If you’re interested in a new career path, getting your CDL can open up a lot of exciting opportunities. Drivers with CDL licenses are currently in high demand and because of that, there are tons of companies looking to hire qualified drivers in the United States. Once you have your class A license, you’re able to explore many different types of jobs, from long haul trucking to driving an inner-city transit bus, becoming a dispatcher or even a truck driving school instructor.
The best part is that attending trucking school and getting your CDL lets you get started in a new career fast. So, exactly how long is truck driving school? Which factors determine how long the program will actually take?
Let’s dive into more information on how long it takes to complete a truck driving program, a few factors that affect the total length of the program, and other helpful information.
How Much Time Does a CDL Program Take?
A common question people ask when researching a new career in the trucking industry, is how long is truck driving school and how long will the training period take? Ultimately, there isn’t just one, simple answer. The length of truck driving school will vary depending on a few different factors. The first factor is whether or not you’re trying to gain your class A, class B or class C license.
Class A CDL
A Class A CDL allows a driver to operate a vehicle weighing 26,001 or more pounds provided the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds. A Class A CDL also allows you to drive across state lines.
There are several programs available that offer training for a class A license, including Truck Driver Institute. Although you can opt for a school that takes several months, TDI’s training program can be completed in just 3 weeks. When selecting a truck driving school, it’s important to be sure the program will prepare you for all aspects of the CDL test, from the written exam to the road test.
TDI’s 15-day intensive program was created by experienced, professional, truck drivers and it is updated regularly. The training program includes classroom sessions with a knowledgeable instructor, hands-on training on an off-road driving range, and on-the-road driving instruction with the TDI team.
Class B CDL
A class B CDL enables a driver to haul smaller loads than a class A license does. The difference between class A, B, and C CDLs are based on the GVWR for the vehicle, or trucks carrying hazardous materials. A vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds or that is towing another vehicle no more than 10,000 pounds, requires a class B CDL.
The length of time class B truck driving schools require will depend on the particular training program as well as the state that you live in. Certain states require more driving hours than others, which would therefore extend the length of the truck driving school. If you’re unsure of which program to choose, reach out to your local DMV and ask for their recommendation.
Please note, TDI offers truck driving school for Class A CDLs only.
Class C CDL
A class C CDL is required for vehicles that do not classify within a class A or B license, transport 16 or more people or carry hazardous materials. Class C CDLs require additional endorsements, depending on the type of vehicle. For example, in order to drive a school bus, a school bus endorsement is required. Additionally, to haul hazardous materials, a hazmat endorsement is required.
As with class B CDLs, the length of time a class C program takes will depend on your state’s requirements, and the school you select.
Factors That Affect How Long Truck Driving School Takes
There are several factors that affect how long truck driving school takes to complete. Explore some of the most common points to consider, below.
- The amount of required driving time in your state.
- The hours of classroom instruction provided by the course, in order to properly prepare students to pass the CDL exam.
- Whether or not the program is an authorized third party CDL administrator. If they’re not, you’ll need to find a time to take the CDL exam either at a government agency or authorized CDL testing site.
- Whether or not you choose to attend a program that is full time, or part-time. This can drastically affect the length of the program.
- The endorsements you choose to test for. These may include a passenger transport endorsement, hazardous materials endorsement, a school bus endorsement or other.
Where Can I Find the Right Truck Driving School for Me?
The TDI team has trained tens of thousands of students over the past 46 years and has locations in 8 states, for the students’ convenience. They also offer job security by working with 20+ carriers to help their students get hired at a trucking company after graduating. TDI’s trucking schools have a reputation for graduating safe CDL drivers and connecting graduates with the top trucking carriers in the business.
Whether you’re looking to get into a CDL training course for the immediate job security in the trucking industry or its affordable tuition costs, you can explore our truck driving school locations to get started.