Here in Alaska, you'll hear a lot about "working on the slope" or "slope work". If you're able to get slope work, you'll probably be one of the best paid employees in Alaska. The North Slope is one of the most northern regions of Alaska. It is right on the Arctic Ocean. The closest airport is in Prudhoe Bay and the living accommodations are in Deadhorse, Alaska. Basically, it's working in the oil fields.

Men and women will fly into Prudhoe Bay and be assigned a room at one of the many camps there. Sometimes you get a room to yourself and other times you have a room mate. Work goes on 24 hours a day there so your room mate will be on the opposite shift that you are thus giving you a room to yourself. Everyone eats in a mess hall. The food there is reportedly some of the best in Alaska. They have steaks, king crab legs, lobster and all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables. They even have baristas. There is a little store on the premises so you can buy anything you might have forgotten to bring, but it's going to be very expensive. Most everything else is free, courtesy of the company you work for.

Most people work 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. For the 2 weeks you're working you have 12 hour days. Many of the people working on the slope live in Anchorage. You don't have to live here though. Some live somewhere in the lower 48. The companies pay your plane ticket to and from Anchorage. If you want to live somewhere else you have to pay that part of your plane ticket. As long as you come back in time to catch your flight for your next hitch, management doesn't care what you do with your time off or where you live.

It's not a bad living and many workers absolutely love it. Where else to do you work half of the year and get paid for full time work? For others, it's as close to retirement as you can come and still command a full time salary.

Slope work can be dangerous for many reasons. Just working in an oil field is enough reason to label it dangerous but then add the sub zero temperatures to it and the danger goes to another level. This last winter a friend called from the slope because he had nothing to do. He said they had canceled work because it was now 70 below zero. The gale force winds made the "feel like" temperature 92 below zero.

They have a first rate medical facility at the slope too. However, it is wise to take out evacuation insurance. If you are involved in an accident or you become so sick they have to med-i-vac you to Anchorage, that can cost over $10,000. For about $26 per month you can get insurance that will pay for the extraction should you get into trouble. That's a small investment compared to the alternative.

Most people work on the slope without incident. It is a good life and affords families lots of down time. It is actually quite a coveted position but some just aren't cut out for that type of work. However, for many, it's an answer from Heaven.

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