Summer Whale Watch Jobs

Interested parties can e-mail their resume, cover letter and three references to: or mail it to: PO Box 365, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. Applications for vessel-based employment can be sent to

Mission Statement

We at San Juan Safaris are knowledgeable in all aspects of our local environment and enthusiastic in sharing our knowledge in hopes of encouraging our guests to develop a lifelong love of wildlife and its habitat. Our priorities are safety, education and fun.

Company Description

San Juan Safaris is a small, privately owned, well-respected company operating from Friday Harbor since 1995. The company has approximately 10 staff members during the season, April - September, and three staff members year-round.

Our emphasis is on safety, guest service, respecting wildlife and its environment. Our goal is to foster natural guest interactions with wildlife and its habitat, giving them a deeper understanding of what they are viewing. Our hope is that our guests will return home with lifelong memories, and then support wildlife and habitat in their everyday life.


Creating a team environment for our staff is of utmost importance in achieving a memorable summer experience. Our whale watching staff members depend on each other to support each job function. Because of the size of our company and the work environment we have created, we are more like a big extended family.

Those employed with San Juan Safaris must commit to working five days per week June through August, including evenings, weekends and holidays.

We are looking for only the best outdoor educators and first mates. We are outdoor professionals who bring our passion and commitment to wildlife to work and share it with our guests.

Because we spend money and energy training staff, we are looking for people who plan to be with us at least 2 summers. On average, 75% of our staff return for the following season.

San Juan Island

San Juan Island is one of the few places in the world where you can see killer whales on a regular basis. The orcas here in the islands are quite gregarious.

The islands are beautiful and lend themselves to biking, hiking, birding, long walks, boating and kayaking. Most everything you need is located in Friday Harbor, within walking distance of work. 

Housing on San Juan Island

If you work for us you will need to plan on living here on San Juan Island. Commuting to and from the island causes scheduling difficulties.

We assist in finding affordable housing for the summer. Most staff room together (which is half the fun) for about $300-$500 per person per month. Most places do not accept pets, so plan on leaving your dog or cat behind.

Pro Deals

As an employee of San Juan Safaris, you will have access to “pro deals” from a number of outdoor gear companies. Some of the companies we have pro deals with are: REI, Northwest River Supply (NRS), Kokotat, Cascade Designs, Smith Sunglasses, Kavu, Sierra Designs, Mountain Hardware, Yakima, Extrasport and Patagonia, just to name a few.

Resumes and Interviews

We start accepting resumes after season’s end, in November. Follow-up phone calls begin in January. The best way to apply is to send your resume, cover letter, and three references to Applications for vessel-based employment can be sent directly to

San Juan Safaris pays its crew bi-weekly according to a contracted compensation agreement. We rely on our staff to stay through the entire season. Most staff are paid an hourly wage with an additional season-end bonus tied to hours worked.