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How to Get Paid to Move to Alaska: The Best Programs

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Sometimes, all we need to get our lives in check is a fresh start in a new place, and luckily, there are many communities with good programs to encourage you to move to them.

These programs give you a nice incentive to move to the state and establish a life there in exchange for better pay, tax benefits, or both.

If you’re looking for ways to get paid to move to Alaska, this guide will have you covered with everything you need to know, including how much you can make and save as well as job boards for remote work. Let’s dive right in!

Can You Get Paid to Move to Alaska?

The short answer to the main question of this article is yes, you can make money while living in Alaska!

This is because the state pays its residents through an established sovereign program known as Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD).

This one allows the government to pay its full-time residents royalties from the investments of the Permanent Fund.

To benefit from the program, you need to live in the state for a full calendar year and intend to keep living there permanently.

How Much Can You Make Moving to Alaska?

The exact earnings can vary from one year to another depending on the investment returns, but it usually depends on the performance of U.S. bonds, global and local stocks, in addition to the real estate market.

For instance, in 2022, the dividend amount of each person was $3,284, which is around a 295% increase from the previous year ($1,114).

As you can see, this may not be enough to sustain a comfortable living. Yet, it can be an excellent boost to your work income in Alaska. This is because the annual mean wage in the state is around $66,130, according to the BLS.

Are There Tax Benefits to Moving to Alaska?

Alaska is considered an excellent tax haven, compared to many other states in America. In fact, Alaska removed its personal income tax in the 1980s, so you’ll only have to pay federal income taxes in the state.

Additionally, many large cities and municipalities in Alaska don’t have a sales tax, which reduces the cost of many goods significantly.

Moreover, Alaskan seniors (above 65) who own a home in the state will get a tax break of the first $150,000 of their property’s value.

This means that an average $330,000 house in the state will only pay taxes for a value of $180,000.

Places in Alaska That Pay You To Move

Here are three of the best places to live there, along with how much you can make and what makes these locations a great idea.

Anchorage

Anchorage is the largest city in the state of Alaska and is home to around 40% of the state’s population.

The city is located in the south-central part of the state and is even larger than the state of Rhode Island!

The city is considered one of the state’s largest communities and cultural hubs, which makes it a top spot to consider if you want to move to Alaska.

How Much You Can Make

If you live in Anchorage, you’ll become eligible for the state’s permanent fund. This means that you can earn a passive income of around $1,000 to $3,000 per year. However, this will always depend on the PFD’s performance that year.

Besides the permanent fund, you should also know that Anchorage is one of the few large cities in Alaska that doesn’t have sales tax.

This makes many goods and products cheaper in Anchorage than in other locations in the state, allowing you to save more in the long run.

What Makes This Option Great

Anchorage is easily one of the most tax-friendly locations in the state of Alaska. The city is also one of the most culturally rich locations in Alaska. In fact, you can find a variety of museums, theaters, and other cultural attractions to visit in Anchorage.

Additionally, the population of Anchorage is quite diverse with a strong sense of community, which makes it easier for newcomers to quickly settle in.

Juneau

Besides being the state’s capital, Juneau is one of the largest communities in Alaska. This makes it an excellent place to consider if you’re moving there.

The whole city is blessed with a stunningly beautiful backdrop of mountains and glaciers that makes it a perfect place to hang out if you’re a nature lover.

It also overlooks some of Alaska’s most popular landmarks, such as the Alaskan panhandle and the Gastineau Channel.

How Much You Can Make

Juneau residents are eligible for the PFD’s fund, which allows you to make anywhere between $1,000 to $3,000 per year or more, depending on the year’s dividend.

However, you should keep in mind that Juneau has a 1% permanent sales tax and a 4% temporary sales tax.

What Makes This Option Great

Juneau is one of the best places to call home if you want to become an Alaskan resident. The city’s environment is breathtaking and the weather is fairly moderate when compared to some extreme locations in the state.

Additionally, securing a job in the state’s capitol in Juneau is quite possible. In fact, the government is one of the city’s top employers.

Besides the Permanent Fund, Juneau also has an Affordable Housing Fund that allows residents to fund local housing projects.

Fairbanks

Located in the heart of the state, Fairbanks is the main city of the Fairbanks North Star borough in Alaska, which is equivalent to the county capital in other states.

The city has a relatively small population but it’s thriving as one of the most attractive tourist locations in the state.

Fairbanks is considered an excellent choice for anyone looking for a perfect work-life balance, and enjoying beautiful nature and diverse wildlife that you can’t find anywhere else.

How Much You Can Make

The main passive income method in Fairbanks is also Alaska’s Permanent Fund. This means that every resident in Fairbanks is expected to earn around $1,000 to $3,000 per year, depending on the performance of the PFD for the given year.

