How to Choose the Best Truck Driving School Near You
You have a bright future ahead of you as an over the road truck driver-you just know it. But first, you need to get your commercial driver's license or CDL, which takes some preparation and training. The easiest way to learn everything you need to get your CDL is to go through professional truck driver training. As you consider a trucking school near you, use this guide to help you make the smartest decision for your trucking career.
Types of Trucking Schools
Start your search by deciding which type of trucking school near you that you want to attend. There are two main types of trucking schools-private and public. If you choose a privately owned trucking school, this will be a standalone training center dedicated solely to CDL training. Meanwhile, community colleges and technical institutes provide truck driver training along with other subjects like sociology and public speaking.
CDL Training at Community Colleges or Tech Schools
When you opt for CDL training at a community college or tech school, you will typically find CDL training via the workforce development or professional career center. Since this program is not considered an academic course of study, most of the time it does not qualify for federal student loans. This is something to consider if budget is on the front burner for your decision.
Private Truck Driver Training Programs
As for private trucking schools, the program is specifically geared at CDL training. As a result, you may find schools offering expedited training. It is not unheard of to see companies advertising that they train truck driving students in a single weekend. Therefore, if you have a limited amount of time, private schools are often the winning options.
Truck Driving School Location
For most trucking school students, the first rule of thumb is to find a school near you. The closer the school, the easier and cheaper it will be to attend. Along with paying in-state tuition costs, you also save money on transportation and lodging while in school. Use our helpful resources here at Best Trucking Schools to find trucking training near you today.
Average Cost of CDL Training
Speaking of the budget, the cost of CDL training is often the deciding factor for students interested in becoming a trucker. On the lower scale, trucking school programs range from $1,500 to $2,500, while more extensive and Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) certified cost upward of $6,000.
As for PTDI certification, this is the best seal of approval that a trucking school can receive. PTDI certification identifies comprehensive training programs that provide students will all of the skills required to be a professional truck driver.
Keep in mind that this cost as listed as tuition by trucking schools is just that-tuition only. You will also need to shell out money to pay for room and board; transportation; office supplies; and your CDL exams. Fortunately, these costs are generally minimal and can be reduced.
Tuition Reimbursements and Paid Training
One way to overcome the cost of trucking school is to work for a trucking company that offers paid CDL training or a tuition reimbursement. Several trucking companies pay students to get their CDL including:
- CR England
- FFE Transportation
- Knight Transportation
- Millis Transfer
- Roehl Transport
An increasing number of trucking companies including Schneider and Werner are also offering paid tuition reimbursement. With tuition reimbursement, you get reimbursed for the total cost of your tuition for trucking school. This can essentially enable you to go to trucking school for free.
Find Local CDL Training Today
Once you graduate from trucking school, you will have invested anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months in your trucking career. Compare that to the time it takes to get a bachelor's degree, earning a similar paycheck as a truck driver.