Alaska Marine Highway System
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Join us for a rewarding careers at sea! We are looking for new hires to fill both shoreside and shipboard positions.

  • Stewards

    Passenger Services
    $17.48 / hour

    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*). 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.

    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.

    Work Location/Schedule
    AMHS vessel operations are a 24/7 work environment with variable crew assignments. In general, you will be assigned to a vessel on a Week On - Week     Off schedule, working an average of 84 hours per week. This position dispatches out of Ketchikan or Juneau in Alaska which we call the Home Ports. A new hire would need to be residing within the vicinity of these Home Ports to increase their ability to pick up assignments. Your daily schedule during your vessel assignments may vary from 8 hours to 12 hours and you may be asked to work split shifts. AMHS dispatch department handles all vessel assignment-related matters. Assignments are posted periodically by dispatch. Vessel supervisors set your daily tasks and work schedule once onboard. You may be asked to switch/upgrade positions during your assignments.

    AMHS operates in two distinctive regions. The Southeast (SE) region covers the routes between Bellingham WA and Skagway, AK. The majority of AMHS vessels operate in this region. The other, more remote and smaller region is the Southwest (SW), which includes the routes between Cordova and the Aleutian Chain. The relief pool for the Southwest route is small in comparison to Southeast. Currently, we are recruiting primarily for the SE region with Ketchikan and Juneau as the main change ports (dispatch locations). Note that all change ports are in Alaska.

    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 vessels, the crew returns to homeport 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 a permanent basis with a probationary period of 8 to 12 months on 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 for the new hires to often work higher-paying positions without having a bid through onboard upgrades, especially during the busier summer season.

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

    • Upon request, a shared cabin may 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 either Ketchikan or Juneau, a single-use - one-way trip pass onboard one of our AMHS vessels may 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.


    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 (upon hire)
    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
    • 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, through an applicant tracking system (ATS) only. 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). Candidates must have a US phone number to facilitate an interview. AMHS will not pursue a candidate if deemed not feasible to conduct interview and/or complete the pre-employment process.

    Background Check
    This is a safety sensitive position, in a public setting, as an State employee. Successful candidates will serve as a public agent and required to perform duties in a safe, reliable and highly ethical manner. Public employees have a responsibility to maintain the public’s trust. Employer will run a background check on selected candidates before a making a hiring decision.

    Each prospective hire will be asked to submit their required documents within 3 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.

How to Apply

Applications accepted online @ Alaska Marine Highway System/ Passenger Services Careers

Contact Alaska Marine Highway System