Besides the PFD, Fairbanks also offers a variety of passive income streams to its residents, including the CARES Act Relief Funds.

However, these income methods require separate applications with changing eligibility requirements.

What Makes This Option Great

Fairbanks is a great choice for everyone looking for a peaceful community with instant access to beautiful scenery and wildlife.

The city’s thriving culture and population have strong historical ties with the region and you’ll find tons of tourist attractions to visit during your stay.

Another reason to consider Fairbank is that it also doesn’t incur any sales taxes on its goods, which is why many of its products are quite affordable when compared to other cities in Alaska.

Jobs in Alaska That Pay You To Move

The Alaskan job market is incredibly diverse and includes tons of opportunities, ranging from simple gigs to full-time careers.

However, due to its remote location, many jobs end up paying extra for workers to move there. Here’s a quick look at three fields that would pay you to move there or offer an extra relocation incentive.

Medical Assistants

This includes a huge variety of jobs in the healthcare sector that don’t require a professional license to practice like doctors and pharmacists.

Among the most popular job titles in that field are pharmacist technicians, dental assistants/hygienists, nursing home workers, and many more.

The best part about these jobs is that they’re always in high demand and only require simple training and courses to be eligible for such work.

How Much You Can Make

The hourly wage of a medical assistant can vary significantly from one place to another. However, they’re fairly higher than many of the other 48 mainland states.

For instance, the average certified medical assistant in Alaska makes around $22.59, which is 20% above the national average, with an option to earn more if you come to Alaska with previous experience.

What Makes This Option Great

Medical assistants are in high demand in Alaska, so it’s fairly easy to find a job in that sector. Additionally, it’s a fairly secure job with plenty of additional benefits, such as a 401(k) pension plan.

The job also offers opportunities for career advancement, which allows you to boost your earnings as you gain more experience.

Truck Drivers

As America’s largest state, transportation in Alaska is quite critical, as cities are located thousands of miles apart and away from the mainland.

That’s why transportation in Alaska is always in high demand and many employers offer relocation incentives for workers to move to Alaska.

How Much You Can Make

The average salary for a driver in Alaska can vary depending on your operating location, the type of vehicle your drive, and your employer.

However, according to reports, the average annual salary of a Truck Driver in Alaska is around $105,000, which is around $40,000 higher than the national average.

What Makes This Option Great

Transportation is a great gig for anyone who doesn’t like sticking to a desk job. It’s also a great way to explore the beauty of the Alaskan outdoors while enjoying the financial benefits of moving to the state.

Moreover, most transportation jobs offer plenty of additional benefits, including pension plans, healthcare insurance, overtime bonuses, and much more!

Seafood Processors

Alaska is home to one of the largest seafood industries, not only in the U.S. but in all of North America.

To sustain this high productivity rate, many employers offer remarkable incentives for workers from other states to relocate there. Here’s a quick look at what you should expect working as a seafood processor in Alaska.

How Much You Can Make

According to a recent report by Talent, the average entry-level seafood processor in Alaska makes around $36,153 per year.

This is fairly higher than the national average, ranging between $19,000 to $29,000. There are also plenty of opportunities to work overtime for a significant pay boost.

What Makes This Option Great

The high demand for seafood processors in Alaska means a thriving job market for newcomers. Being a seasfood processor can be a bit labor intensive. Hoiwever, the work environment in the state is quite clean and safe with plenty of opportunities for advancement.

In addition to good pay, seafood processors are also offered other standard benefits. These include health insurance, paid vacations, and 401(k) plans.

Why You Should Consider Moving to Alaska

Whether you’re looking for tightly woven communities, endless opportunities for adventure and exploration, or you’re simply in it for financial benefits, Alaska has something for almost everyone!

In the following section, we’ll take a closer look at 5 of the top reasons why you should consider moving to the Last Frontier.

1. Amazing Nature and Diverse Wildlife

When it comes to nature beauty, Alaska is easily one of the most beautiful locations in all of North America. The state is home to Denali National Park, which offers both exceptional scenery and access to incredibly vast and thriving wildlife.

This includes unique animals like bears, moose, caribou, wolves, Dall sheep, and even various whale species (orcas, humpbacks, and gray whales). You can even travel up north to experience Northern Lights!

Additionally, you get to visit other landmarks of the state, including the volcanic mountains of the Aleutian Islands and the vast glaciers of Glacier Bay.

2. Excellent Chances for Outdoor Recreational Activities

If you’re all about going out and enjoying the beauty of nature, there aren’t many places in the U.S. that can beat Alaska.

For instance, if you like hiking and camping, the state houses tons of parks and trailheads with various levels of difficulty.

