Everything About CDL Truck Driving School Cost: Types & Tips

A trained and experienced person is prioritized in the trucking business. There are many training schools, and even some companies provide training for their future employees. A complete CDL training program teaches students to drive safely, follow the rules, and handle situations they might face while working.

While the details vary between schools, the main aim is to prepare students for their license test. The average CDL costs between $3000 to $7000, and the course takes about 6 to 8 weeks on average. There are different factors that determines the cost for cdl truck driving school. Learn more about it from the blog below by Truck Driver News.

Brief On Commercial Driving License (CDL)

A Commercial Driving License (CDL) is required to operate commercial vehicles. You need to be atleast the age of 18 and two years of driving experience to obtain your CDL.

The CDL license is divided into three categories (A, B, C) depending on the size and weight of the vehicle that you’ll operate. The fee to operate a CDL is between $20 to $120. After obtaining your CDL, you can only drive inside your state’s border until you’re not 21. After turning 21, you’re allowed to drive interstate.

To obtain your CDL, you’re required to take a training course. After completing the training, you can apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). When you obtain your CLP, you’ll be able to drive commercial vehicles under the supervision of a CDL holder.

CLP is valid for 180 days from the date of registration. You can get your CLP from your state’s DMV by taking a written test that contains general knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicles.

Factors That Determine The CDL Trucking School Cost

Many factors determine the cost of CDL trucking school cost. The factors that determine the cost of CDL trucking school are:

    1. Location: Schools in different regions have different costs. The difference in cost is caused by the demand of the trucking school and the cost of living.
    2. Type of license: CDL consists of three categories (A, B, and C). Class A license allows you to operate a larger vehicle and is often more expensive than class B, which is for operating a smaller vehicle.
    3. Program length: The duration of the training is a major factor in determining the cost. The longer the training, the more expensive it’ll be, but you’ll learn in-depth.
    4. Inclusions: Some schools may include additional services like job placement assistance, textbooks, or even the CDL exam fee in their tuition cost. Make sure to ask about the inclusions.
    5. School Reputation: Established and reputable schools may charge higher tuition fees due to their track record of producing skilled drivers and helping graduates find jobs.
    6. Additional Endorsements: Holding additional endorsements is important because it legally permits the operator to drive various vehicles not originally included in their initial driver’s license. If you’re pursuing additional endorsements like Hazmat or Tanker, there may be extra costs for the specialized training required.
    7. Accommodation and Transportation: If you need to travel to the training school or need to stay in the school, your overall cost will increase.
    8. Licensing Fees: Besides tuition, fees may be associated with applying for your CDL and other required licenses. The fee for applying for the CDL may vary from state to state.
      • Knowledge test: $5 to $20
      • Road test:$40
      • CDL license: $75 to $100
      • Endorsement: $5 to $10
      • CDL application: Some states charge a few for processing the application

Researching and comparing different CDL trucking schools to find one that fits your budget and provides the quality training you need to start a successful career as a commercial truck driver is essential.

How Much Do CDL Truck Driving Schools Cost?

The average cost of CDL trucking school is $3000 to $7000. The actual cost of schooling depends on which school you choose. Every type of school has its advantages and disadvantages. The types of schools available for you to join for CDL training are:

Company Sponsored CDL Training/Paid CDL Training

Company-sponsored or company-paid CDL training programs are jobs that include training. You’ll enroll in a truck driving school owned and operated by a trucking company. These companies sponsor a student’s CDL training by covering the upfront costs and may pay the student during some or all of the training.

In return for the internship, the student must work for the company for a certain time, normally between 8 months to a year. You must pay the training fee if you cannot work for the company.

U.S. Private Truck Driving School Cost – Tuition + Fees

Private CDL schools are plentiful in the U.S. These private CDL training schools are slow-paced and longer than paid CDL training. Private CDL schools provide one-on-one attention and training for the student.

Private CDL schools will require the student to pay upfront for tuition. The industry standard accepted for training at private CDL schools is 160 hours. The student can expect to pay around $4000 to $7000 for the CDL training. Taking a personal loan from a bank or relative for attending private CDL training programs is not recommended. Many states provide aid and grant programs, so you should focus on those instead of loans.

U.S. Community College CDL Training Program Costs

Community colleges are publicly funded institutions that offer a wide range of educational programs, including CDL courses as part of their curriculum. The fee for community college can cost you $1500 to $5000.

The duration of community college is twice of a private training school. Community college provides more affordable tuition. The fees need to be paid upfront. The fees are more affordable for in-state residents.

Additionally, they may offer financial aid or scholarships to eligible students. Community colleges often have career service departments that can assist with job placement, but their networks may vary.

Tips To Help Choose the Best CDL School For You

Choosing the best CDL school for you depends on your priorities, budget, and the quality of education you seek. Researching and comparing options in your area is crucial to making an informed decision that matches your career goals and preferences.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best CDL school:

  • Consider the location-
    Always prefer the school, which is easy to commute to daily. Getting into a nearby school may get you a discount and save a lot of money because you dont have to spend money on lodging and other necessities.
  • Consider community college-
    Community colleges are affordable, offer long duration of training, and different other facilities. There are 900 different community colleges to choose from. Community colleges also have scholarships and can help you with job placements.
  • Do your research-
    Doing your research is very important. While researching, you should compare the school you’re interested in based on reputation among past students, tuition costs, length of training, and reviews from former students.
  • Job guarantee-
    Finding a job is essential once your training program is complete and you’re ready to start your truck driving career. You should consider a school with a strong track record of helping graduates secure positions.

Find out the actual hours behind the wheel.- You’ll get theoretical and practical knowledge when you join a CDL training school. Trucking requires more practical knowledge, so you should be mindful to look for schools with adequate driving hours.

CDL Schools – Recommended CDL Training Schools In the US

You might not have thought about it, but truck driver training schools in the U.S.A. can be a great choice if you want a career in heavy machinery driving. CLD training schools teach you how to drive big vehicles like tractor-trailers, making you more appealing to employers in this field. When picking a school, think about what suits you best.

Choosing a specific school can be very tough and confusing. The training school you’ll get into should be on your budget, near your location, and suit your preference. The recommended schools for CDL training and their location are given below:

  • Fox Valley Technical College – Wisconsin
  • Tooele Tech – Salt Lake City
  • Miller-Motte Technical College -Tennessee
  • Central Tech – Oklahoma
  • Butler Tech – Ohio
  • Commercial Education and Safety – North Dakota
  • Caldwell Community College + Tech School – North Carolina
  • National Tractor Trailer School (N.T.T.S.) – New York
  • Commercial Driving School – New Hampshire
  • Lake Superior College – Minnesota
  • Midwest Truck Driving School – Michigan
  • CFI Truck Driving School – Maryland



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