How to Get a Job As a Deckhand in Alaska


Majestic mountains, crystal clear rivers, abundant wildlife and unlimited wide-open spaces are but a few of the scenic attractions that fuel the imagination. The call of the wilderness sparks the desire for adventure that prompts many to want to work in Alaska. A seasonal job working as a deck hand on an Alaskan fishing boat provides an entry-level opportunity to experience a bit of Alaska while earning an income. The majority of seasonal work as a deckhand is on a salmon fishing boat. Salmon is the uncontested king of all the seafood harvested in the icy waters of the north.

Things You'll Need

  • Resume
  • References
  • Get in the best physical shape possible. Exercise and follow a fitness program to build strength and muscles. Working as a deck hand in Alaska requires stamina, strength and endurance. You may be hauling in nets, lifting heavy weights and doing maintenance work on the vessel. Deck hands sort the catch and return unacceptable fish to the sea. They are required to clean the decks, make repairs to equipment and work while constantly exposed to ice, wind and salt water. Decks are slippery and constantly moving under foot. A deck hand must be agile and have quick reflects. Most employers require a physical that includes a drug screening and a spinal X-ray.

  • Create a resume that showcases your skills and dedication to doing a job well. List previous employers and references. List any special skills you may have, including CPR, first aid training and work in a similar industry. Persons with former military training are often given priority status during the hiring process. Military personnel know how to follow orders and respond instantly to a command. Acting immediately and decisively can save your life.

  • Visit the Alaska Department of Labor, Division of Employment Security website (see References) to research and understand the complexities of seafood and fishing jobs in Alaska. The Division of Employment Security advises that, "Commercial fishing is rated as one of the most hazardous occupations in America." Call 907-269-4775 or toll-free in Alaska at 800-473-0688 if you have questions or to find information on job fairs and recruitment opportunities.

  • Search the Internet for specialized job boards that focus on work in the fishing industry in Alaska. You may also apply through Alaska's Division of Employment Security. Visit the Alaska Job Centers website (see Resources) to find a list of job centers throughout the state or call Alaska Job Centers at 877-724-2539.

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  • Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images Charter Fishing Boat image by Wimbledon from horseshoe bay dock image by Lijuan Guo from
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