Anonymous
Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesOther - United States · 1 decade ago

I'm a senior in High School and I'm interested in working in the Alaska fishing industry as a summer job.

I'd like to earn some money for college. Can anyone tell me about the sort of life I would have and what I could expect to be paid? I would be available to work from mid June to mid August this coming summer.

Most of the information I found on the internet was from recruiters, so I'm not sure about the truthfulness of it all. Thanks!

1 Answer

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    First of all, you should never have to pay someone to find you a fishing job (absolutely never!)

    The state of Alaska has a page dedicated to seafood jobs in the state. The URL is:

    http://www.labor.state.ak.us/esd_alaska_jobs/home....

    In that page, there is a section on fishing jobs. Read this to learn about the industry and how to avoid getting scammed.

    They usually have some job listings on the web page. The State of Alaska also has regional job centers and seafood contacts at each center (on the bottom of the fishing page if I recall). They only have addresses, but I think if you look up the job center phone numbers on the state of Alaska page, you can probably find these people. Call each of these people up and see what they can do for you!

    Most of finding a fishing job in Alaska is about being in the right place at the right time.

    If you are a gambling type person, you can get a job at a seafood processing plant and see if you can talk to the incoming captains and try to get on a boat. The seafood processing jobs tend to be about the crappiest job you can get from what I hear.

    Fishing jobs tend to be hard to come by. Since the Discovery Channel started the Deadliest Catch, a lot of people have been drawn by the potential for riches.

    You have a huge downfall working against you. It sounds like you only want to fish for the summer. Fishing is something that requires training. The captain and the crew has to invest time and money into you. They are taking a chance everytime they hire someone new. While many people get hired for the summer, a summer employee isn't their first choice because that means that they will have to find someone new in the fall.

    About the pay? Most fishermen are paid a percentage. The percentage varies from boat to boat. When a fisherman makes the maximum percentage they can get, they are referred to as a full-share fisherman. As a new person, you would only make roughly half of what the full-share fisherman make.

    The take home pay can vary greatly. A captain friend of my brother would take home $10K in a month during the summer (thought captains typically get a double share or some other increased pay scale). A full-share fisherman can bring in $5K on a good month. More when times are great, less if the fishing is poor. As a new person, you could expect to divide this in half. So you might make $3K after expenses (not including rain gear, boots, etc...). It is really tought to say though. You might find a good deal on a boat and make more. You might get shafted and only make $2K.

    If you are looking for an adventure, I'd say go to Alaska and see what happens. If you can't find a job on a boat, go find a job in a seafood processing plant (crappy job, piss poor wages). If you really need money, I would stay where you are, live with your parents, and find a job locally. Chances are you'll be much better off after you factor in the cost of a plane ticket, room, food, clothing, etc..

    Finally, the work tends to be repetative, boring, wet, and miserable. The hours can be very long. The job is dangerous. Being young in that industry and being used to sleep deprivation can be real assets. Fishermen tend to be young, male, heavy drinkers, and deprived of female companionship for lengths of time (it's up to you if that is a good or bad thing)

    Good Luck to you!

    Source(s): Born and raised in Alaska. Family ran fishing boats. I became an Engineer rather than work on the boats.
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