Truck drivers are in high demand, which presents a major opportunity. Finding high-paying work with a fantastic business is now simpler than ever for individuals who possess a CDL. For instance, Walmart recently disclosed an increase in long-haul truck driver (interstate vs intrastate) pay to as much as $110,000 annually. With wage increases and improved benefits packages, many large corporations are following suit.
However, you’ll need to hold a CDL to take advantage of the opportunity. The training, the length of time it takes to qualify, and the procedure differ from one state to another.
What’s a CDL?
A commercial driver’s license is a credential that the government issues that attests to your proficiency in handling commercial motor vehicles (find out how driver fitness affects this). You must possess one to legally operate on public roadways.
However, there are three different types of CDLs, and each one opens doors for various careers in the trucking industry. If you want to operate vehicles with a GCWR of more than 26,000 pounds, get your CDL-A. Drivers with A-class licenses who have the necessary endorsements are also permitted to operate vehicles from categories B and C. S (for school buses), P (for passengers), and H (for hazardous materials) are examples of such endorsements. You may need the endorsement in addition to the classes A, B, or C commercial driver’s license, depending on the items or individuals you’re transporting.
How Do I Get My CDL?
If you wish to obtain a commercial driver’s license, you have three options.
Truck Driving School
Licensed schools and numerous technical colleges throughout the United States provide CDL training. These programs will assist you with applying for a CDL, provide necessary training, and ensure you’re prepared for the exam. Some of them may even help you locate employment after you’ve obtained your CDL.
You don’t need to go to truck driving school to get your CDL, according to the FMCSA (what is a FMCSA). Another option is to locate an FMCSA-approved ELDT training provider. You can then get your commercial learner’s permit and ride along with a CDL holder who can give you the necessary training to obtain your CDL.
Transportation companies are in desperate need of drivers in today’s labor market. As a result, as a component of their new recruiting strategies, several organizations are providing free CDL training.
How Much Does a CDL Cost?
A CDL can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on how you acquire it. Furthermore, the cost of your CDL program is heavily influenced by your geographical region. Some drivers may pay very little or nothing at all, while others may spend upwards of $10,000.
The traditional route to CDL acquisition (truck driving schools) is generally far more expensive than ELDT training and free programs offered by motor carriers. The majority of the expenditures of earning a CDL are accounted for by tuition and fees.
As you can see, there are numerous variables that will affect the overall cost of getting a CDL. The school you attend and the state you live in are two important factors. Each state sets its own enrollment and tuition rates, and the same is true of its schools and colleges.