Most people don’t want just any job. They want a job they love and a job that pays a competitive wage. If you’re interested in learning about the highest-paying jobs in Alaska, whether in the largest city, Anchorage, or the remote town of Utqiagvik, look no further.
This article provides comprehensive information on the best jobs in Alaska, including high-paying jobs that do not require a four-year degree and their average salaries, to help you choose the right career path.
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Alaska Economic Outlook
According to official government sources, Alaska’s economy is heavily focused on oil production, fishing, federal and state spending (both civilian and military), research and development, and tourism.
In 2021, Alaska gained 7,100 jobs after losing 27,600 in 2020, with the increases scattered across industries. However, reports from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development forecast that in 2022, the state will recover another 9,800 jobs, signaling a return to pre-coronavirus employment growth.
The Highest-Paying Jobs in Alaska
|Job Title||Average Salary in Alaska||Average Salary in the US|
The Best Jobs in Alaska: Explained
As you research the wide variety of jobs in Alaska with attractive annual salaries, it is essential to know what each job description involves, as well as whether the job you want requires a bachelor’s degree. Below are details on some high-paying jobs in Alaska to help with your job search.
1. Orthopedic Surgeon
Orthopedic surgeons diagnose and treat conditions or injuries to the musculoskeletal system, including bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. An orthopedic surgeon may specialize in certain areas of the body, such as the foot and ankle, or a particular type of practice, such as sports medicine.
2. Vascular Surgeon
A vascular surgeon is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases of the arteries and veins. Examining patients, determining the best course of treatment based on the patient’s condition, and performing surgical procedures are among their key responsibilities.
3. Plastic Surgeon
A plastic surgeon holds a professional degree in medicine and performs surgical procedures to repair, remodel, or replace physical features. Examining patients, applying suitable remedial therapies, performing operations, and following up with patients to offer appropriate medical care are some of their key responsibilities.
Dentists are in charge of diagnosing and treating dental problems and assisting patients in improving their oral hygiene. Some of their primary duties include cleaning teeth, correcting bite abnormalities, performing surgeries and extractions, prescribing medicine, and filling cavities.
5. Software Architect
Software architects are computer programmers or software developers who help the development team decide the methods and technologies to use. They also resolve coding issues and cooperate with other specialists to create high-performance software systems.
A software architect locates well-structured software solutions in line with company objectives and technological requirements. To demonstrate these hard and soft skills, an aspiring software architect usually needs to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field.
6. Airline Pilot
Pilots for airlines that transport passengers and goods on a set schedule are airline pilots. The captain—also known as the pilot in command, usually the most experienced pilot—is in charge of the flight and supervises all other crew members. The copilot, often known as the first officer or second in command, assists the captain in piloting the plane.
7. Research Scientist
Research scientists are in charge of planning, carrying out, and interpreting data from laboratory-based investigations, experiments, and trials. Research scientists often work for government laboratories, environmental organizations, specialized research organizations, and universities. A research career is suitable for naturally inquisitive people.
8. Electrical Engineer
Electrical engineers are in charge of developing, designing, testing, and overseeing the production of electrical equipment such as electric motors, communications systems, radar and navigation systems, and power generation equipment. Electrical engineers are also in charge of designing aircraft and automotive electrical systems.
9. Civil Engineer
Civil engineers plan, design, construct, manage, run, and maintain public and private infrastructure projects and systems, such as highways, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage treatment systems. Typically, they specialize in one of several fields.
10. Production Manager
Production managers oversee production processes and coordinate all activities to ensure that sufficient resources are available for manufacturing. A production manager can arrange workers’ schedules, estimate expenditures, and establish budgets to guarantee that workflow meets deadlines.
Highest-Paying Jobs in Alaska Without a Degree
- Power Plant Operator | $70,645. Power plant operators do not always have a college education. They control the systems that generate and distribute electric power. With the use of control boards, power plant operators distribute electricity between generators and regulate the output of several generators.
- Construction and Building Inspector | $56,743. Building inspectors guarantee that buildings, dams, bridges, highways and streets, water systems, and sewers are safe. Electrical, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, refrigeration (HVACR), and plumbing systems inspection are also part of their job. Entry-level education requirements include a high school degree or GED.
- Plumber | $52,984. Plumbers, who tend to complete an apprenticeship rather than a college education, install and maintain building water systems, toilets, bathtubs, showers, sinks, washing machines, and dishwashers. They can also install central heating systems. However, working with gas boilers requires further training and extensive experience.
- Carpenter | $50,809. Carpenters construct, install, and repair wooden fixtures and fittings. As a carpenter, you may be responsible for installing doors, floors, and furniture in new construction, remodeling or refitting existing structures, and constructing sets for film and theater companies, among other duties. You can work as a carpenter without having completed a four-year degree.
- Electrician | $49,794. Electricians are skilled workers whose duty is to design, install, and maintain electrical wire systems in various settings. You can find electrical wiring systems in residential and commercial structures and big pieces of machinery like industrial machinery. You do not need a four-year degree for this job.
What Is the Cost of Living in Alaska?
The average cost of living in Alaska for a single person, not including rent, is $1,954, 1.1 times the national average. Alaska ranks 11th among the most expensive states and 11th among the best states to live in the United States. Alaska’s average after-tax salary is $4,552, enough to pay living expenses for at least two months.
Is Alaska a Good Place to Work?
Yes, Alaska is a good place to work. Government jobs and opportunities in gas, healthcare, transportation, oil, timber, mining, and fishing industries are all available in Alaska. Summer seasonal jobs are also easy to find. However, the current employment growth rate in Alaska has been slow, and the rate of employment in Alaska is lower than the national employment and unemployment averages.
Highest-Paying Jobs in Alaska FAQ
Some of the most in-demand jobs in Alaska that provide acceptable pay include construction managers, operation managers, chemical engineers, dental hygienists, and petroleum engineering and commercial driving jobs.
Yes, it is relatively difficult to get a job in Alaska. The current employment rate in Alaska is low compared to other states, with an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. Only two other US states—California and New Mexico—have higher unemployment rates.
The minimum wage in Alaska is $10.34 per year, which is more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage. You have a legal right to the higher state minimum wage.
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