New job Stewards in Alaska


Company : Alaska Marine Highway System
Salary : $17.48 - $21.36 an hour
Location : Alaska

Full Description


Attention! This particular recruitment campaign is designed to fill immediate openings. Candidates must be in possession of valid minimum credentials (TWIC & MMC) to apply. Applications without valid, legible copies of these credentials will not advance in this recruitment campaign. Additional supporting documents (Drug Test, Alaska Food Worker Card, TAP) will be required if selected as prospective hire. Please review the Required Documents section below for more information.

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 6 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.

A strong customer service aptitude is essential for this position. Experience in hospitality, tourism or retail sectors (hotel, motel, resort, cruise, tour operator, restaurant, fast food, deli, grocery etc.) is highly desired. The ideal candidate would have a strong combination of;

  • Commercial cooking and/or food service experience
  • Cash handling (Point-of-Sale Systems) experience
  • Housekeeping/Janitorial experience
  • Basic computer and clerical skills
This is a public service position in the government sector providing service in marine environment. As such, a strong commitment to safety, public service, and exceptional work ethics are required. Public employees have a responsibility to maintain the public's trust. The ideal candidate would exhibit the following traits and 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
This position dispatches out of Ketchikan or Juneau in Alaska which we call the Home Ports. A new hire should be residing within the vicinity of these Home Ports to increase their ability to pick up assignments. Most crew work on Week-On, Week-Off assignment rotation. Daily schedule during each assignment can vary from 8 hours to 12 hours and you may be asked to work split shifts.


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
Required Documents

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. All or 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
  • Training for Alcohol Professionals (TAP): This certification is required for any crew member 21 and older. Information for obtaining this certification is available at
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.


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. 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.


Traditionally, AMHS carries more passenger and cargo during the summer months. All entry-level employees are hired on permanent basis with a probationary period of 6 to 12 months average. However, the availability of assignments greatly fluctuates between the summer and winter; thus impacting the consistency of the assignments, especially in the winter. Additionally, seniority plays a major role in who gets the available assignments first. Therefore the first winter may be slow for a new hire in regards to available assignments. 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. Employees are allowed to apply for approved absence from work (LWOP) which is usually granted for the winter months. We require new hires to be fully available during the summer season (May through September).

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 mess on most vessels. AMHS is a Drug and Alcohol-Free workplace and has a strictly enforced Drug & Alcohol Policy.

AMHS utilizes a third party applicant tracking system (ATS) for the Steward position. 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 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. Successfully 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 candidate will be provided with a timeline to submit their documents. Valid copies of the required documents must be received by our recruitment desk to complete the hiring process. If the documents are not received within the timeline 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.

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