CDL truck drivers are in high demand in Colorado and the country as a whole. Now more than ever is the best time to forge a career in trucking. Truck driving is a popular choice for a primary profession since it’s always in demand, it can be a lucrative job, and the barrier to entry is low. The first step to becoming a truck driver for a commercial trucking firm is to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The length of a CDL training program could differ based on the school or program you attend – most schools offer 3-4 weeks completion. The cost of CDL schools range from $1,500 to $7,000+.
Do You Qualify for a CDL in Colorado?
To get a CDL in the state of Colorado:
- You need a valid driver’s license from Colorado or another state
- Have a current DOT medical card
- Have a social security number from the U.S.
Before the Colorado DMV issues you a CDL, you will need to complete the federally mandated Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) by a certified trainer. The ELDT certification program aims to provide commercial drivers with sufficient training to help reduce accidents and fatalities involving trucks and buses.
When selecting a truck driving school in Colorado, you need to make sure that the school is listed on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry.
ELDT is mandatory when you want to:
- Get a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
- Upgrade your commercial license from Class B to A or from Class C to B;
- Get passenger (P), school bus (S), hazmat (H) endorsements for the first time.
How to Select Truck Driving Schools in Colorado
Aside from ensuring that the Colorado trucking school is an approved trainer by FMCSA, here are other factors to consider when choosing the best CDL school to get you started on your trucking career.
Which Colorado CDL School Is Right For You?
The cost of CDL training in Colorado is often lower than in other states. To drive a commercial truck in Colorado, you’ll need a Colorado Commercial Driver’s License. There are several CDL schools that can help you get started on a rewarding career as a truck driver. However, you must choose a program or school that best meets your professional goals. Furthermore, there are a number of Colorado trucking schools that do not provide online CDL training, so you will need to be prepared to go to class in person.
Cost of Training
Equipment, gasoline, supplies, and the time of your teacher may all add up to a hefty truck driving school. If you’re looking for a school, pricing is an essential consideration, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. Free training programs are nearly usually scams, so be aware of them. You can find truck driving schools that charge as little as $1,500. That’s relatively low compared to some states.
Choosing a truck driving school based only on its cost might be risky. There is a wide range of educational options available. Determine the value of each program. If the tuition at your preferred school is beyond your means, you may want to inquire about financial aid and other options for students.
A Truck Driving School Can Be of Many Kinds
Licenses, certifications, and accreditations are all terms used to describe a CDL training facility. There are also a number of different types of courses that have been licensed by the state.
State-licensed and third-party-inspected courses that are guaranteed to be of the highest quality are called certified courses. If a student passes the DOT criteria, they are eligible to get a diploma from these classes. Additionally, training courses certified by the US Dept. of Education must adhere to a set of regulations and norms.
The website of the Professional Truck Driver Institute is a fantastic location to begin your search for a school. To ensure that CDL training courses are of the highest quality, ethical, and professional, the PTDI certifies them. It’s their belief that training programs should go above and beyond regulatory regulations.
Many would-be drivers are unwilling to travel an additional thirty minutes to their driving school. Having a convenient location is vital, but it does not guarantee that the training program itself is excellent. Don’t cut corners when it comes to picking a school for your education. A few years down the line, you might be missing out on some fantastic courses.
You should proceed with caution, though, and ensure that you are familiar with the CDL transfer regulations in your state. To get a Colorado CDL, applicants must first pass a state-administered exam. Before enrolling in a program out of state, be certain that you have the option of transferring your CDL back to your home state.
Securing a Position
Choosing a truck driving school that has an excellent track record of getting students employed by the finest firms is critical to your long-term success as a truck driver. Make sure to find out whether the program provides one-on-one coaching or works with local transportation firms. Don’t be scared to inquire about how successfully colleges place recent graduates in employment.
A Training That Covers Everything
If you’re looking into a program, be sure it’s complete and includes both classroom and range training. It’s easier to learn when we’re doing something rather than simply sitting in a lecture hall. Take a taxi ride and see the sights. The only way to learn about something is to really do it.
Truck Driving School Reviews
Colorado Trucking College (CTC)
CTC is a respectable trucking school in Watkins, CO.
|Cost||Class A: $4,200 (automatic), $4,700 (manual) Class B: $1,750 (automatic), $2,200 (manual)|
|Financial Options||Company paid training program; WIA grants; VA grants; Financial aid options|
Northern Colorado Truck Driving Academy (NCTDA)
The NCTDA is located in Fort Collins, CO.
|Cost||CDL A: $5,195; CDL B: $1,745|
|Financial Options||WIOA grants|
|Length||CDL A: 120 hours, CDL B: 10 hours|
Truck Driver Jobs in Colorado
Truck drivers are critical to the country’s supply chain, so much so that they are considered essential workers. The pandemic proved that without truck drivers, we wouldn’t have access to medical supplies, food and other necessities. Truck driver shortage is critical across the country. According to American Trucking Association, the shortage could reach 160,000 by 2030.
At the time of writing (April 6, 2022), there are over 7,000 truck driving jobs in Colorado posted on Indeed.com. The demand for CDL drivers
Truck Driver Salary in Colorado
According to BLS.gov, the mean annual salary for Heavy Tractor-Trailer truck drivers in Colorado is $53,520, and mean hourly rate of $25.73 (May 2021). Compared to other states, Colorado ranks 14th in the mean wage category using the BLS data.
Data on job sites like Glassdoor.com, are submitted by individual users, so the salary information will vary. On Glassdoor, in Colorado, the average total annual salary for truck drivers is $71,413, with an average base pay of $56,098 (as at April 7, 2022).
According to Indeed.com, the average annual base salary for truck drivers in Colorado is $82,290 (as at April 7, 2022).
Below is an example a job posting for a CDL A truck driver delivery job at McLane company listed on Indeed.com. Truck driver salary at McLane located in Longmont, CO is $87,000 per year + benefits.
Is it feasible to get a CDL and work as a truck driver? You’ll require truck driving training to go on to the next stage of your career. Find out how to select a good CDL school in Colorado by checking out these recommendations.
Depending on the state, the curriculum for commercial driver’s license training may be different in Colorado than elsewhere. All truck drivers in Colorado must have a valid Commercial Driver’s License. You must have a special license to drive vehicles with a GCWR of more than 26,000 pounds. Each business transportation activity takes a different amount of time. You may need to travel large distances to accomplish your tasks, or you may just need to transfer goods within your immediate vicinity in order to complete them. So take your time while selecting a training facility.
List of Trucking Schools in Colorado
TruckersTraining.com provide information, tools and resources to potential truck drivers in the U.S. We hope that you can use the content on the site to help you decide if want to drive trucks for a living.