Trucking - Stable Career Path, Fast to Learn, Affordable Classes
In times of economic uncertainty, a growing number of Americans are having trouble finding stability and security at work. With unemployment rates rising, more and more Americans are feeling expendable in their current jobs. Luckily, industry stability and ongoing demand have been long-standing constants in the world of trucking.
Greater Security in as Few as 3 to 6 Weeks
Pursuing a new career path can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. For those living paycheck to paycheck, the thought of spending time and money on training isn't feasible. However, CDL training offers a viable solution to both issues.
The cost of CDL school is generally between $1,800 to about $6,500, which does not include financial aid or GI Bill eligibility. While no small cost, it’s a relatively more manageable one when compared to other schooling and training options for high-paying careers.
As for training time, you can train at a school near you and be career-ready in as few as 3 to 6 weeks! In addition, several schools also offer scheduling flexibility, meaning you could keep your current job while training for your trucking career.
Find CDL-A training near you.
Drivers’ Recommendations for You: Try it!
We asked three CDL-A drivers for their insights on pursuing a trucking career, the value of CDL training, and whether they felt it was a good investment in their futures.
Do you see trucking as a stable career?
Joe Bertucci: I do, 100%. I've been out here going on 8 years now and have never been short on work. Keep your MVR [motor vehicle record] clean and you can pick where you want to work.
Ashanta Owens: Yes, 100%! I see trucking being a very stable career choice for me.
JR Starkley: I do see trucking as a stable career, and I would recommend it to anyone that may love being behind the wheel and on the highway or open road. It is stable because there are so many different things that one can do with trucking like flatbed, reefer, tanker, dry freight etc. as well as local, regional and over the road.
Was training fast and/or affordable?
Joe Bertucci: It was super easy. I went to a local school in Phoenix, AZ, called AIT, and they have options varying on how fast you can go through school. If you pay up front, you can have your CDL in 4 to 6 weeks. I used financial aid, and it took about 90 days if I remember. No money up front!
Ashante Owens: It was extremely easy for me to get into a school for training. It was 100% affordable, and I adapted very quickly.
JR Starkley: My experience getting into trucking was smooth, comfortable, and exciting. I remember using my last $3,000 dollars to pay for school because I knew that it was something I really wanted to do ... Training was fairly quick, I think I finished in [about 3 months]. It was so exciting and fun going to school, learning the rules and the do’s and don'ts of trucking. I actually really enjoyed it.
Do you feel that training was a good investment for your future?
Joe Bertucci: Hands down, getting my CDL has been my best life decision yet. I make great money, I'm home from work every night, and there's always a company looking for a driver.
Ashante Owens: I feel like [pursuing CDL] training was a great investment for my future!
JR Starkley: I do feel that training was a great investment for my future, as I still hold and use my CDL today. I earned my CDL in 2013. I feel it was the best investment I’ve ever made in my life along with buying my own truck and becoming an owner-operator.
What might you say to others considering getting into trucking?
Joe Bertucci: Do it. Don't waste time debating about it. Yes, it's hard being away from home, I understand that completely, but just know once you get some experience behind the wheel, there are TONS of jobs out there with good home time, and a stable social life.
Ashante Owens: For others thinking about getting into trucking, I would tell them don’t hesitate. If you feel like this is what you want to do and your heart is set on it, take that leap!
JR Starkley: I would say “go for it” to anyone considering trucking. Follow your dreams and your heart. Learn and do research about a truck driver's day-to-day duties to get a good feel about what’s in store. Also, I would say to ask questions and talk to truckers that have years of experience … and I would tell them to be safe and always do the right thing to protect your CDL. It is a privilege to hold a CDL and operate a commercial vehicle. Don’t take it for granted!