More than oil and fishing
If you think oil and fishing jobs are the only employment opportunities in Alaska, think again. Alaska is the land of opportunity! The Last Frontier is a resource-rich state with a diverse array of government jobs and positions in the health care, transportation, oil, mining, timber and fishing industries.
Summer seasonal work is easy to find. There’s always a need for hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks and bus drivers, just to name a few. If you’re looking for a year-round position, like anywhere else, it’s advisable to secure a job before making the move.
Growth in health care and technology
A good number of Alaska’s jobs are in the fast-growing health care industry: pharmacy technicians, registered nurses, respiratory therapists and others. Another booming industry is the international air cargo arena, since Anchorage occupies a strategic location in the world. It’s not surprising that aircraft cargo handling supervisors are listed among the top 25 fastest-growing careers in Alaska.
Technology is also experiencing massive growth. Due to the vast size of the state, technology is critical to virtually all facets of life. Alaska is a tech-savvy state that’s attracting a growing number of high-tech firms. This, combined with the fact that Alaska has high online usage, is driving demand for programmers, software engineers, web designers, and developers.
How much do Alaskans earn?
So what is a typical annual salary? As of 2008, teachers make $52,141; oil jobs average around $65,000; jobs in retail sales are about $22,000; and government jobs (depending on the position) start around $43,000. Registered nurses make approximately $57,000, while aircraft cargo handling supervisors bring in about $42,000. That said, if you're looking for a job with a salary greater than $500,000, Alaska may not be the best option — after all, most people don’t move here for high-paying Wall Street jobs.
Sustained growth gives state a steady economy
Alaska has seen 20 years of job growth — the longest stretch since statehood and a streak only seven other states can match. And even today, with a future of high energy prices, the state’s economy will continue to grow. That’s because Alaska’s energy economy offers a counter-cyclical boost. When high energy prices hurt the rest of the country, they help Alaska. (Some people even go so far as to joke that Alaska is an honorary member of OPEC!)
So, whether its seasonal work or a life commitment, there’s plenty of opportunity in Alaska’s employment arena.