Concerns about upfront costs regularly keep people from doing the things they want to do. Jobs are no different. In order to attain certain jobs, you need the skills and education required to perform them. To earn the skills and education, you need to pay for some sort of school, certification, and/or licensing test.
In the case of becoming a truck driver, you’ll need to attend truck driving school and then pass a CDL exam.
Though truck driving school might be optional in your state, almost every major trucking company requires it, and for good reason. Truck driving school will provide you with hands-on experience that books and videos can’t replicate. The number one priority of trucking is safety, and truck driving school will teach you how to be a safe operator.
Of course, this comes at a price. The cost of attending trucking school and earning your CDL can vary from state to state, with prices ranging from $3000-7000.
While that’s a significant amount of money for most people, it’s considerably cheaper than earning a two or four-year degree. It also only takes a few months, rather than a few years.
And once you’ve completed your education and earned your license, a good trucking job in Baltimore (or any other city) can earn you as much, if not more than many college graduate professions.
How Do You Pay for Trucking School?
The first thing to do is decide whether or not truck driving is right for you. If you’ve decided that it is, you should look up truck driving schools in your area and get a concrete idea of what it will cost you.
Don’t just choose the first school you find. Compare what they offer, how close they are to you, and how much they cost. See if you can visit their facility or talk to people currently going there. The school you choose will be your first true impression of the industry, and the lessons you learn there will have a lasting impact on your career.
Once you know where you’re going and how much it will cost, you have a few options.
Some drivers simply save up the money and then pay it all at once. This saves you from applying for financial aid, paying interest, or seeking out other forms of assistance. On the other hand, it can delay you from starting your journey as a truck driver.
If you want to start school right away, and you don’t have a few thousand dollars on hand, there is still hope.
Chances are, the school will offer financing options of some sort, allowing you to pay over a period of time. This allows you to get through school, use your CDL to get a job, and then use that job’s income to pay off the remainder of your schooling.
Grants may be available as well. Unlike loans, grants are essentially free money that you don’t have to pay back. Even if the grant doesn’t cover the full cost, it will lower it to a more affordable amount.
Some trucking companies may offer scholarships that pay for your schooling in exchange for working for them once you’ve passed. Alternatively, some companies might reimburse you for school after you’ve graduated. It’s important to get a full understanding of these agreements before committing to them.
If you’re currently unemployed and/or experiencing financial hardships, you may qualify for assistance. Lastly, military personal may qualify for government assistance.
However you go about paying for your trucking education, you’ll have many great opportunities ahead of you after you’ve finished. For those with at least three years of experience under their belts, Woodruff Enterprises offers a great environment that treats their drivers as part of the family, rather than just another number.