Truck driving has risen as a career choice in recent years, as it offers incredible opportunities for a steady income without much competition, given the demand for truck drivers.
If you’re interested in this for yourself, what steps have you taken to make it happen? While having experience with driving is important, you must also obtain your CDL (commercial driver’s license) in order to get a good job in trucking.
Truck driving school cost can run you anywhere from $1,200 to over $10,000 – depending on the CDL class type, city and state you live in, college or independent school you go to, and how many hours of training.
Training to Become a Truck Driver
In order to become a truck driver you must have the proper training, as commercial vehicles can be much more difficult to navigate. While obtaining your CDL (commercial driver’s license) is essential, many drivers also choose to attend truck driving school to fine-tune their skills. Below you’ll find more information about how to get your license and what you need to know about truck driving schools.
Costs of Going to Truck Driving School
Some states do not require CDL applicants to take special courses (while they generally are recommended). However, each individual is required to first apply for a permit (by taking a written test) that allows them to practice driving commercial vehicles. After this has been obtained and the requirements for the license have been met (this varies by state), the applicant can then make an appointment for a driving test. This costs around $40 and must be passed in order for the CDL to be given.
In states where CDL courses are required, students can expect to spend from $1200 to well over $10,000+. This cost heavily depends on the company that’s hosting the training course, where it’s located, and what it offers. Fortunately most of these cover everything the driver needs to know in order to pass their commercial driver’s license test and have a successful career in this field.
Examples of How Much You’ll Pay for Tuition
|Truck Driving School||City, State||CDL Type||Program Length||Tuition Cost|
|Cuyahoga Community College||Cleveland, Ohio||Class A|
|Southern State Community College||Cincinnati, Ohio||Class A|
|H. Councill Trenholm State Community College||Montgomery, Alabama||Class A||10 weeks||$1500|
|California Truck Driving Academy||Santa Ana, California||Class A/B|
Class B Passenger/Bus
|Georgia Northwestern Technical College||Rock Spring, Georgia||Class A||8-15 weeks||$1200|
Here’s another list of schools and costs, where Northern Industrial Training charges $18,000 for 480 hours of training.
Schools that Offer Truck Driving Courses
If you plan on taking a truck driving course, you’ll be delighted to find that you have many options available to you. Which you choose should be based on the cost, how helpful the course is, and where it’s located. Some of the most common options include:
There are many colleges throughout the United States that proudly offer truck driving training programs for students who are interested in it.
The curriculum for these teaches individuals all they need to know about driving these types of vehicles and can help them pass their CDL test and get an excellent job. Some examples of schools that offer these programs and courses include: St. Louis Community College, Davids Country Community College, Crowder College, and Victoria College. A quick online search should point to schools in your area that feature these courses specifically.
Independent Trucking Schools
Independent trucking schools are some of the most commonly used resources for individuals who are interested in this career choice.
It’s easy to see why, as they offer a variety of programs and are recognized by many employers as well. Just like courses through college, these teach students all they need to know about truck driving. This includes formal education as well as experience driving on the road, which is necessary in some states to obtain a CDL. These are located all throughout the country, although the easiest way to find one near you is by searching online with your zip code.
Methods of Paying for the Cost of School
While the investment in going to trucking school can be worthwhile, the out-of-pocket cost is often more than most people have room in their budget for. Fortunately there are many methods that you can choose from so you’re not stuck paying the cost in one lump sum.
These options include:
Scholarships are available for CDL training, although you must meet specific requirements in order to be approved. To get started with this, first apply for the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) either online or in your school’s financial aid office. After your application has been processed you will know if you’re available for any grants. If you are a student with a lower income bracket, then it’s very likely that you may be able to get this CDL grant to help pay for the cost of school.
There are many scholarships that you may be approved for if you fit within the requirements. To learn more about these, speak with the admissions department at the school you plan on attending. They can point you to applications that you can fill out, send in, and wait to hear back about.
If you know that you won’t apply for a scholarship or any other type of financial aid, then a loan may be the right choice for you. However, it’s important to compare interest rates between different lenders in order to save as much money as possible. If you’re going to a traditional college you may even be able to get a loan through the U.S. Department of Education, which can be deferred until your program is completed.
In order to decide which loan option is the best for you, it’s worthwhile to speak with the financial aid resources at the school of your choice. They can help explain the differences between options and give you an idea of which is going to cost you the least in the long run.
It’s not common for trucking companies to offer paid training unless there are strings attached. If you see this type of offer, then make sure you read through any contract before you commit.
Some trucking companies offer their employees reimbursement assistance, although the details of these offers do vary. It’s important to ask a lot of questions to make sure you fully understand the offer.
Is the Investment Worthwhile?
The answer to this question varies for each individual and what they are comfortable with. However, most who complete these courses do agree that they are worth taking because they teach so much about this career. Taking advantage of this type of course can also make it easier to get a job, which in turn helps make the initial investment well worth it.