Working in the Alaska Seafood Industry
Alaska brings in seasonal workers from around the world. Summer time is the peak of seasonal work in Alaska. Summer jobs in Alaska are made up of a variety of industries within the state. The seafood industry provides many jobs to help harvest and process the large volume of salmon that run each year during the summer months. Seafood processing provides employment for many individuals that venture to Alaska each summer to take part in the action. Traditionally known as employment for college students the industry has changed greatly in the past 10 years. Due to the short seasons, typically 3-4 months, seafood processing attracts migrant workers from around the globe.
Opportunity for summer employment in the seafood processing industry is abundant. Many seafood companies have operations that span across the state of Alaska. Locations take place from Bristol Bay, Alaska in the Southwest part of the state clear down to Craig, Alaska located in Southeast Alaska. Due to the short season and physical demands of the job, companies are constantly looking for employees that are willing to work long hours and work in remote locations. It is best to begin your search for these jobs in the months of January to March. Seafood companies generally begin hiring for their summer salmon seasons in March to April. Due to the logistics and remote locations you want to make sure you contact these companies early to get on their list of potential applicants.
To begin you search of companies for a summer job in seafood processing you will want to contact the human resources department. This department deals with the hiring process which may consist of a phone interview, background check, and drug test. Most seafood companies have corporate offices in Seattle, WA and if hired, will pay your way to Alaska from Seattle. Your biggest expense is the cost of travel from your home to Seattle. From here the costs can become as limited as you want them to be. Many companies cover room and board at the remote Alaska locations and others charge a small daily fee.
Seafood processing is physically and mentally draining. Seafood plants may have you working shifts from 16 to 18 hours a day. Most jobs are monotonous and occur in wet environments. It is very important to be prepared for this type of employment. Many workers find themselves wanting to go home after a few days of work. In most cases workers that decide to quit are responsible for their trip home. This can be very expensive in remote locations of Alaska.
Seafood processing is a great way to experience remote Alaska and meet many wonderful people while you are doing it. It is very important to prepare yourself for 16 hour work days and months away from civilization. Even if this is not the career for you it can create memories that you will remember for the rest of your life. Take a look at Typical Day of a Seafood Processor for a better idea of what a seafood processor experiences day to day.
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