You’ve decided to take control of your destiny. Choosing a career as a truck driver is the first step on a path of finding your passion over the road. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when discovering this career path and trying to figure out how to make this career move possible. Getting your start as a truck driver isn’t as hard as you think- follow this easy guide to determine if you’re ready to learn how to become a truck driver.
CDL License Requirements
The first step in becoming a truck driver is to earn your Class A commercial driver’s license (or CDL), which is required for all tractor trailer driving jobs. Some basic Class A CDL requirements include being at least 21 years old. However, prior to earning your CDL, you must have a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for at least 14 days. In order to receive a CLP, you must have your current driver’s license, be able to pass a test over basic skills and knowledge of trucking and pay a fee. CDL license requirements including fees, tests and further documentation requirements can vary from state to state.
Once earning your CLP, you must pass a road skills test to earn your CDL. In order to gain the skills needed to pass your CDL test, there are a variety of ways that you can get in your practice hours on the road.
The first of these is to enroll in a truck driving school. These programs are usually at community colleges and require tuition to be paid to them. Tuition can range from $4,000 to $10,000 on average and typically require an upfront fee before you can start the course.
Another way to earn your CDL is to enroll in a truck driving training program. These are hosted through trucking companies and come at a far lower cost. They will house you while you study for your CLP and then will practice with you so that you can gain the skills required to pass your CDL. Some of these programs, like Prime’s student driver training program, come with guaranteed job offers after completion of your CDL and pay you while you train. This can help to eliminate the stress of searching for a job after your graduation.
Your Job and Lifestyle
After completing all CDL license requirements, you get to choose where you would like to work. There is a national shortage of truck drivers, with the shortage reaching 38,000 by 2014. Now, the number is closer to 50,000 more drivers that are needed in the United States. Once you are eligible to work as a truck driver, you are free to choose where you work with a few limitations. For example, local trucking routes typically aren’t available unless you’ve been on the road for a year already.
The lifestyle change may be one of the biggest shocks for becoming a truck driver, but this career provides unique opportunities that no other job can do. Not only do you get to help keep America going by supporting our country’s industries, you’ll get to see all parts of the country and make a living while doing it. A career as a truck driver doesn’t mean never seeing your family or friends either. Rather, drivers still get to come home and see those who are closest to them.
Are you ready to make a career choice that can change your life? Sign up for Prime’s Truck Driver Training Program.
A recruiter will be in contact with you shortly to discuss your options about how to become a truck driver with Prime and your exciting career as a truck driver.