Truck driving can be an exciting and rewarding career and can be a good choice for you if you especially if you want to change your career later in life. One of the reasons as to why people are choosing this career is the fact that if offers good pay, benefits, and an opportunity to travel to different places. However, you need to know that trucking involves more than just knowing how to drive. This is why for you to be a professional trucker you need special trucking and driving skills and the only way to attain these skills is by enrolling in a trucking school. But the question remains, how much does truck driving school cost?
Factors affecting the cost:
When it comes to truck driving schools, there are factors that determine the cost which include:
1. Level of training
Level of training determines the cost. For example, if you enroll in a school for a class A CDL license, you are likely to pay much as compared to CDL class B or C.
2. Type of school
There are different types of trucking schools. There are private truck training schools, company sponsored CDL training, and public truck driving school. Depending on the school you choose, the cost is likely to differ as we will see in this article.
What to consider when choosing a truck driving school:
Before going for any school, the best way to pick the best is to check at schools reputation as well as its track record. The best way to do so is to visit the school, view schools website reviews, or ask those who have been there before.
2. Programs offered
Don’t just assume that a school has exactly what you have been looking for. It is good to go through programs offered just to be sure before making the payment.
This goes without saying since money should always be the best factor to consider. However, it should not be the ultimate deciding notion. Remember, you always get what you pay for. If the school seems ideal but pricy, you can always look for grants and scholarships.
Always choose a school that is accessible. However, you should not choose it based on location only, or you may be in for trouble. A school that is far from your home may be a better option. The point here is, choose your school on merit but not necessarily convenience.
5. Amount of driving time you will get
While schools vary in driving time offered, 32 hours should be a minimum that you are willing to accept. The old saying, “practice makes perfect” fits perfectly here. The more you drive, the better you will become.
6. Instruction quality
Instructors should be knowledgeable, experienced and caring towards you. They needs to be well versed in the trucking industry to give you valuable information as you train.
7. Quality of trucks
You should choose a truck driving school that has enough vehicles at your disposal. Make sure that the trucks have necessary safety measures to facilitate learning in a safe manner. One of the crucial things to check is the addition of a second steering wheel which allows your instructor to take over if need arise.
Types of trucking training schools to join:
1. Private trucking schools
These schools are not associated with any trucking company. Instead, they are run independently and so after graduation you can choose any company you wish to join. Private schools range in price generally from $3000 to $5000, which can take you for 3 to 8 weeks to complete your class A CDL license. It would take less time and money if you want a class C license, but class A is recommended for you are not only after a job but also a career.
- Comprehensive training-Private schools have comprehensive training and you can be sure to get everything you need to know. Trainers strive to ensure you pass CDL test.
- Freedom of choice-With private schools, once you graduate you can find for a job in any company that you wish to work with.
- Expensive-Private schools are always expensive compared to other institutions. For those students who are under tight budgets, it might be hard to afford the training.
- Getting a job-Even though private schools will help you pass CDL tests, they do not help you get a job after graduation. This leaves you in a similar position to when you began school. Jobless!
Company sponsored CDL training schools:
Company sponsored CDL training is the best you can ever get. This training is almost for free since it allows you to start training without having to pay thousands of dollars for training and tuition purposes. However, you need to know that this training is not entirely for free. What this training does is to help you train and get your CDL license, but you are supposed to sign a contract with them stating that you will work with them for a given period of time. Once you are done training, you will be put with an experienced driver for several weeks where you will later be released on the road on your own as you work for the company.
Job opportunity- As soon as you start training, you are already qualified for this job and so you do not have to worry about being jobless after training.
- Costs-With this training, you do not have to worry about completing student loan applications, or tuition costs that are associated with CDL training programs. This is because the company will be taking care of all that.
- Pay- After completing your training, the pay is awesome. You can expect to earn $36,000 to $45,000 or more after receiving your CDL license.
- Underpayment-One of the problems associated with this training is that some companies pay graduates cheaply. Some are even paid half of what they are supposed to earn.
- Freedom-You are expected to work with the company as per the agreement and so you do not have the freedom to choose a carrier company to work for. If you resign before the contract ends, you are supposed to pay back full cost of your training.
Companies offering CDL training:
1. Swift transportation
This is one of North America’s largest trucking companies. It has credible clients such as Lowes, Wal-Mart, and Target. Tuition in this company is about $3,900. However, it reimburses the total cost over 26 months so you do not have to worry.
2. Stevens Transport
This company offers CDL training at $5,995 for 21 days. This company is more expensive than swift but if you do not have that amount, the company can train you and then later deduct it from your paycheck. If you are accepted to the school, you can be sure of tuition financing by Stevens though your interest rates depends on your credit report. This means that if you have good credit you will pay less in the end.
3. Schneider National
CDL training in this school is scheduled in a manner somehow similar to Stevens. However, you need to attend its 14 days training course for less than $4,500. If you agree to stay with the company for two years, your training will be for free. If you are accepted in this school, the company pays 75% of your tuition.
Public truck driving schools:
These schools may include your community college, Vo-tech schools and more. These schools usually provide extensive training for at least 3 months to be able to get a CDL license. However, their cost is much less than private schools since they range from $2000 to $5000.
- Comprehensive training-These schools offer excellent guidance to those seeking to become professional truck drivers. They offer comprehensive training to make sure you get the best. You will be trained on various rules that you need to follow as a truck driver, and how to handle heavy duty trucks and other machinery.
- Financial aids-With public truck training schools, you can apply for numerous financial aids such as scholarships to cover your training fee.
- Enough time to train-since these schools are not expensive, they may be overcrowded and you may find that it will be hard for you to train for the required amount of time due to large number of people waiting to use the trucks available.
Are you ready to enroll in truck driving schools? Do not allow the cost of CDL training schools scare you away. If you desire to venture into this career, just take your time, go through different truck training schools and choose the one that best suits you.