Alaska Marine Highway System
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Passenger Services

The Passenger Services department is the cornerstone of outstanding onboard customer service. This department is responsible for services that include; maintaining all vessel amenities, on-board storage and distribution of provisions and supplies, administering embarkation & disembarkation of passengers and vehicles, handling financial transactions and reporting, food and beverage service, medical assistance, stateroom sales and service, filing and reporting of regulatory paperwork, and providing information services for both crew and passengers.

This department encompasses both Steward & Purser positions.

•  Chief Purser, Senior Purser and Junior Purser
•  Chief Steward, Second Steward, Storekeeper, Chief Cook, Second Cook
•  Head Waiter, Head BR, Assistant Second Cook, Cashier, Mess Steward
•  Night Utility, Dishwasher, Steward, Officer's BR, Waiter

Basic certifications are required before a new employee can be dispatched for work, additional certifications and training are required within certain time frames following a job offer and are indicated in the following timeline. Please note that although these courses may be job or career related, they are often at the Mariner's own expense. Certification requirements will be highlighted in each new job posting.

For more information or questions regarding Passenger Services opportunities or certifications, please contact:

Passenger Services Recruitment

Currently recruiting for:   Stewards

Stewards are entry level positions with the passenger services department. AMHS marine operations are governed by State, Federal and International maritime regulations, which means that new employees must obtain required certifications before they are eligible to work on an AMHS vessel. While some certifications are vessel or position specific, others are essential to all employees. Employees can continue to build their certifications and credentials over time to advance their maritime career.

Apply Now Online


Deck & Engineering

The Deck department leads the fleet with positions of command. AMHS Licensed Deck officers are either graduates of one of several maritime academies or gain their knowledge, skills, and abilities through intensive self-study and on-the-job training.

AMHS currently has approximately 105 deck officers navigating AMHS vessels, but not all deck crew are licensed. Employees in unlicensed positions are able to perform almost any task in relation to deck maintenance, small boat operations, basic navigation and seamanship.

Licensed: Master, Chief Mate, Second Mate and Third Mate
Unlicensed: Bos'n, Able Bodied Seaman, Ordinary Seaman, Porter and Watchmen

The Engineering department is responsible for maintaining all machinery in the main engine room, auxiliary engine room, marine sanitation device (MSD) room, and the steering gear room, as well as maintaining the ship's structural integrity. Employees in this department have job functions that include maintaining fluid levels, propulsion system and power plants, all equipment and machinery, ordering & storing parts, and maintaining the safety & security of the vessel.

Licensed: Chief Engineer, First Engineer, Second Engineer and Third Engineer
Unlicensed: Junior Engineer, Oiler and Wiper

For more information or questions regarding licensed position opportunities, please contact:

Aprill Gass
Licensed Dispatcher
7559 N Tongass Highway
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
907-228-7273 Phone
907-228-6873 Fax

For more information or questions regarding these and other unlicensed position opportunities, please contact:

Crew Dispatch
7559 N Tongass Highway
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
907-228-6873 Fax

  • Stewards

    Passenger Services
    $17.48 / hour

    (Conditions Apply)

    Stewards provide exceptional customer service and ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers while performing tasks in the galley, dining room, cafeteria, crew mess, staterooms and public areas aboard the Alaska State ferries. See position details below for more information. Watch below our introductory video about Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS)!

    AMHS offers a competitive starting pay scale which varies by operating region and residency. Starting pay rate for new hires is $17.48 for (Non-Alaska Resident) and $21.36 (Alaska Resident*). Overtime is paid at the rate of time and a half (x1.5). AMHS provides a progressive advancement opportunity to higher paying positions. Applicants who successfully complete their probationary period (approximately 8 to 12 months), will be eligible to apply for bid positions.* Alaska residency must be verified by department human resources to qualify.

    Furthermore, AMHS is offering a one-time Hiring Bonus on this particular recruitment posting. A new hire bonus of up to $1000 (less payroll deductions) will be available for prospective hires who successfully complete their documentation and onboarding process within the timeframe established by the employer. This hiring incentive is subject to a two (2) year term of employment with the AMHS. Additional conditions applies. More details about Hiring Incentive will be provided if a Job Offer is made.

    Stewards qualify for State of Alaska benefits usually within 30 days of hire. The State of Alaska offers one of the best benefit systems in Alaska that include medical and dental insurance with optional family coverage, retirement benefits, vacation and personal leave which accrues with years of service. A summary of state benefits can be reviewed here.

