How To Change Your Career Path to Truck Driving

Changing your career path to become a truck driver can be a rewarding decision. Truck driving is an essential occupation that keeps the economy moving by transporting goods like wood and metal all over the country. As many stores convert to online shopping only, truck drivers are becoming even more imperative to the nation. 

In 2021, the country was short a record 81,000 truck drivers. That number decreased to 78,000 in 2022 but the need is still very prevalent.

A Detailed Guide on How To Change Your Career Path to Truck Driving

Research the Truck Driving Industry

Before you grab your truck hat and try to hop into a rig, it’s important to know all the ins and outs of the trucking industry. There are different types of truck driving jobs available, some qualifications required and earning potential. 

There are 3 different types of CDL, Class A, B, and C. Truck Driver Institute offers Class A CDL training and this affords you the most job opportunities post-graduation. If you want to be able to drive any type of truck, the Class A CDL is the best option for you. 

Get a Commercial Driver’s License 

In order to become a truck driver, you must have a CDL. Requirements to obtain a CDL vary by state but typically include passing a written test and a skills test. TDI has 11 different locations but all of our schools are well-versed in road laws all over the country. Getting a CDL is a critical step in changing your career path to truck driving. 

To be eligible for a CDL, you must be at least 18 or 21 years old for certain types of truck driving jobs and have a valid driver’s license. You must also pass the DOT’s physical examination and meet other qualifications, such as having a clean driving record.

Before you can take the CDL test you’ll need to attend truck driving school. When you sign up at TDI you can take your CDL test after just 3 weeks. TDI ensures that you can pass the written test and your road test. You can take the test up to 3 times at no additional cost. 

How to Change Your Career Path to Truck Driving FAQs

What Is the Test Like?

The written test is divided into two parts: general knowledge and endorsement-specific knowledge. The general knowledge test covers topics such as traffic laws, vehicle safety, and regulations, while the endorsement-specific test covers the specific type of vehicle or cargo you will be transporting for example you would need a hazmat endorsement to haul hazardous waste. You must pass both parts of the test to obtain a CDL.

After passing the written test, you must take and pass a skills test. This test is divided into three parts: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road test. These three tests will test your knowledge of the vehicle’s systems and components, your ability to perform basic maneuvers such as turning and backing up, and your ability to drive the vehicle in real-world scenarios.

After passing the written and skills tests, you will be issued your CDL! How long your CDL is valid is different for each state but they’re typically valid for 5-8 years. 

Keep in mind that getting a CDL is not only about passing a test but also showing that you have the skills and knowledge to operate a commercial vehicle safely, so it’s important to take the training and testing seriously.  CDL training is an essential step in changing your career path to truck driving. It provides the skills and knowledge you need to operate a commercial vehicle safely and efficiently. 

How Much Does a CDL Cost?

The cost of a CDL differs from state to state. If you’re attending a trucking school those costs may vary as well. If you attend Truck Driver Institute you could pay as little as $225 out of pocket, depending on the tuition assistance programs you are eligible for. Check out this blog to learn how to study for the test and employer tuition assistance. 

How Can I Find a Job?

TDI works with you from the start to help you find a job after graduation. Many of our graduates graduate with a job offer. We have a partnership with several carriers and are not obligated to place you with any particular company. You have the freedom to choose the best option for you that fits your work needs. If you find a job but end up not liking it, come back to us and we’ll help you find something different. We work hard to take care of our graduates and we want them to succeed. 

Change Your Career Path to Truck Driving With TDI

Once you have experience as a truck driver, there are many opportunities to advance your career. You can become a team driver, a trainer, or a dispatcher, or even work for yourself and become an owner-operator. 

Truck driving is a challenging, but rewarding, a career that offers a good salary and flexible schedules. The demand for truck drivers is expected to grow in the coming years, as the world continues to open and the demand for goods increases. It’s a great career option if you’re seeking job security. If you’re looking for a change in your career path, consider truck driving. With proper training and experience, you can become a professional truck driver and make a positive impact on your community and make a great salary.

Contact us today to learn more about what CDL training is like at TDI or you can submit your application right now!

Get Started

Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!