If you wish to become a truck driver, there are some things you need to know in order to start your career out on the right foot and to get the truck driving career you want.
You should not have any issues getting a truck driving job, if you get good training, practice your skills and look carefully for the right driving job with a reputable company.
Launching A Successful Driving Career
I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the right CDL school.
In order to get your truck driving career started off on the right foot, it’s critical that you choose the right type of CDL training that suits you.
You need to know:
- How much time you want to spend in a training school.
- How much money you have to spend on training.
- Where you wish to attend training.
- How quickly you want to get behind the wheel as a qualified CDL driver.
Then, you’ll need to choose one of the types of training available. Look at these 3 basic training types and decide which will suit your needs.
Truck Driver Training Options
There are 3 basic ways to get your truck driving training.
Private CDL Schools
There are tuition costs which are different from school to school. Count on at least a few thousand dollars. Usually the tuition fees are paid up front for this type of professional driver training. If you have the funds to pay for your truck driver training, then this type of program may be attractive to you.
Programs are typically anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, again depending on the individual schools.
There are programs available which provide financial support for school costs.
There are a multitude of private CDL driver training schools to choose from in most areas of the US.
A student can enroll in a program at almost any time, to complete a program, so the waiting time to get into a program should be minimal. You should be able to have a CDL in your hand in a relatively short period of time, if this is important to you.
Most reputable schools have a driving job placement program with truck companies, where the trucking company will offer you a job upon completion of your CDL at the end of the training session.
Note: Not all schools do this. Also sometimes the carriers the school is affiliated with are not reputable companies, where you would wish to work.
Tip: Look for a school that is accredited for CDL training to be sure they are offering a credible, quality course.
Company Sponsored CDL Training
These programs are also commonly called:
- Paid CDL Training
- Free CDL Truck Driver Training
- Company Sponsored CDL Training Schools
A company sponsored CDL training school program is a popular choice by drivers who do not wish to shell out money for their training.
It is for this reason this type of truck driver training is particularly attractive to those wishing to become a truck driver.
There will be some costs for the student in this type of training, but the costs will be very minimal.
These programs are offered by large trucking companies which will train students to obtain their CDL in exchange for a commitment to remain employed as a truck driver with the company for a period of time, usually about a one year period.
If the contract is broken by the trainee, they will be obligated to pay back the company for the training costs.
Wages are typically low during the first year of employment. So the free CDL training or low costs to the student, are more than made up for by the trucking company in that first year of employment.
Training for this type of program is offered frequently and is ongoing. Programs are typically short, a few weeks or so in length. A student can obtain a CDL in a relatively short period of time, but then is under contractual agreement for the next year or so with that company.
The greatest advantage to company training is the fact that the trucking company will give the student a truck driving job at the end of the CDL training. This is an important factor as many carriers will not hire a truck driver without any job experience.
Community College CDL Training
There are tuition fees for this type of program, however CDL training programs offered through Community colleges are another option where various government funding programs are available to prospective students.
Programs typically start only a few times a year, so it may be awhile before the next program commences.
Often the training is scheduled at a much slower pace than most private CDL schools. This can be an advantage to those students who are only able to attend on a part time basis or in the evening, as they are already holding a full time job.
It could be awhile before a student actually graduates with their CDL. If you aren’t in a big rush to get your CDL, a community college program can be a good choice.
After Choosing Your CDL Training School
Once you’ve decided which of the 3 training options you are going after:
- Contact the school or program of your choice.
- Ask tons and tons of questions.
- Arrange for a tour of the school, to see the facilities and get a feel for the integrity of the school. Take home any information they supply you with and review it carefully before choosing a school.
- Enrollment in a truck driving school represents a significant investment, as comprehensive training can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. However, it may be possible to recoup your upfront expense. Some employers will reimburse you for the cost of your tuition, or in other cases the federal government might cover these costs. If you’re a veteran, find out right away if the school accepts the GI Bill. Gather the necessary paperwork and file for benefits that could defray some or all of the cost of tuition.
- Contact your local Work Source office for more information on programs that may be available to you.
It is a lot to think about, but now that you understand more about the aspects of professional truck driver training, you may be better prepared to embark on this road to a new career as a commercial truck driver.
Compare your findings on the various schools and programs, to pick the best CDL school to suit your needs. Your future professional truck driving career depends on it.
If you’ve done some of the above and have made the decision to enroll, there’s good news! Earning your CDL takes as little as 4 weeks with New Sound Truck Driving School in Tacoma, WA.