Alaskan Boat Fishing Jobs

by Adele Burney

Setting sail on the high seas, earning great pay while avoiding the boring nine-to-five job, lures many to try their luck at Alaskan fishing. Every summer on college campuses across the United States, students scour the Internet and college newspapers for Alaskan fishing jobs. Sites offering high pay for work in Alaska are plentiful but not all are reputable. With some determination and hard work, your Alaskan fishing adventure just may pay off.

Finding a Job

Companies advertising Alaskan fishing jobs populate the Internet. Some of the more reliable include:, and, Some fishermen will tell you that the best way to find a fishing job is to show up at the docks and ask around. This works for those smaller boats that do not advertise online. Most of the fishing ships anchor in Kodiak, a popular spot for salmon fishing. A prospective candidate may fare well by checking out the bulletin boards in local cafes and bars located there, for want ads. Finding a job without experience is doable. Boat captains like a crewman that they can train in the manner that they like.

Working on the Boat

Working on a fishing boat is hard. Most boats go out for days at a time, so fisherman live in tight quarters. Women work right along with men on the boats. It takes some great interpersonal skills to get along well on a fishing boat. There is always something to do, from baiting the lines, pulling in the haul to cleaning the deck. Getting in a big haul of fish is exciting but represents a small part of the work. Most of the days are monotonous and repetitive. Thanks to some technological advances, hauling the nets and transferring fish to the hold can be done with pulleys, and in some cases vacuums.


The reason so many college students and seasonal workers flock to Alaska in the summer is the lure of a large payday. The pay on board a fishing boat is better than working at the mall but the work is much harder. It is based on the amount of fish caught. There is no hourly rate. Usually crewman are paid a percentage of the net profits. Some boats will offer a daily rate of about $50 to $100. The average annual salary for a fisherman according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $25,590. Of course, most fishermen work for a season so their salary for a summer varies from about $10,000 to $15,000.

Other Information

Before hopping on a plane to try your luck on board a fishing boat, there are a few things to keep in mind. You will need money up front to seek your fortune. Costs include a round-trip ticket to Alaska, money for hotels, food and clothing. Fishermen buy their own gear, so you will need to purchase gloves, boots, raingear and warm clothes to wear underneath. Some larger ships will provide you with a rain slicker and take the cost out of your pay. You may also need a sleeping bag or camping gear. The camping gear comes in handy if you don’t find a ship to work on right away, and find yourself without lodging.

About the Author

Adele Burney started her writing career in 2009 when she was a featured writer in "Membership Matters," the magazine for Junior League. She is a finance manager who brings more than 10 years of accounting and finance experience to her online articles. Burney has a degree in organizational communications and a Master of Business Administration from Rollins College.

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