Alaska - Summer Employment

Population is not the only reason they import labor from the lower 48 and the Philippines. (cannery workers) Most Alaska residents can't afford to work for what the tourist/summer jobs pay.  It is tough to live in Alaska, on a minimum wage job. If you don't want the job at what they pay, there are probably 3 more college aged kids or retirees, from outside, standing in line that will work for that.

A few years back, one of my nephews (junior in college at the time) signed on a house keeping crew at one of the hotels at McKinley.  He was paid for a 40 hour week, $125 plus R & B. By the end of the summer, he had saved up enough money to fly home. The hotel figured the wage plus the value of the room and board exceeded the Alaska minimum wage. LOL But he claimed he had never met so many young women in his life. Ah, to be young again.

But the wages all depend on what skills a person has to sell/provide.  i.e. if you can do heavy equipment maintenance, welding/fabrication, etc. then there tends to be good paying remote jobs in the fishing industry, mining, construction, etc.  Most/many of the good paying jobs in the tourist industry require state or national certifications, such as a captain's license for the charter fishing boats, a CDL with passenger endorsement, a guide's license or asst. license to work the hunting camps, etc.

Over the 25+ years I lived in Alaska, when I had time in the summers, I normally could find work to do.  Everything from freighting mining camp supplies, on the Yukon River in my boat, commercial fishing for salmon, delivering aircraft to Alaska from outside as a ferry pilot, bar tending, running equipment for contractors, doing arson investigations (public and private) (insurance companies), flying fish and supplies, working as a carpenter, etc. 

I grew up on a ranch in southern Oklahoma, so by the time I finished college and moved to Alaska, I already knew how to work and earn a living.

Just mentioning all this, as most good paying summer jobs do require a degree of skill/experience, to be able to make the pay check cover your costs. If you are just looking to cover your actual living costs while there, usually many jobs available.  Once the cruise ships start arriving in SE, jobs are available in most of the ports, gift shops, wait staff, dish washers, tour guides, live entertainment, hotel staff, bus drivers and so forth.  One big selling point for RVers, for a highway located job, is that you have your own housing.


   There are many volunteer positions available in Alaska each summer, mainly as campground hosts. Most government agencies that operate campgrounds, the federal government, state governments and school districts looking for school care takers/extra eyes for the summer. Most provide utility support in some manner, some provide a small monetary stipend, and all seem to provide a site upon which your RV can be parked