    AMHS operates in two distinctive regions. The Southeast (SE) route serves the communities between Bellingham, WA and Skagway, AK. The majority of AMHS vessels operate in this region. The other, more remote region is the Southwest (SW), which includes the communities between Cordova and the Aleutian Chain. The Change Ports (crew change locations) for each route is listed below; 

    Southeast:    Ketchikan, Juneau
    Southwest:   Homer, Valdez

    Very Important! This position will require relocation if you are not living within the vicinity of your desired Change Port. Employees are responsible for their own travel expenses between their physical residence and their desired Change Port. All Change Ports are in Alaska.

    Assignments vary depending on the route, the vessel and the season. In general, new hires will be assigned to vessels operating in Southeast route on a 2 Weeks On - 2 Weeks Off rotation. Alternatively, you may be assigned to a vessel in shipyard. In that case your assignment may last until the ship goes back to the revenue run. On vessels operating in Southwest route, your assignment duration will depend on the lengths of the absence of the crew member you relieve. Therefore assignments are less frequent in Southwest route in comparison to Southeast. Assignments are posted periodically by AMHS dispatch office which handles all crew scheduling related matters.

    When the vessel is on the run, it operates in a 24/7 work environment with variable crew schedule. Your daily schedule during your assignment will vary from 8 hours to 12 hours and you may be asked to work split shifts. Vessel supervisors set your daily tasks and work schedule upon signing on to the vessel. You may be asked to switch/upgrade positions during your assignments which may lead to higher pay on that assignment. When assigned to a vessel on the run, crew works 84 hours over a 7 day workweek. Crew assigned to shipyard vessels works 42 hours over a 5 day workweek.

    Life Onboard
    This is a fast-paced and dynamic work environment with a diverse workforce. Room & board is provided while on assignment - on select vessels. Crew stays in shared quarters and meals are provided at the crew and officers mess. On some vessel the crew returns to home port each night before heading out the next day (Day Boats). Regardless of the room and board situations, AMHS is a Drug and Alcohol-Free workplace and has a strictly enforced Drug & Alcohol Policy.

    Career Path
    AMHS supports upward mobility and most new hires are able to follow their career path to move to higher paying positions in a relatively short amount of time. All entry-level employees are hired on permanent basis with a probationary period of 8 to 12 months average. Once the probationary period is over and enough seniority has been acquired a new hire can apply for the bid positions which gets dispatched more regularly. It is not unusual the new hires to often work higher paying positions without having a bid through onboard upgrades, especially during the busy summer season.

    All new hires must furnish their own housing and relocation if they need to move closer to work locations (Change Ports). For this particular recruitment campaign, AMHS is pleased to offer the following incentives for housing and relocation;

    • Upon request, a shared cabin could be provided to qualified new hires, who are relocating to Ketchikan, and scheduled to attend the New Hire Orientation; onboard one of our vessels docked in Ketchikan for up to 3 months (subject to availability). This option is not available for those who are relocating to Juneau and residents of Ketchikan who already have a place to live. All employees stationed onboard the vessels, regardless of their status, including new hires residing onboard for an extended period of time, are subject to all DOT&PF and AMHS policies. There is zero tolerance for Drug and Alcohol policy violations.
    • For the purpose of relocating to selected Change Port in Alaska, a single use - one way trip pass onboard one of our AMHS vessels could be provided to qualified new hires.

    Housing and Relocation assistance is subject to review and approval by the Hiring Manager. More details about these incentives will be provided if a Job Offer is made.


    Under supervision of the Chief Steward or designee, performs a variety of housekeeping, cleaning and/or galley duties aboard the vessels of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

    Examples of Duties:
    Assists with dishing up hot cereals and bussing tables. Cleans and operates various galley equipment. Sweeps, mops, and vacuums all areas, as needed. Cleans and makes up staterooms, restrooms, and all public areas of the vessel. Stows linen—clean and dirty. Stocks rental towels, blankets, and pillows. Stocks restrooms on all decks.

    Loads stores/assists in stock handling. Stows trash. May be assigned to work as Officer’s Br. Cleans the rooms assigned to Licensed personnel aboard the vessels. Maintains crew heads and showers.

    May be assigned to work as Dishwasher. Cleans and sanitizes crockery, glasses, silverware, and trays. Drains and cleans dishwasher. Keeps dishwasher and scullery counter clean and orderly. Sweeps and mops galley.

    May be assigned to work as the Night Utility. Working the night shift, sweeps and mops bar, cleans tables and empties trash. Vacuums boat deck. Makes up staterooms in ports at night, as necessary. Makes wake up calls before port arrivals. Cleans heads and showers.

    Assists in maintaining security of the vessel. Maintains awareness of vessel and lot security and reports any suspicious activity or threats immediately.