On the other hand, if you’re into hunting, you can find a huge range of hunting spots, starting from small and medium-sized prey like rabbits and foul to large animals like Moose and brown bears, especially in the Southeast rainforest region.

Besides hunting, you can also catch a huge variety of fish species from Alaska’s range of lakes, streams, as well as the ocean.

3. Exceptional History and Heritage

Although you might think that Alaska has only been inhabited recently, it has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years.

In fact, Native Americans and Russians both have a significant impact on the cultural scene in Alaskan communities.

4. Fairly Inexpensive Real Estate

According to reports, the average house in Alaska costs around $345,363, which is fairly in line with the national average.

However, considering that wages in Alaska are around 13% higher than the national average, the true cost of owning a house in Alaska is fairly low!

5. Highly Sustainable and Simple Lifestyle

Although you can lead an urban lifestyle while living in Alaskan cities, you can switch to a sustainable and simple lifestyle if you live in the outskirts. This also applies to going entirely off the grid and living off the state’s rich wildlife!

Is it Cheap to Live in Alaska?

The short and simple answer to this question is no. Living in Alaska can be quite costly, and according to RentCafe, the state’s cost of living is around 29% higher than the national average.

The same report mentions that healthcare is one of the most prominent aspects of Alaska’s high cost of living, which is around 49% higher than the national average.

Food and groceries can also be quite pricey, which cost around 30% to 40% more than the national average.

Many factors contribute to Alaska’s high cost of living. For instance, being a huge, remote state means that transporting goods to the state is more expensive.

The harsh winter months and limited population also put extra strains on services, increasing their average cost significantly.

Keep in mind that not all cities in Alaska cost the same. For instance, big cities like Juneau, Fairbanks, and Anchorage are more affordable than further cities like Unalaska.

The island city costs around 6% higher than the state’s average and 37% higher than the national average.

What is a Livable Salary in Alaska?

The Livable salary in Alaska is highly dependent on your individual circumstances. This includes aspects like:

  • Housing costs
  • Where you live
  • The size of your family
  • Your general expenses and lifestyle choices

According to the Alaskan Government, the minimum wage of the state is $10.85 as of Jan 1, 2023. However, Wisevoter reported that the minimum livable hourly wage for an adult without a child in the state is $16.72.

For a family of 4, a comfortable livable annual wage should be around $60,000. This allows you to afford essential expenses like housing, food, healthcare, and transportation. Luckily, achieving such a wage can be quite easy with the help of governmental incentive programs.

Of course, you’ll need a lower salary if you live in rural Alaska. Yet, that also means lower costs of living.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know what you should expect during the process, you might have some extra questions on your mind. In this section, we’ll briefly answer some of these questions!

Can I Move to Alaska Without a Job?

Yes, you technically don’t need a job in the state to move to Alaska.  However, the state Division of Employment Security highly recommends either getting a job offer before moving to the state.
Alternatively, you’ll need to bring enough money to keep yourself sustained until you find one. The cost of living in Alaska is fairly high, so you’ll need plenty of cash money for a few months.
You should also note that the unemployment rate in Alaska reached a record low of 4% in late 2022. Based on these figures, it should be relatively easy to find jobs there.

Is it Hard to Find a Job in Alaska?

The answer here highly depends on the kind of job you’re looking for. Your experience levels and skills can also play a remarkable role here.
According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, most fields in Alaska are satisfied with the current workforce volumes.
That being said, some industries in the state are always looking for new hires. These include fishing, tourism, oil, gas, and much more. If you’re eligible to work in any of these fields, finding a job there should be more streamlined for you.

Similar Locations to Consider

Alaska resident comes with plenty of advantages. However, it’s not the only place you should consider if you’re looking forward to getting paid to move. Here are three extra places that offer attractive incentive programs as well:

  • Get Paid to Move to Montana: Montana is known for its natural beauty and wildlife diversity. This allows for tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Luckily, you can enjoy all that while getting extra benefits from the local government to live there.
  • Get Paid to Move to Vermont: Vermont is known for its unique combination of small-town vibes with open-minded culture. It also offers plenty of employment opportunities thanks to its thriving food and maple syrup industry.
  • Get Paid to Move to Colorado: The Centennial State is one of the best locations to consider for moving. This is especially true if you like national parks, unique landscapes, and wildlife exploration areas. It also has a remarkable incentive program to encourage people to move there!

Wrapping Up

This marks the end of today’s guide that shows you how to get paid to move to Alaska. As you can see, the state offers an opportunity for its residents to boost their annual income through the PFD.

Keep in mind that the eligibility requirements for the program may vary from time to time. That’s why you should check the official Alaskan government website to find out more about them!

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