Do You Get Paid While Training for CDL?

No, you do not get paid while training for your CDL. At Truck Driver Institute, your CDL training course takes just 15 days. During that time, because you are not yet hauling freight or working for a carrier, you are not paid. After you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and get hired by a company, you are paired with a senior driver where you will be paid during on-the-job training. 

If you’re wondering whether or not you get paid while training for CDL, chances are you are also looking for some other ways to offset the costs that are associated with truck driving school.

Offsetting Costs of CDL School

If you’re concerned about the costs of getting your CDL, hopefully, you can be put at ease by some of the following information.

  • Some carriers offer tuition reimbursement once you are finished with your training. If you sign with a carrier before you graduate from your truck driving institute, they may reimburse you some or all of your tuition. 
  • Grants and scholarships are another option for you to consider when applying to a truck driving school. If you’re in an area that is experiencing a shortage of drivers, you may be more likely to receive a grant or a scholarship.
  • Workforce Assistance may be available to you if you are currently unemployed. Contacting your local Truck Driver Institute is the easiest way to find out if you are eligible for this type of assistance. 
  • If you are a veteran, most truck driving schools accept GI Bill ® funding
  • Taking out student loans to help pay for your schooling is another form of payment. You may even have the option of deferring your loans until six months after graduation to give you some time to work and make money.
  • If all else fails, talk to your local TDI recruiter about setting up payment plans.



Accelerate Your Future

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If You Don’t Get Paid While Training for CDL, When Do You Make Money?

Truck drivers make money by hauling freight from one location to another. The reason you don’t get paid while training for your CDL is because you’re not actually hauling any freight yet. Though many companies in other industries may pay you as you’re training for a specific job, keep in mind that you’ve likely already signed an employment contract with those companies. They know that the training that you are receiving is going to benefit them in the long term. On the contrary, when you sign up for CDL school at TDI, you are totally independent of a carrier. This allows you to earn your CDL with no strings attached and then sell your skills to the highest bidder. 

In fact, there is a shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. right now, and carriers are desperate to fill open positions. So, even if you don’t get paid while training for your CDL, chances are very good that you’ll be able to get a job after you graduate from truck driving school and earn a good living

The starting base for most truck driving jobs is $37,000 a year and the average median salary for truck drivers is $57,062. Like most jobs, more experience will lead you to more money and senior truck drivers can earn around $77,000 a year. Truck driving teams earn about $71,000 each per year and owner-operator drivers can earn $270,000 a year on average. Keep in mind that owner-operators are responsible for their own truck and all the maintenance that comes with it.

The Benefits of Being a Truck Driver

In addition to making great pay, truck drivers often get some great benefits and even receive bonuses for different things. Here are some examples: 

  • Some companies offer bonuses when you first sign to work with their company, which gets you started with a nice pile of cash to start with.
  • Insurance for medical, and sometimes vision and dental are offered through your carrier, giving you less to worry about knowing you are covered if you fall sick.
  • Paid time off and sick leave is granted by most carriers. 
  • 401k and retirement plans are granted by most carriers.

If you are interested in having a steady career with great pay and benefits, contact us today to get started!

Jon and Tammy Walker

Truck Driver Institute was the best choice for us. TDI allowed us to explore all carriers opportunities. The instructors were top notch, caring supportive and patient. We would recommend TDI to anyone interested in a career in the trucking industry.

Partner With the Best. A Few of Our Carrier Partners:

We have 10 Locations to Choose From:


100 Industrial Park Drive
Forsyth, GA 31029


4939 U.S. 78
Oxford, AL 36203


20214 Highway 49
Saucier, MS 39574


3542 East 500 North
Whiteland, IN 46184


6201 Epps Mill Road
Christiana, TN 37037


3700 St Johns Pkwy
SanfordFL 32771


5750 E. Milton Road
Milton, FL 32583


3425 Lancaster Highway
Richburg, SC 29729


24645 S.R. 23
South Bend, IN 46680


341 East Franklin Street
Tupelo, MS 38802

CALL US TODAY AT 800-848-7364

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*For Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Ch 33) students and VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch 31) students, our tuition policy complies with 38 USC 3679(e) which means Post 9/11 and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment students will not be charged or otherwise penalized due to a delay in VA tuition and fee payments.  For eligibility consideration, a Post 9/11 GI Bill® student must submit a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and a Vocational Rehabilitation Student must provide a VAF 28-1905 form. Students must provide school with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) prior to beginning class, but not later than the first day of training. A print screen of Statement of Benefits page will be accepted in lieu of COE and verification of benefits will be required.  Please see 38 USC 3679(e) for complete details. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at