Alaska has many job opportunities for those who enjoy driving or working on trucks.
However, to enter the field, you’ll have to first get certified.
When to get a CDL
CDLs are regulated at the federal level.
You’ll need a CDL when driving one of the following:
- The vehicle weighs more than 26,000 pounds
- The vehicle is loaded with hazardous materials
- A bus made for more than 16 people.
- Be at least 19 years old (21 if you want to drive tour buses)
- Have a driver’s license valid in Alaska, for at least 1 year
- Pass the exams, including the medical ones
- Pass a background check (for some endorsements)
The endorsements are special certifications that allow you to drive specific vehicles.
For instance, you’ll need the hazardous materials endorsement when transporting these.
Be aware that sometimes, there are restrictions applying at times, for instance, when learning how to drive with passengers, you can’t actually have passengers in the vehicle.
Getting Your Certification
The license allowing you to drive or service trucks are easily obtained from a specialized school.
Most of the schools in Alaska even offer scholarships for those who can’t afford the tuition fee, so have a look at the institutions below.
|Alaska Driving Academy||44332 Sterling Hwy #16, Soldotna, AK 99669|
|Alaska Safe Driver Academy LLC||4000 W Dimond Blvd #220, Anchorage, AK 99502,|
|Alaska Teamster - Employer Service Training Trust||520 E 34th Ave Ste 201, Anchorage, AK 99503|
|Center for Employment Education||520 E. 34th Avenue, Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99503|
|Center for Employment Education||751 Old Richardson Highway, Suite 127, Fairbanks, AK 99701|
|Cherokee Riders||944 Cowles St, Fairbanks, AK 99701|
|Drivers' Educational School, Inc.||4007 Old Seward Hwy Suite #350, Anchorage, AK 99503,|
|Ilisagvik College||100 Stevenson Street, PO Box 749, Barrow, AK 99723|
|Kenai Peninsula Driving Instruction LLC||14896 Kenai Spur Hwy Suite 106A, Kenai, AK 99611|
|Northern Industrial Training||1740 N Terrilou Ct, Palmer, AK 99654|
|Northern Industrial Training||3700 Centerpoint Dr, Suite 102, Anchorage, AK 99503|
|Vocational Training & Resource Center||3239 Hospital Dr, Juneau, AK 99801|
Some of the institutions may offer a second scholarship on top of the one already earned, so make sure to check out those options.
Some of the programs include:
- diesel technology
- heavy duty mechanics
- marine technology.
Pay attention to the Occupational Endorsement as it’s a 2-semester program that prepares the students for entry-level jobs.
This type of training is perfect for those who already know the career path they want to follow.
If you’re not yet decided, you can choose to enroll in a 2-year program that will award you an Associate’s diploma instead.
Depending on the program, up to 60% of the time you’re enrolled is spent on hands-on experience.
When the program ends, you’ll have to pass a test that is usually formed of 2 parts: one part for skills and the other for knowledge.
Commercial drivers in Alaska earn on average about $49,576 per year, while those in the top 10% earn about $57,455 per year.
The median salary in the United States for these drivers is $44,225 while those in the top 10% make around $51,254 per year.
You can increase your earnings if you get the ASE certification.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
There are plenty of companies in search of people with a trucking or diesel diploma, and they can work at repair shops, leasing centers or trucking companies as diesel mechanics or drivers.