Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect after I submit an application?

Once you submit an application online you can expect to be contacted by a company representative regarding your application status. They will also let you know whether there are any further pre-employment steps you’ll need to take.

Are there always jobs available?

Alaskan Leader Fisheries operates vessels 12 months a year and frequently hires new crew.  Job availability is based on each vessel’s staffing needs and the fishing schedule.  Typically, each of the four vessels comes into port about every 30 days for a crew change and strive to hire at least one new crew member at each crew change.

What positions are available on the boat?

Each vessel has a Captain, Mate, Chief Engineer and Engineer’s Assistant, Cook, Steward, and roughly 18 crew members who work either on deck, on the gear line or in the factory.  You can visit our job descriptions for more details about each position.

Can I pick my position on the boat?

All new crew are hired as general crew members and the captain will assign you a specific department based on the spots available for entry-level crewmen (deck, gear, factory, or steward) upon arrival to the vessel. The opportunity to cross-train is always there with the right performance, initiative and length of employment.

How do I get hired as a deckhand?

The captain will determine your placement on the vessel.  If you desire to be a deckhand and/or have previous deckhand experience, please inform the mate or captain of your request to be a deckhand.  You may need to start in a different position depending on the vessel’s staffing needs.

Do I have to move to Alaska?

No.  Part of the beauty of this job is that you can live anywhere you’d like and still work in Alaska on our vessels. You will need authorization to work in the United States and will need to fly out from a U.S. airport

Where do the boats fish?

Our vessels operate in Alaskan waters - the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska.

What kind of fish will I be fishing for?

Our primary target catch is Pacific Cod. 

How do I get to the boat?

You will be flown to the port where the vessel is docked.  Our vessels primarily crew up in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  We occasionally crew our vessels in Seattle, WA and Kodiak, AK.  A staffing coordinator will schedule you a flight from a U.S. airport of your choice and will provide you with an itinerary via email. 

Do I have to pay for my flights to and from the vessel? 

Employee flights are always scheduled* and purchased by the company.  Depending on how many consecutive days worked on the vessel before returning home will determine who is responsible for the flight costs.  

PLEASE NOTE: Flight costs are calculated depending on your point of hire location.  Our points of hire are:

  • Seattle, WA
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Dillingham, AK
  • Kodiak, AK 
  • Dutch Harbor, AK

Flight costs beyond the point of hire are always the responsibility of the employee and will be deducted from pay. Flight costs beyond the point of hire are not reimbursed.    

*Flights are scheduled between the US airport of your choice and the port where the vessel is currently docked.  

What are the living conditions like on the boats?

All crew live and work in clean, shared spaces. The vessels are partially carpeted inside, with designated smoking areas, shared bathroom and shared shower facilities.  Meals are served in the galley using steam tables and are self-serve.  State rooms have bunk beds, individual cubbies for belongings, and sleep 4-6 crew members per room.  Your room/bed will be assigned to you upon arrival. 

How long will I be away from home? 

You should plan to be away from home for at least 90 days at a time. Crew members are encouraged to work a rotation schedule of three consecutive fishing trips on the vessel and two trips at home resting.

When does the fishing season start and end?

We operate year round, and therefore don’t typically hire seasonal or part time employees.

What do I need to bring with me?  

Toiletries and medications to last 90 days, extra glasses or contact lens supplies if needed, government-issued identification to complete your employment forms, and 7-10 days’ worth of clothes packed in a duffle bag.  A complete list of suggested items will be provided to you upon hire.

Do I need to bring my gear with me, or can I get it in Alaska? 

You will be taken to Alaska Ship Supply in Dutch Harbor, Alaska to purchase your rain gear, boots and related fishing supplies needed.  You will need to pay for any supplies purchased, exceeding the allotted limit provided at the time of purchase. Please plan accordingly.

How much money can I expect to make and when do I get paid? 

Gross pay can average $4000.00 - $6000.00 per fishing trip for new hires.  Employees earn a crew share.  There are no set wages for non-licensed, entry-level positions.  A higher percentage can be earned based on work performance and attitude and is determined by the captain at the end of each contracted fishing trip.  Paychecks will be processed 10-14 days after each trip ends and offloads.  Establishing Direct Deposit for your paycheck is strongly encouraged.

What deductions can I expect will come out of my paycheck? 

Any government taxes and withholdings as well as any advances taken.  If applicable, the following items will be deducted from your paycheck: airfare, gear, fishing license, onboard ship store charges, tobacco and phone tokens. In addition, each crew member will be charged room & board.  Room & Board will cover meals, snacks, coffee, laundry service, bedding and towels.  

What happens if I quit?

We recommend adopting the mentality “Quitting is not in my vocabulary”.  Individuals who do not complete their contract will remain on the vessel until it makes a scheduled return to port.  Individuals who do not complete their contract can only be flown to their point of hire.  Wages earned will be used to cover charges incurred, travel expenses and other deductions and will likely not result in net wages.  Before joining the Alaskan Leader team, please educate yourself on this job and industry and discuss your decision with close family and friends. Be sure you are mentally, emotionally and physically prepared for this job before you leave for Alaska.  A positive attitude and strong work ethic are key to success! 

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