You have decided the time is right to move on with your dreams for the future. Those dreams include getting your CDL and becoming an over the road truck driver. You are excited and with all the Tacoma trucking schools, you are sure you will find what you want and need.
The only issue is how will you pay for it? What does it cost to get a CDL and what is the payback? It can be a very expensive proposition for some people, but there is also good news for others. It all depends on your background and what driving school you choose to attend.
The Seattle – Tacoma area is a home base for a large number of truck driving schools with a variety of programs for financing and various levels of quality and job placement programs. The financial considerations for someone wanting to attain either a Class A or a Class B CDL in this area range from full payment of tuition, to scholarship, grants, loans, and free training.
We will look at each of these different possibilities and what they could mean to anyone wanting to get a CDL in the Seattle – Tacoma area. In addition, the good news is there continues to be a serious need for CDL and over the road truck drivers nationwide, but particularly in northwest Washington state, a major shipping hub for the U.S. No matter how you do or don’t personally finance your CDL truck driver trainer, the reward once you have your license will be well worth the time, effort and money.
Questions to Explore
Before you look at how you will finance your CDL, you have to know how much it will cost. Tuition is only one aspect of what it will cost. Even if tuition is free, as it is at some company-owned or supported schools, there are still other expenses. These are the questions you must first research:
- The schools closest to you in the Tacoma and Seattle areas.
- What do these schools charge for tuition?
- What are the additional expenses such as books, tablet, supplies?
- How long does the training take and what CDL will I have when completed – and A or a B?
- Is the school private or public?
- Is the school certified?
- Is the school owned by or subsidized by a specific trucking company?
- Does the school offer financial aid assistance or assistance in finding it?
The answers to these questions are critical to ascertain how you will pay for your Tacoma CDL training. Each of the answers to these questions impacts the kind of financing you can get. Vocational public schools also offer CDL training and knowing what kind of school it is can affect the grants and loans you can get for that school. If the school is not certified or accredited than government support for your training will be out of the questions.
Let’s look at the possible answers to these questions:
- What do these schools charge for tuition? – this is dependent upon whether the school is public or private, a vocational school or owned by a trucking company. Tuition can run from anywhere from $3,500 to over $5,000.
- What are the additional expenses such as books, tablet, supplies? Depends on the school.
- How long does the training take and what CDL will I have when completed – and A or a B? Depends on the school.
- Is the school private or public? This determines some of the types of financial assistance that are available.
- Is the school certified? Must be in order to get any government assistance.
- Are there scholarships available? These may be offered by a variety of sources including truck companies, private institutions, and associations. These do not have to be paid back and is based on need or merit.
- Are there grants available? These can come from private organizations, usually with some tie to the industry. These do not have to be paid back either. There are also government grants like the Pell Grant and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Are there loans available? These come from financial institutions, usually local and usually in an agreement with the school.
- Government guaranteed student loans through Federal Student Aid and interest rates are usually lower but these loans cannot be forgiven even in bankruptcy. There are also government grants through the Workplace Investment Act.
- Are there tuition reimbursement programs available? Yes, through the trucking company you work for after attaining your CDL.
- Is the school owned by or subsidized by a specific trucking company? Many of these schools either train for free and you go to work for that company, or they do it through tuition reimbursement. Either way, tuition is free.
- Does the school offer financial aid assistance or assistance in finding it? Choose a school with professionals on staff to assist you with this.