The media may want you to think of Alaskan energy in terms of the Exxon Valdese but while much of the nation suffered through a near depression, Alaska sailed through not only not collecting income tax, but paying royalties to its citizens, all because of oil and gas reserves that they are taking out of the North Slope area. The state revolves around oil and mining with a dash of tourism on the side, the opposite of Florida.
In Alaska they have three schools that concentrate on those industries, one of the schools that is setup around oil and mining is the College of Energy and Mining. Its catalogue is absolutely bubbly about the prospects for the oil industry in Alaska and has been for over a generation. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks is another option to consider. Fairbanks is actually one of the top colleges in the nation, straight out of Alaska, for petroleum engineering programs.
As a matter of fact, many companies will train you and the Alaskan Job Center will guide you to numerous companies with the full information on job availability, pay, educational requirements and upward mobility. The state believes that it needs 7,500 new workers in the coming year.
One of the items you must consider when going to Alaska is the cost of living, very little is produced there and almost everything has to be shipped in. If you have ever watched “Ice Road Truckers” you know that the transportation itself is hazardous and expensive. If you are working on the North Slope it is isolated and seasonal. On the flip side of that, many work the season and then go to the lower 48 in the down season, having made more money than they would in a year in their home state. To entice you to stay in Alaska, as noted earlier, each permanent resident gets a portion of the residuals from the drilling proceeds.
High pay, steady work for the foreseeable future and educational opportunities, that would be something to consider if you are looking at a new career. Add to that some of the most spectacular scenery on earth and that could well be a winning combination for you.
University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK$15,560
University of Alaska AnchorageAnchorage, AK$15,206
University of Alaska SoutheastJuneau, AK$16,269