After nearly a year of searching, the Canadian Coast Guard has increased the pay for potential assistant lighthouse keepers in B.C.
In January, CHEK News reported that the CCG was seeking assistant lightkeepers for lighthouses dotted across the B.C. coast.
Some of the lighthouses are located in remote areas of Vancouver Island, including in Cape Scott and Quatsino, while others are located on islands just off Vancouver Island – including on Scarlett Point near Port Hardy and Nootka Island west of Gold River.
At the beginning of the year, prospective assistant lighthouse keepers were being offered a salary of $45,000 to just under $61,000.
Nearly a year later, the coast guard is now offering a salary of nearly $50,000 to $67,000 to fill the position.
The deadline to apply for the job was also extended from Dec. 31, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2024.
Office with a view
The coast guard isn’t advertising just a pay raise, however. It’s advertising the unique B.C. locales that assistant lighthouse keepers will get to work in.
“Western Region Lightstations ensure the safe passage of mariners in the most beautiful, remote, and rugged locations on British Columbia’s breath-taking coastline,” reads the job posting.
“Duties include handiwork, machine operation, maintenance and VHF Radio Communication in remote marine environments,” the posting continues.
Anyone hoping to take the job will need to have experience operating and maintaining mechanical and electrical equipment, like generators, motors and power tools.
They’ll also need to have strong communication skills and it’s encouraged to have experience working in isolated or semi-isolated locations.
In 2021, a lighthouse keeper on Vancouver Island provided tips on how to deal with self-isolation.
“Definitely cook some good meals for yourself, bake bread, if you have a garden harvest food from your garden, it makes you feel well,” said Karen Zacharuk, a lighthouse keeper at the Cape Beale Lighthouse, located near Bamfield.
“Learn a new craft, get your creative juices flowing, you can go for a walk, that always inspires me,” she added. “Not spending too much time on your phone but just being creative and making new things and eating well and getting outside is so important as well.”
The assistant lightkeeper job is open to any Canadian citizen or permanent resident, with priority consideration going to veterans.
The coast guard notes that anyone hired for the job will be on the hook for travel costs to get to communities where they’ll subsequently be flown to their lighthouse.
The full posting can be found on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.
With files from CHEK’s Ethan Morneau