Alaska is the 49th state of the United States and also the largest with beautiful landscapes: lakes, rivers, inlets and glaciers. But living in Alaska is not for everyone. If you like nature in its purest form, you will feel at home in its surroundings, because Alaska is full of natural parks where vegetation and animals abound, especially bears and moose. On the other hand, if you are used to city life, this place is not for you, because there are no shopping malls, discos and cinemas here. For a person used to the city, Alaska would be extremely boring. Many people live in areas that cannot be reached by car or boat, but only by plane.
The region has retained its original wild look in many ways: many own and carry guns, most people wear boots and camouflage jackets, and do not complain about things like mud, rough terrain, and long car rides. People tend to be very conservative and rude. But in general, they are welcoming and friendly.
When you move away from Anchorage, the capital city that is home to half the population of all of Alaska (less than 800,000), the situation changes significantly. You do not have the availability of stores or goods that you are used to. It is already very difficult to find quality products, especially perishables. Access to medical care when needed is also not so easy.
In any case, the greatest disadvantage of this region is the climate. Except for summer, extreme conditions prevail in the other seasons, especially in winter, when temperatures can drop several dozen degrees below zero. In summer, with its 19 hours of light, it is difficult to sleep. In winter it is dark, and the lack of sunlight could have a negative impact on your mood.
Alaska is truly isolated. To live here, the state pays residents about $2,200 a year (which comes from oil revenue dividends). Wherever you want to go, it’s a long drive or flight. (Not to mention the cost). If you want to move in alone without knowing anyone, you have to deal with isolation.
The cuisine is certainly not one of the country’s strong points, as it is very simple and based on: Salmon and bacon. There is little variety and you should forget about food from other countries.
Speaking of work, the most demanded job in Alaska is on a fishing boat and many foreigners work in this field. But other jobs are also in demand, especially in nature parks and hotels. To work in Alaska, you need a work visa, as in any other state in the United States, so the company must sponsor your application. Many enter on a 90-day tourist visa and then find a company to offer them work. It should be added that salaries are generally good.
Alaska has its own “employment office” which has its own website called ALEXsys where you can select an area of the country and find all available jobs. There are also many fish factories that are constantly hiring workers. I would like to point out the three most important ones that employ workers from all over the world and on their websites you can see their job offers:
Many foreigners find work in this sector every summer, working in fish farms. It’s hard, strenuous work with long hours, but it’s a good way to get started in Alaska. There are also other jobs based on seasonal tourism, with companies offering jobs both on land (tour guides, hotels, etc.) and at sea (cruise ships). For example, Alaska tour job, you can see seasonal or permanent job opportunities.
It shouldn’t be underestimated that Alaska is also a place of opportunities. If you have a business idea and want to realize it, this is a good place, because according to statistics, a very high percentage of startups are successful.
Living and working in Alaska – pros and cons
Living in Alaska, pros
- Impressive landscapes and the presence of many wild animals
- Friendly people
- High wages
- Aurora borealis
- Few taxes
Living in Alaska, cons
- The winter lasts 9 mounths
- In the winter months it is very dark
- Traffic accidents with moose (about 900 per year)
- High cost of living
- Increase in crime in recent years
Living and working in Alaska, conclusion
Alaska is far from anything, which means it takes a long flight to get anywhere. There are few goods and services, poor public transportation and long, cold, dark winters.
But people are friendly and willing to help you. It is possible to see things that you cannot see in other places: wild animals, northern lights or huge glaciers. Life is very simple and wild, a lifestyle that is certainly not for everyone.