If you’re thinking about pursuing national or local truck driving jobs, you may be wondering if attending truck driving school is worth the cost of tuition—often between $3,000 and $7,000 for independent schools. Drivers all over the country attend these schools in preparation for everything from Washington to Alabama truck driving jobs. Truck driving schools help students obtain their CDLs, get certified, practice their skills, and learn relevant concepts both in the classroom and in the field. Some may also help students find externships with trucking companies and/or offer job-placement services.
However, just like with any school, there may be certain drawbacks. A high student-to-instructor ratio or a high student-to-truck ratio can raise the learning curve. The higher the ratio, the greater the strain on the instructor and the less likely that any one student will have all of his or her questions answered. More students per truck also mean that students will probably have to alternate driving time. You may wait several hours before it’s your turn to drive.
Length of training is another important consideration. On average, most drivers need four to six weeks of instruction in order to qualify as a safe entry-level driver. Schools that promise certification in only two weeks should be given a careful look.
Some schools may also say that they guarantee job placement upon graduation. Be wary of any school that makes this guarantee. The focus of the school is training, not placing students in Illinois truck driving jobs, for example.
In the end, the question of whether the cost of truck driving school is justified by the result depends on the individual, however. If you have no or limited truck driving experience, a school with low student-to-instructor and student-to-truck ratios, certification programs, and classroom and driving instruction may be able to help you become more attractive to potential employers. If you have many years of direct experience, you may be better off focusing your efforts on truck driving job websites and trade publications for employment.