A Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL, is essential when you aim to drive commercial motor vehicles, whether for business or employment. Attending trucking schools is one major requirement to acquire the specific skills and obtain this license. The question is, exactly how much does CDL training cost?
The Average Cost of CDL Training
The average CDL training cost is between $3,000 and $10,000, mainly depending on the school and the state you are in. For example, at Alvin College in Texas, the tuition fee is $3,800 for in-district and $3,835 for out-of-district. On the other hand, at Wallace State Community College in Alabama, the cost is $3,000.
Truck driving school rates can also be on an hourly basis. This type of class offers a one-on-one lesson. The typical fee ranges from $100 to $150 per hour, with an average cost of around $125 per hour. Unless you already have prior knowledge, you will obviously need several hours of CDL training.
In one-on-one training, the student can learn faster due to the undivided attention of the trainer. Two hours of training for 7 days will cost around $1,400 to $2,100.
Some schools require a down payment of $900 to $1,200 or more. Most schools offer open enrollment. This means you can be flexible with your schedule.
As mentioned, CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License, is achieved by drivers who pass the CDL training program. With a CDL, the students can drive huge trucks with up to 18 wheels. They can also drive trailer trucks, dump trucks, shuttles, and busses.
CDL training will teach future commercial drivers map reading, trip planning, backing, turning, parallel parking, hooking up a trailer, and professional road driving skills. It will also cover teachings about CDL pre-trip inspection, most likely the evaluation of the engine compartment, the side of the vehicle, external light check, trailers, and other connections.
There are some carriers working with some schools that give reimbursement after the training for new drivers. Contact your prospective trucking school for more information.
A number of CDL training schools offer financial aid to help qualified students pay less with scholarships and student loans that go up to $24,000.
The cost of the CDL training program usually includes 3 to 8 weeks of extensive learning. Classes will teach students by book and on-hand driving.
These classes will cover pre-trip inspections like a driving simulator, six backing maneuvers, and a 10–speed driving instructor.
Several items comprise the cost of getting a CDL. However, these are highly variable depending on the state where you reside.
- Application fees – typically cost around $150, but can sometimes be included in the tuition.
- Nonrefundable deposit – $200
- Nonrefundable administration fee – costs around $75
- Road test fees – up to $250
- Skill test fees – up to $250
- License – up to $120
- Endorsements – depending on the state
Apart from the cost of truck driving school, students are required to secure a CDL Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), which costs around $25 to $90 prior to the class registration. Failing any exam will cost you the same fee.
You might also be required to secure liability insurance that costs around $7 and a drug test worth $35.
The Department of Transportation medical exam, commonly known as the DOT physical exam, is required for students to get qualified for CDL training. DOT physical examiners will evaluate the student’s physical, mental, and emotional state and whether it may affect the student’s driving ability in commercial vehicles.
If the results are excellent, the student will be qualified for the CDL training. DOT long form physicals cost $150 to $185.
Factors Affecting the Cost of CDL Training
The rates of truck driving schools vary depending on several factors, such as your state, your preferred trucking school, and the type of class. To discuss each one-by-one, please read on.
- Whether public or private school
Truck driving schools are not associated with any trucking company. They are usually operated independently by private sectors.
However, you have the option to enroll in public schools, which are less expensive. The catch is that you have to be patient because queues are usually long for obvious reasons.
- Choice of school
When picking the school to enroll in, another thing to take into consideration is reputation. When a school has a good track and job placement record, expect more expensive fees.
- Truck and equipment options
The fleet of trucks and equipment and their quality will greatly impact the price of getting a CDL.
There are three types of CDL training; class A, class B, and class C. Class A CDL training passers can drive 18-wheel trucks. Class B CDL drivers can take the wheels of busses and big trucks, but trailers are an exception.
On the other hand, Class C CDL drivers can drive smaller vehicles like vans, shuttle busses, or hazmat.
- Whether with lodging
It’s not uncommon to see schools that include lodging in their packages, especially when there are enrollees wanting to save time commuting.
Where you are located would also affect the cost, as you have to consider the cost of living and the cost of doing business. Also, each state might require different variables, which automatically spell the difference in the cost.
Driving Your Career
CDL training is practical in so many ways. You’ll be a professional without spending a hundred thousand dollars. Plus, truckers are in huge demand all over the states, so finding a job is easy.
The estimated annual salary of truckers ranges from $24,000 to $58,000. A major trucking company with dependable clients will offer a higher salary.
The price is more bluntly pleasing than spending thousands of bucks for a college degree. CDL drivers tend to get the road trips with a pocket full of dollars.
This is extremely perfect for people who literally love long journeys with heavy loads. America needs truckers.
Could you be the perfect 18-wheeler truck driver? Show your CDL license, check your engine, give the truck a nice start, and give that road a long and safe trip.