Alaska Teamster-Employer Service Training Trust
Freight Transport Truck Driver

Are you 21 years of age or older and looking for an exciting career in Freight Transport Truck Driving?

Applicants can be 20 years or older to apply for this program. However, you must turn 21 years of age by the date noted on the application at the time of the announced opening.

Individuals must be a minimum of 21 years of age to obtain a HME endorsement on their CDL.
This is result of a Federal Regulation now adopted by the State of Alaska November 26, 2015.

Teamster Freight Transport Drivers drive what is commonly recognized as a tractor-trailers; tractors with container vans (dry or refrigerated), tankers and flatbeds.  The work is local in-town and includes LTL freight and local container delivery supplying the state of Alaska 90% of its consumable good. We supply grocery stores, retail stores and building materials that support Alaska's economy.  Typically you drop (or spot) the trailer at a location, pick-up a return trailer and depending on the employer industry you may load/un-load freight, perform load securement; along with other industry specific commercial vehicle operations.
It’s not hard work if you work smart but you will get dirty, wet and maybe a little cold! However, we often say there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear so be well prepared.

We do not provide training for the sake of training. When we accept you into our program we train you to place you into our freight transportation workforce to meet the needs of the Alaska Teamsters Local 959 Union employers.

We are looking for dedicated individuals who want to start a career in this freight driver industry who understand that not only is there a two year commitment to the apprenticeship program but a lifelong career path as a journeyworker in the same industry.
This commitment is anticipated to be 10 years or more. 

Our motto is, “Training Alaskan’s for Tomorrows Workforce”.

Freight Transport Driver - Overview

Application Process:
There will be a 30 day announced notice of the apprenticeship opening. At the end of that announcement there will be a 10 business day application acceptance period. After the deadline, all applications will be reviewed for eligibility. Those that are deemed eligible will then be notified by mail of the interview date and time. Those ineligible will also receive a notice by mail of their status. Those who are eligible will be required to respond to the interview notice confirming they wish to be interviewed. Those who do not will be removed from the eligibility list. Interviews are conducted in person in Anchorage unless otherwise noted. We highly encourage applicants to participate in the free interview workshops at the DOL Job Centers. Do your homework about the program and type of work. Be sure you understand this industry and it is what you are interested in.

Applicants who are interviewed and selected for the program will be notified by telephone and mail. At that time you will be required to obtain your DOT Medical Certificate, DOT UA substance test, and complete a Post Offer General Health and Occupational History (Depending on location and provider these four combined fees are typically $244). Once you obtain the DOT Certificate, we receive Negative test results for the substance test, and the results of the POHQ; you will then be required to complete a post-offer pre-placement Functional Fit Test performed by our affiliate clinic. Upon successful completion of this test; an official offer of acceptance into the training program will be made and you will be notified for the Orientation day.

On Orientation day, you will be required to sign-up with the Alaska Teamsters Local 959 to obtain your Start Date and Ledger #. That requires a $25.00 non-working dues payment. You will also need to maintain that monthly dues payment until you receive your first work dispatch. At that time a working dues structure will go into place. You will also be required to pay your Books & Lab fees of $160.00. There are additional out of pocket costs for CDL related fees (These can vary if a person already has a permit or CDL license).

CDL permit fee of $15.00 is payable directly to DMV the first week of class.  *You can obtain you CDL-A Permit prior to class. NOTE: You must have one of the documents as required by State of Alaska DMV (ie: certified birth certificate or passport) when you go to obtain your CDL Permit. 

HazMat Fingerprint & Background Check (HME) of $86.50 is payable directly to TSA, also first week of class.  *You can obtain your background check prior to start of class. Pre-enroll to make an appointment at   ***Must be minimum 21 years of age to obtain the HME endorsement.

TWIC Background & Fingerprint check of $128.00 for access credential is payable directly to TSA the third week of class. *You can obtain this credential the same time as the HazMat Fingerprint background check for a combined reduced fee. Pre-enroll to make an appointment at

The road test fee for the CDL is payable directly to CEE the last week of training. This is $25.00. 

CDL License Fee of $120.00 (first time CDL) or $15.00 (CDL upgrade) is payable directly to DMV week six of class. NOTE: Again you must have one of the documents as required by State of Alaska DMV (ie: certified birth certificate or passport) to obtain your CDL license.

State of Alaska - DMV Real ID Requirements:

Your personal investment for all of the above with or without funding assistance the first week of class is approximately $780.

The Training for the apprenticeship program is at no cost, that is our investment in you and is approximately $27,000 your first year in the program.

Keep in mind there will be additional costs for appropriate work gear which can be an investment as well. We provide an outline of recommended gear to be prepared to go to the job site for the first time.

These fees are the apprentice’s responsibility. On occasion there may be assistance available from other sources and is a case-by-case, individual qualification status (i.e.: DOL Job Centers & AK Native Corporations, etc.). We recommend you begin searching your options as soon as possible.
The length of training before an apprentice is eligible for work will also vary by the time of year and needs from our employers. Training time is also unpaid. (*Veterans- VA benefits do NOT apply to the initial classroom training which is called Related Instruction. Only once you are dispatched to employment on-the-job-training.) Individuals must be prepared to attend 8 weeks of consecutive training in Anchorage. If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you can typically collect during apprenticeship training. Other assistance may be available through the Job Center's on a case-by-case basis. Again, we recommend you check into those options as soon as possible.

All apprentices, regardless of previous training or existing CDL will attend the 6-week Basic Driver CDL-A training certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute. It is vital to the program that each apprentice receives the same training and team building that comes with the program. We have very high expectations of our apprentices and it is possible to be cancelled from the apprenticeship during the initial 6-week training program. There are a number of benchmarks you are required to meet along with a minimum 80% GPA. However, even that is not a guarantee. It is still possible to be cancelled anytime along the way during the initial 1000 hour probation period. We are looking for individuals who are willing to make a commitment, work hard and represent not only themselves but the Teamsters and all of our membership professionally!

Upon completion of the 6-week program, there are additional weeks of classroom and hands-on freight industry related training.

The intent is to have our apprentices trained to begin their career for summer work in the local area they are selected for. Work will likely start in May.

Work is assigned by the Apprenticeship Coordinator. You do not seek your own employment. Typical work for this industry is year-round.

Work for this apprenticeship program is typically for the Anchorage or Fairbanks local freight industry.

Due to the seasonality of work, it is very important that individuals have a solid plan for savings. Even at a reduced apprentice wage you will likely begin making higher wages than you ever have and want to run out and buy new and expensive items (vehicles, homes, toys, etc.). The key to success and surviving the highs and lows of the freight seasons is saving for those low periods of reduced work. We even recommend waiting until you've completed the program and become a journeyperson before making those big purchases. Even with apprenticeship, it is possible to experience reduced work between the major seasons.

We do ask applicants to provide information about previous criminal convictions. Not all incidents are automatic disqualifications however there are some that are with regard to obtaining a Hazardous Materials endorsement (HME) for a CDL. Please review the link for the automatic disqualifications for HazMat. Other offenses may be disqualifications due to employer policies, we look at these on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure, before you apply please contact us.

Application Information