Cars in Alaska

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Cars in Alaska

Postby Yaffasmom » Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:48 pm

Ok, so I am busy filling out applications and applying for next year. Everything I had read, led me to believe that there would be no way I would get a job in an "on the road" school. However, maybe since I am a special ed teacher, I am getting contacted by ASD and Matsu. So I HAD been planning just to not have a car. My lease will be up next summer and I was just going to let it go. However, if I am in Anchorage or Palmer, I need a car. So, what kind of car would I need? If I am in an apartment, will my car be OK? Do apartments have garages in Alaska? What about rust from salt? Do people worry about that? What about the cold? I know I would need snow tires minimally. What else do I need to know? Thanks in advance for any help.

Before I post this, I thought if I had any other questions, because initially, I was planning on the Bush. Are they worth comparing? What about comparing salaries? Other important facts I should consider?
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Re: Cars in Alaska

Postby Johncn » Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:08 am

Hi Amy,

To should check out the main Alaska Teacher Placement website for starters at:

But, the differences in lifestyle, pay and costs are sometimes significant. You'll have to check with each district about housing options, and research rental costs. Most road system districts do not have subsidized rent as part of their union contract, so you'll need to rent a place. Some have housing assistance in locating suitable places that other teachers have used, while others may not be able to help you locate one.

In general, having a car in most Bush locations (off the road system) is not necessary, especially your first year. Having a car in a road system community is generally recommended. Cars should be AWD or 4x4 if you want to have mobility during the winter pretty much anywhere in Alaska. Alaskans also do use snow tires much of the year, even in commuting areas like Anchorage, Mat Su and the Kenai Peninsula. If you live in Fairbanks or some other areas away from the coast, but on the road system, you may want a plug-in engine block heater to keep oil flowing enough to start easily. Anchorage is not nearly as cold as most people think, but still gets real winter. Fairbanks is colder than many realize, but people are active all winter, it's all what you become used to. Kodiak and Juneau are on the ferry system, but their weather is somewhat moderated by the maritime environment.

Many road crews in Alaska use more cinders, grit and sand than salt, however, due to temperatures. Districts you are talking with can provide valuable insights about this sort of thing. Some areas plow more than others, but driving in the city of Anchorage or Fairbanks, for example, is often on hard-packed snow and ice as the norm during much of the winter. ;-) Watch for moose! Slow down on major roads when approaching red lights or intersections. Start out slowly when the light changes. Shiny ice is bad. Seat warmers and remote starting is good. ;-)

Hope this helps.

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