RT Cunningham

Seasonal Jobs in Alaska – It’s Cold and the Hours are Long

Josie (my wife) is thinking about spending some time working in Alaska. I would like to go with her but I can’t do the jobs that keep me on my feet. All I can do is help her get to Alaska.

Josie’s a dual citizen, Filipino and American, so getting in and out of the United States isn’t an issue. We’re just not familiar with any part of the employment process.

Jobs in Alaska

We’ve been thinking about it ever since I read a couple of posts by Aaron and Feyma Martin at “Live in the Philippines“. They both went to work in Alaska but it was from another place in the United States, not from here.

Getting a job at one of summer processing places in Alaska seems like it would be easy if the hiring process itself isn’t difficult. Age isn’t an issue. People in their 70s are working at those canneries. She’s still in her 50s.

16-hour shifts are common at canneries. Josie can handle it, at least for a few months. She endured hours like that at her last job for months at a time because of her leadership position.


The Cold Weather of Alaska

Alaska is definitely cold but not really that cold in the summer. A temperature chart proves it. The summer temperatures in the coastal cities are about the same as southern Arizona winters. It actually gets colder than that in Phoenix, in the winter, at night.

A friend of mine lives in Minnesota. In some places, it gets colder in Minnesota than it does in Alaska. I guess there aren’t that many temperature differences in the northern states bordering Canada. He told me the secret of living and working in the cold. A person can stay pretty warm with layers of clothing under the protective outer garments.

The Alaska Decision

Josie really wants to go. I want to go but because of leg conditions, wearing rubber boots and standing for long periods will do more damage than the money is worth. I would like to get away from the heat and humidity of the Philippines for a few months but I can’t go to Alaska unless I go to work in Alaska.

Speaking of money, the money’s really good because of all the overtime. We’re not really hurting for money, but we can always use more of it. I’m pretty sure Josie wants to finish our home improvements. I’m thinking more like paying off our car loan before doing anything else. Either way, I won’t complain.

I seriously doubt she’ll be able to do it this year. She has to apply for the job and then wait for everything to start moving along. I think we’re looking at 2019 for various reasons. If I’m not mistaken, the seasonal work starts in May and less than five months away.

It may not happen at all. If I have to pay for her one-way plane ticket, I’ll have to save for it. Saving money from my pension is difficult no matter the reason. If they pay for it, I’m sure they’ll deduct it from her wages.


January 1, 2018
Education and Employment

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