If you’re thinking of making a career change, here’s what you’ll need to do to become a licensed and employed truck driver in the US.
1. Find the right driving school.
A professional truck driving school should have a track record of successfully training and preparing students for their CDL exam. When searching for a school, find out what kinds of programs they offer and what the expected outcomes are.
The American Truck Driving School offers programs that prepare students for every combination of licenses possible. Instructors are qualified to train students from a wide range of driving backgrounds and are committed to helping students succeed.
2. Research school financing options.
Unlike four-year colleges and universities, truck driving schools won’t charge you an arm and a leg for education. But if you need help financing your education, reach out to the school to find out what kinds of financing options they offer.
3. Take the CDL driving test.
Once you’ve completed the truck driving program, it’s time to take the CDL driving test. Take the time to find out what kind of endorsements you will need in order to transport certain goods. Check with prospective employers to verify the driver’s license requirements.
4. Research companies you’d like to work for.
Once you’ve passed the written and driving tests, start researching companies you’d like to work for. Decide if you’d like to work for a national chain or a smaller local trucking company. Larger companies may offer better benefits, but they may also be more competitive.
5. Reconnect with friends in the trucking industry.
As you set out to find work in the trucking industry, reconnect with friends or family members who may be working in the industry. Ask for job recommendations and advice to help you get ahead of other job candidates.
6. Prepare for a job interview.
Before you head in for a job interview, think about what you are expecting in terms of pay, flexibility and driving requirements. Understand that new drivers will often have to accept what they can get until they’ve gained some experience.
7. Pack your bags!
The final and most exciting step is to get ready for your first trip! Whether you’ll be travelling a few hundred miles or a few thousand miles, trucking is an opportunity to see the sights of American — and get paid for it.