How to Move to Alaska for Employment


Moving to Alaska in pursuit of a job is not a new idea. Stories of the money that can be made even from seasonal jobs have attracted U.S. citizens to "The Last Frontier" since the building of the oil pipeline in the 1970s. There are a variety of job opportunities in Alaska, and while the move is easier than it was in the 1970s, anyone moving to the state should prepare themselves for a major undertaking.

Things You'll Need

  • Passport
  • Moving van
  • Plane ticket (recommended)
  • Map
  • Insurance

Moving by Flying

  • Line up a job before moving to Alaska. While there are many job opportunities for people willing to work, it is never a good idea to move anywhere without having something already lined up, and Alaska is no exception. You want assurance of steady work, or at least an emergency backup job, before attempting any move.

  • Inspect possessions to see if they are worth moving or not. Shipping or moving to Alaska is expensive, and if you don't have valuable possessions, you may want to consider giving away or selling most of your things and starting over when you reach Alaska. For many people, this often is the most inexpensive and most commonsense route to go.

  • Contact a van moving service. There are companies that specialize in moving possessions to Alaska. While shipping freight can be used, it often costs thousands of dollars more than hiring a van service. These individuals help carefully pack your possessions, and then will drive the Alaska Highway to deliver your things a week or two after the move begins.

  • Purchase plane tickets. The cheapest and quickest way to move to Alaska after taking care of your possessions is to fly. Alaska Airlines is a year-round option, and during the summer months, specialty airlines such as Sun Country also run specials on tickets to Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Moving by Driving

  • Prepare thoroughly, if you decide to move by driving the Alaska Highway. Make sure you have a passport (for going through Canada), detailed maps and several spare tires in case of a flat. Study the route and become familiar with where there are stops for fuel, food and other services. There are long stretches without anything along the Alaska Highway.

  • Rent a moving truck or van. You will need to rent a moving vehicle, and you may have to do research to find a company that will let you drive all the way to Alaska. There are a limited number of choices.

  • Give yourself more than a week to complete the drive. Even from Seattle, it can easily take a week to drive all the way to Fairbanks, depending on the road conditions, traffic conditions and how many hours a day you can put in.

  • Leave a tentative schedule of your route with someone before you go, and contact them daily to let them know how you are doing. This is a commonsense way to stay safe during the long move, and one that should definitely be followed when driving to Alaska.

  • Stay on the main highway. The Alaska Highway is the only good driving route from the Lower 48, and there are no "shortcuts." Stay on the main road and there's a good chance you will make it safely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get rid of as many things as possible before moving. This makes the trip easier.
  • Don't push yourself too hard. The Alaska Highway is not the place you want to end up making a mistake due to exhaustion.

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  • Photo Credit Highway through Alaska image by MAXFX from
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