The Choice You Make Will Determine The
Quality Of Education You Receive
- and -The Amount Of Money You Spend
To Get That Education
We almost always recommend going to a truck driving school because it's an advantage to get your CDL Class A license through a truck driving school over a company paid or sponsored CDL training program. A realistic school tuition can be as low as $3,000 and as high as $6,000. There are many advantages, but the biggest is that you don't have to sign an employment contract and have freedom of choice as to which company you would like to begin your driving career with upon graduation. That is, of course, conditional upon the industry climate at the time, who is hiring, who is not hiring. It changes and fluctuates frequently.
When funding your training is a problem, look into state and federal grants which may be available. One of those is the Post 9/11 GI Bill for veterans.
Funding aside, here are some guidelines to follow which may help you get started with your training and get you on the road in your new career as a professional otr truck driver.
Some schools are high profit businesses posing as a truck driver training school. If you encounter any of these areas shown below, a red flag should be waving in your face:
- charges an inflated tuition and/or high interest rate on in-house financing
- charges by the hour or by the day
- does not do a proper background check to see if you qualify
- accepts you knowing you have a criminal background
- assures you of a job after graduation knowing you have a criminal background
- promises 'quick' training that seems unrealistic in comparison to other schools
- promises a quality education but has a reputation for not being up to industry standards
- guarantees you a job but has no in-house job placement specialist
While it's obviously convenient to look for a training school nearby, if you can't find what you are looking for, consider a school that is out of your immediate area. There are many fine truck driver training schools across the U.S., and one way to locate a school is to check out the Truck Driving School Guide at Trucking Careers of America. Schools listed in this guide are accredited, reputable and highly regarded.
Expect to spend between three - five weeks at a training school; anything less should bring up that red flag. Anything more is probably not necessary and also may bring up that red flag.
This is the start of your new career and it's up to you to do your due diligence. Compare costs, talk to schools you are interested in, ask questions, and be thorough. Talk to other drivers and talk to industry specialists like Trucking Careers of America. Read blogs and get involved in forums. All of this sounds like a lot of work and it is but it just may be the start of something really big in your life. Good luck and all the best....