Truck drivers are their own bosses. They enjoy the freedom of the open road, job security, and decent pay. There are four ways to get this job in 2022. Discover your options in our guide.
How to Choose a CDL School
Choosing the right CDL school is the first step to success. Some schools have less than stellar reputations, so look for an accredited training provider. A course like Spokane truck driving school includes everything you need to get your CDL-A.
Before beginning your search, figure out the following:
- How much time you can spend studying (duration varies from a few weeks to a year).
- How much money you can spend (if tuition is costly, you may qualify for financial aid).
- Preferable location.
Contact the schools in your area and ask tons of questions. Request a tour of their facilities to assess the integrity of the learning environment. Review their promotional information carefully. Remember that your future career depends on the quality of your education.
Do not choose a course at random. Aspiring drivers in the United States can choose from three basic types of education. Each has pros and cons.
1. Private CDL Schools
Tuition costs vary, but you are guaranteed to spend several thousand dollars. Typically, the full amount is paid upfront. Programs last between a few weeks and a few months. Some of them provide financial support.
You can enroll at almost anytime and get your CDL relatively quickly. Reliable schools also have connections to local carriers, so you will not have to search for the first job on your own.
2. Company Sponsored CDL Training
These programs, which are offered by large carriers, are also known as Free CDL Truck Driver Training. Drivers do not pay tuition, and the costs are minimal. Programs are ongoing and typically short — just a few weeks in length.
In exchange for obtaining your CDL, you make a commitment to be employed as a truck driver with the company for a specified period — usually, one year. During this first year, your wages will be relatively low. If you break the contract, you have to cover the training costs.
The biggest advantage is that employment is guaranteed. Many carriers refuse to hire drivers who do not have any job experience. Some training centers even have accommodation for out-of-town students.
3. Community College CDL Training
These programs have tuition fees, but you may be eligible for funding options. Training starts several times a year, and getting your license will take a while. On the upside, evening courses can be combined with a part-time or even a full-time job.
4. Getting Your CDL on Your Own
In some states, getting a license does not require formal training, so check the local rulings. Note that to obtain a CDL A, you must take your tests in a combined vehicle. In comparison, truck driving schools provide their students with resources for the entire battery of tests.