alaskan culture, a job in the fishing industry can be one of the most rewarding careers available today. So, don’t hesitate to explore this amazing career option and start planning your fishing adventure in Alaska!

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