The Mill at Ward Cove

Work and Play at Alaska's Newest Cruise Ship Destination!

We are hiring for the 2024 summer season! As a world-class destination there is a job for everyone. We have positions ranging from retail and tour sales to maintenance and security, as well as van drivers, CDL drivers and tour guides. Working in Alaska is the adventure of a lifetime that is guaranteed to create happy memories for many years to come.

Ketchikan sits at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage and in the midst of the Tongass National Forest, a 17M-acre temperate rainforest full of cedar, Sitka spruce, waterfalls, and wildlife. The community is known for world-class fishing, beautiful scenery, and rich Alaska Native culture.

About The Mill at Ward Cove

The Mill at Ward Cove is the site of the historic Ketchikan Pulp Mill, the longest operating pulp mill in Alaska, located just 7 miles north of downtown Ketchikan.  

Completed in 1954 and operated until 1997, The Mill was the economic heartbeat of Southeast Alaska. Logs were harvested from the forest and transformed into usable products such as rayon, cellophane, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and even food additives.  As we develop this destination The Mill at Ward Cove will again become an economic driver for the community of Ketchikan, creating year-round jobs for local residents as well as fun seasonal opportunities for non-residents.

As one of Alaska’s newest cruise ship ports, The Mill at Ward Cove is fast becoming a major destination in Alaska.  We provide our guests with a true Alaska experience at our Welcome Center with great retail opportunities including artisan kiosks, a full sit-down dining experience, and museum displays that showcase the history of logging and The Mill.

We operate a variety of adventurous tour options such as kayaking, hiking, sea cycle adventure, self-drive zodiac tour, and an e-bike tour.   We also engage our guests with storytelling, live music, and other artistic attractions. 

Come be part of our team and help us create a destination unlike any other.

The Employee Experience

Working in Alaska is an experience that will not soon be forgotten.  Make new life-long friends, explore the great outdoors, and learn about the history and culture of the area. 

As an Alaska-owned and operated company, we take pride in sharing our destination with all of our guests, including employees, and we view our team as vital to our success and growth.  As we build out this world-class destination we are looking for the most talented individuals in the industry.  

The team at The Mill at Ward Cove form a close bond while working hard and playing hard together.  Our company values and prioritizes a high-quality workplace that offers a professional, yet fun, work atmosphere.  We don't just train you to run a cash register or guide a kayak tour, we develop leadership skills and mentor our employees to develop traits that can be applied to any future career. 

Ideal Candidate

We strive to create a team environment that is not only inclusive and respectful but the adventure of a lifetime.

An ideal candidate is:

  • Team-oriented, with a strong work ethic and a can-do attitude
  • Flexible with the ability to adapt to sudden changes in routine
  • Has public speaking experience and exemplary customer service record
  • View safety and guests needs as a number one priority
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time and work outdoors in the elements
  • Ability to clearly communicate important information in person
  • US Citizen, green card holder or visa holder (proof of eligibility required)
  • Preferably available the full season (April through October), but will consider all available dates

Room and Board

Employee Housing

Spend your summer on the historic MV Malaspina, the first ferry commissioned by the State of Alaska.  Entertain guests during the day and explore Ketchikan, Alaska by bike or kayak on your days off.  Have fun and meet new friends in this unique living environment.

We charge a flat daily rate of $20.00 per person per day for a single room or $16 per person per day for a double room. The cost is deducted from your paycheck if you choose to stay in employee housing. The rate covers rent, utilities, cleaning of public areas, weekly laundering of towels and sheets (provided), and Wi-Fi in public spaces.  Also includes use of bikes and kayaks.

Dormitory-like housing with a cafeteria; most rooms are shared with at least one other employee and include twin beds and a private bathroom. 

Coin operated laundry is available on premises. 

Employee Perks

We provide paid training at the beginning of the season and offer competitive pay, partially subsidized housing, and a fun team environment.

  • Sign-On Bonus:  If signed-on prior to February 1, 2024, employee will receive $500 paid at the end of their contract
  • Retention Bonus:  Employees will receive $1 per hour ($1.50 per OT hour) bonus at the end of their contract
  • Travel Reimbursement:  Up to $300 travel reimbursement with receipts paid at the end of the probationary period (3 weeks)
  • Referral Bonus:  Employees who refer other applicants that are hired and complete their contract receive $100 per employee, paid at the end of the season
  • Retirement:  401(k) dollar-for-dollar contribution match up to 6% of base salary, eligible after 1,000 hours of employment
  • Free tours and activities at Ward Cove on a space-available basis
  • Four complimentary tour tickets for friends and family, additional tickets may be purchased at the crew rate
  • 20% discount in Ward Cove retail shop

Getting Here and Getting Around

Alaska Airlines offers multiple daily flights between Seattle and Ketchikan and the Alaska Marine Highway System (Alaska State Ferry) connects to Bellingham.  It is the employee's responsibility to make their own travel arrangements; however, after one month of employment you will be reimbursed a travel stipend of up to $300 (must show receipts).

A vehicle is not necessary but makes exploring the area much easier.  You can either bring your own vehicle via the Alaska State Ferry or purchase one in town.  Bicycles are also a good solution!

For Fun

Recreational activities abound! 

Ketchikan is a beautiful, small town situated right on the waters of Southeast Alaska. The long summer days allow you to both work and play. After work, enjoy one of the numerous trails within minutes of Ward Cove which offer opportunities for hiking, cycling, kayaking, and fishing.  

Go sightseeing! 

Bring a camera, because there are plenty of photo opportunities everywhere you look. Some nights, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. It isn't often, but sometimes we do get lucky enough to spot them for just a moment. 

Arts & Culture!

When the weather clears and the skunk cabbage begins to bloom, so does the art. It’s been a part of the culture since the first woven cedar bark basket and locals love to share it with folks who visit.


Although Ketchikan is a small town, it gets regular deliveries of fresh produce, auto parts, home goods, and other necessities. So rest assured: you can find everything you need, some things you’ve always wanted, and probably a few things you never knew you couldn’t live without!

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in applying for a job at The Mill at Ward Cove.  Please click Apply Now to begin our online application process.

Contact The Mill at Ward Cove