    Works with traveling public. Responds to and assists with customer needs. Answers service calls from Purser.

    Other duties as assigned by the Chief Steward or designee.

    Minimum Qualifications

    • High School diploma or equivalent
    • Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age
    • Must be eligible to obtain a TWIC and MMC
    • Must be willing to submit to a physical and drug test
    • Ability to perform any required duties, with or without reasonable accommodation

    Desired Qualifications
    A strong customer service aptitude is essential for this position. This is a public service role in the government sector providing service in marine environment. As such, a strong commitment to safety, customer service, and exceptional work ethics are desired. The ideal candidate would be willing perform functions related to food service, galley work, housekeeping etc. and exhibit the following characteristics;

    • Strong commitment to safety
    • A genuine desire to serve the public
    • Adaptive to learning new skills and knowledge
    • Positive, personable, and professional demeanor
    • Adaptive to changes in a progressive work environment
    • Strong conflict resolution skills and ability to work within a diverse workforce

    Required Documents (after Job Offer)
    AMHS operations are governed by State, Federal and International Maritime regulations. Employees are required to possess and maintain several Maritime and Hospitality industry certifications to work onboard AMHS vessels. Obtaining these documents can take some time depending on the issuing agency (approx. 3 months). Some certifications require US Citizenship or Legal Residency and a background check. Cost associated with these documents are candidate’s responsibility. Some of these documents may be required at the time of the application. Below is the list of the certifications required for new stewards before they can be dispatched to work:

    • TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential): This credential is issued by Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security. The ability to obtain this credential will require a criminal history/background check. The application process takes several weeks and must be started before applying for the MMC (Merchant Mariner Credential). More information is available at Transportation Security Administration
    • MMC (Merchant Mariner Credential): This credential is issued by the National Maritime Center, a division of United States Coast Guard (USCG). Please contact your nearest USCG office for obtaining the MMC or go online to the listed website below. There are different versions of the MMC. Select the Entry Level application option and ensure you have the Steward (FH) endorsement and Medical Certificate on your MMC. You must possess or apply for your TWIC before you can apply for your MMC. More information is available at National Maritime Center
    • DOT Drug Test: All prospective employees must submit to a pre-employment chemical test for drugs and must receive a negative test result prior to performing employee functions. The test must have been done within the 6 months prior to your new hire orientation. If an MMC was obtained recently, the test results will be included in your MMC paperwork. You may otherwise get your test done at USCG authorized drug testing facility.
    • Alaska Food Worker Card: This card is issued by Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Application is available online at Division of Environmental Health
    • Alcohol Server Training (TAP or TIPS): This certification is required for any crew member 21 and older. Information for obtaining this certification is available at Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

    Applications for Steward position are accepted online, at AMHS Passenger Services Careers. Candidates must have an email address that is monitored on a daily basis, and provide a reliable phone number that can receive text and voice messages. Our recruitment desk does not accept applications by mail or over the phone. It is strongly recommended that you have access to a computer or a smart phone during the entire hiring process. Warning to Overseas Applicants: AMHS does not assist foreign nationals in obtaining employment (visit this link for more information). AMHS will not pursue a candidate if deemed not feasible to conduct interview and/or complete the hiring process.

    Background Checks
    Candidates interested in applying for this position should be aware that they will be subject to separate background checks by multiple agencies during the recruitment and documentation process. This is a safety sensitive position with the State of Alaska which is in direct contact of the public. Successful candidates will serve as a public agent and required to perform duties in a safe, reliable and highly ethical manner. Applicants are required to provide true and complete information during the recruitment process. If you intentionally or unintentionally conceal or otherwise provide a false statement of material fact in your application it will result in permanent loss of eligibility for employment with the State of Alaska. Employer may require additional information such as judgment papers before rendering a hiring decision.

    Each prospective hire will be asked to submit their required documents within 4 months of accepting the Job Offer. Legible copies of the required documents must be received by our recruitment desk within that timeframe to complete the onboarding process. If the documents are not received within the timeline or they are invalid, the Job Offer may be rescinded as the hiring process cannot continue without the required documents.

    New Hire Orientation (NHO)
    Successful candidates will be asked to meet with our recruitment staff to complete the hiring process and attend to a short orientation. Once the hiring paperwork is done and the NHO is completed a new hire will be eligible for dispatch.

  • Passenger Services Inspector

    Passenger Services
    $4,306.00 / month

    Alaska Marine Highway System is currently recruiting for a Passenger Services Inspector to help us Keep Alaska Moving!

    This position works at the Passenger Services office and is mainly responsible for performing a variety of operational support functions, including but not limited to; assisting with the overall improvement of onboard services provided to passengers and crew, guests services, food & beverage services, and procurement and training. In performing its functions, this position routinely interacts with vessel crews to provide support for day-to-day operations of the Passenger Services Department.

    Our Department, Mission, and Values
    The Alaska Marine Highway System is a division of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public and operates the largest roll-on/roll-off, overnight capacity, passenger vessel fleet in the United States, providing a crucial transportation link between the coastal and interior communities of Alaska and the Lower 48.
     “The mission of the Alaska Marine Highway System is to provide safe, reliable, and efficient transportation of people, goods and vehicles among Alaskan communities and the "Lower 48", while Keeping Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
    Our core values include:

    • Respect: Professional regard for colleagues, passengers and crew
    • Excellence: Passion to provide superior service to traveling public
    • Integrity: Honesty, dependability, unity, and a high ethical standard
    • Dedication: Commitment to improve and support the AMHS mission
    • Adaptability: Ability to weather challenges and maintain focus on the mission

    The Benefits of Joining Our Team
    This position performs essential functions that support our mission and offers the opportunity to work alongside a team of hardworking individuals all working towards the common goal to Keep Alaska Moving. This is a unique opportunity for individuals who would like the balance of office and field settings as the work involves clerical as well as logistical responsibilities with occasional visits to vessels.
     The Working Environment You Can Expect
     The Passenger Services department is an integral part of AMHS vessel operations. Our office is located in the Ketchikan Central Office building at Ward Cove, a short drive from downtown Ketchikan. The majority of the vessels stop at Ketchikan Ferry Terminal and uses the nearby shipyard for dry-docking. The selected candidate will work both with highly motivated and dedicated shoreside staff and vessel crew with regular visits to vessels and other work sites.

    Who We Are Looking For
    Excellent customer service skills are essential for this position. The successful candidate will need to have the following competencies:

    • Experience: A minimum of 3 years management experience in the hospitality industry, specifically with running the front desk, guest relations, scheduling, and staff training.
    • Knowledge: Must have a strong combined knowledge of basic accounting principles, cash handling, reservations, ticketing, and procurement. Familiarity with Federal and International Maritime regulations is a plus.
    • Skills: Solid computer skills, especially with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook) is required. Proficiency with utilizing computerized business systems commonly used in the hospitality sector, particularly with reservation systems, procurement systems, and POS (Point-of-Sale) systems is a plus.
    • Abilities: High level of professionalism, strong conflict resolution skills and ability to communicate effectively within a diverse workforce. Adaptive to learning new skills and knowledge, and ability to adjust to the routine changes in a progressive work environment.


    What you will be doing: 

    • Guest Services: Help improve the customer service provided onboard the vessels. Routinely reviews appropriate service levels, counter and ramp hours, ticketing, rentals, cash management, reporting and filing procedures, medical training needs and other matters relevant to Pursers functions and make recommendations for improvement.
    • Procurement: Coordinate the procurement, reconciliation and timely delivery of all Passenger Services department provisions including but not limited to; food and non-food supplies, small galley equipment, cleaning supplies, small appliances and electronics, digital media, etc.
    • Cost Control: Monitors Passenger Services department expenditures on a daily basis and help ensure they meet the budget goals established by the manager. Reviews the cost of goods and services used by the department and explores options to reduce cost. 
    • Training: Administer the development, organization, maintenance, and delivery of the department-specific annual training, new hire orientation and regulatory certification/re-certification programs.
    • Compliance: Monitors compliance with all department-specific policies and procedures. Helps evaluate such existing policy and procedures, drafts recommended changes, as necessary, to ensure compliance with operating and regulatory standards.


    Minimum Qualifications

    Any combination of education and/or experience that provides the applicant with competencies in
    •  Customer Service: Anticipates and meets the needs of both internal and external customers. Delivers high-quality products and services; is committed to continuous improvement.    
    •  Developing Others: Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods.
    •  Performance Measurement: Knowledge of the principles and methods for evaluating a program or organizational performance using financial and non-financial measures, including identification of evaluation factors (for example, workload, personnel requirements), metrics, and outcomes.
    •  Planning and Evaluating: Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.
    •  Problem Solving: Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations. Equivalent to those typically gained by:
    Progressively responsible experience, training, and/or education in business administration/management; catering operations; culinary arts; custodial service; food service; hospitality administration/management; hotel, tourism, or restaurant management; public administration; or a closely related field.

    Application Process

    Applications accepted online at WorkPlace Alaska

How to Apply

Applications are accepted online. Online application link differ by the position. 

Contact Alaska Marine Highway System