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Last Updated on September 28, 2023 by Chris Panteli
Get Paid To Get Your CDL
The open road beckons with its promises of adventure, freedom, and a career unlike any other. If you’re considering a career change that allows you to travel while earning a steady paycheck, a paid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program might be your ticket to a new horizon.
Imagine acquiring the skills to navigate the highways and byways of the country, transporting goods that keep the wheels of commerce turning. Whether you’re starting fresh or seeking a change of scenery from your current job, joining a paid CDL training program opens doors to a career that offers more than just a paycheck.
In this post, you’ll learn how to get paid to get your CDL, the benefits they offer, and the opportunities that await those who decide to take the wheel.
What Is A CDL
A CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License, is a specialised type of driver’s license required in many countries, including the United States, to operate vehicles used for commercial purposes.
There are 2 types of CDL driver license. You can obtain either a Class A driver license or a Class B driver license.
These vehicles typically include large trucks, buses, and other motor vehicles such as a school bus that are used to transport goods or passengers for compensation.
A benefit of running these CDL training programs is that companies boost positive passenger endorsement.
Want to know how you make money with a van?
Get Paid To Get Your CDL
There are programs and opportunities in various places where individuals can get paid to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Here’s how some of these programs typically work:
Company Sponsored CDL Training
Many trucking companies, like CR England, offer company sponsored CDL training programs. These programs provide individuals with the training needed to obtain a CDL, and in return, the individuals agree to work for the company for a specified period after obtaining their CDL.
During the training period, participants might receive a stipend or even a salary while learning how to drive commercial vehicles.
Some regions have apprenticeship programs for aspiring commercial drivers. These programs combine classroom instruction with hands-on training, often provided by a professional truck driver. Participants might receive wages or stipends during the training period.
Government Workforce Programs
In certain cases, government workforce agencies or programs might offer funding or grants to cover the cost of CDL training for eligible individuals. These programs are aimed at helping people enter the workforce and fill in-demand jobs.
Scholarships And Grants
Some organizations, associations, or institutions might offer scholarships or grants to individuals pursuing a CDL. This financial aid can help offset the costs of training.
Thanks to the GI Bill, veterans might have access to specialized training programs that assist them in transitioning to civilian careers, including commercial truck driving.
How Do Paid CDL Programs Work
Paid CDL programs are designed to help individuals obtain their Commercial Driver’s License while also offering compensation or employment during and after the training process. Here’s how these programs generally work.
Application And Eligibility
Interested individuals apply for the paid CDL program with a trucking company that offers such a program. Each company might have its own eligibility criteria for their CDL school, which could include age requirements, driving record checks, and more.
Upon acceptance into the program, participants often go through a pre-employment phase. This might involve background checks, drug tests, and other assessments to ensure candidates meet the company’s hiring standards.
The training period typically includes both classroom instruction and hands-on driving practice. Participants learn about various aspects of commercial driving, including safety regulations, vehicle maintenance, and proper driving techniques.
One of the key benefits of paid CDL programs is that participants often receive compensation during the training period. This compensation can come in the form of a stipend, hourly wages, or a combination of both.
Obtaining The CDL
Once participants have successfully completed the training program and demonstrated their skills and knowledge, they are ready to take the CDL test. The company-sponsored training should adequately prepare participants for both the written and practical portions of the CDL practice test.
In exchange for the training and compensation provided, participants usually commit to working for the sponsoring company for a specified period after obtaining their CDL.
After obtaining the CDL and fulfilling the training commitment, participants start working as commercial drivers for the company. The experience gained during the training period will be valuable for building a successful career in the transportation industry.
CDL Training Eligibility
The eligibility requirements for CDL training can vary based on the training program, location, and the specific company offering the training. However, there are some common eligibility criteria that you might encounter when applying for a Commercial Driver License (CDL) training program:
- Age Requirement
- Driving Record
- Medical Examination
- Residency Status
- Criminal History
- Language Proficiency
- Education Level
- Some programs may have additional requirements, such as passing a basic skills test or having a certain amount of driving experience
Companies Offering Paid CDL Training
Here are some of the top companies across the United States offering the chance to get paid to get your CDL.
Swift Transportation is a major American trucking company that specializes in transportation and logistics services.
It’s possible to complete the Swift CDL training program in as little as 4 weeks. Before you know it, you can be a new driver on the open road.
Roehl Transport, Inc. is a transportation company based in Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA, that provides a range of trucking and logistics services.
The company offers a comprehensive training program for individuals who are interested in becoming commercial truck drivers. This program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training to prepare individuals for their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) exams and for a career in trucking.
KLLM Transport Services is a trucking and transportation company based in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. They’re a well-established trucking company that provides a range of transportation services primarily focused on refrigerated and temperature-controlled freight.
Similar to other trucking companies, KLLM offers driver training programs for individuals interested in pursuing a career as commercial truck drivers. These programs help aspiring drivers obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and provide training on safe driving practices.
PAM Transport, Inc. is a transportation company based in Tontitown, Arkansas, USA. They’re a trucking company that provides a range of transportation and logistics services, primarily focused on long-haul and regional truckload transportation.
At PAM Transport you can join a comprehensive driver training program for individuals interested in pursuing a career as commercial truck drivers. The program is run with the help of Driver Solutions and helps aspiring drivers obtain their Commercial Driver’s License.
Prime Trucking School
Prime Inc. is a transportation company that operates a truck driving school. They’re headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, USA, and offer a comprehensive training program for individuals interested in becoming commercial truck drivers.
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. (formerly Knight Transportation) is a prominent transportation company based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
At Knight-Swift you can join a comprehensive driver training program offered to individuals interested in starting a career as a commercial truck driver. The training program assists aspiring drivers in obtaining their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and provides training in driving techniques and safety practices.
TMC Transportation is a transportation and logistics company based in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. TMC is well-known for its focus on flatbed trucking and its commitment to quality, safety, and professional development within the trucking industry.
One thing TMC is renowned for is its in-house driver training program. This program provides training and a driver mentor for new drivers, helping them build the skills needed for a successful career in flatbed trucking.
Schneider National, Inc. is a major transportation and logistics company based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. They’re one of the largest trucking companies in North America and offer a wide range of transportation and logistics solutions.
Schneider offers a driver training program to individuals interested in pursuing a career as commercial truck drivers. The program provides training in driving techniques, safety practices, and obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
XPO Logistics, Inc. is a global transportation and logistics company that offers a wide range of services to facilitate the movement of goods across various industries.
Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, the company has grown through acquisitions and has become a significant player in the logistics and supply chain management industry.
Stevens Driving School
Stevens Transport is a transportation company based in Dallas, Texas, USA. They are known for their truck driver training programs and services in the trucking industry.
Upon successfully completing the training program and obtaining a CDL, participants may have the opportunity to work for Stevens Transport as company drivers.
Stevens Transport’s training program aims to provide a foundation for individuals to build long-term careers in the trucking industry.
Carter Express is a transportation and logistics company based in Anderson, Indiana, USA. They’re known for their truckload transportation services, including dedicated and regional routes. The company focuses on providing reliable transportation solutions for various industries and customers.
FFE Transportation Services, Inc., commonly known as Frozen Food Express (FFE) Trucking, is a transportation company that specializes in temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services.
FFE focuses on the transportation of perishable goods and frozen foods, with a particular emphasis on maintaining the integrity of the cargo’s temperature during transit.
YRC Freight is a transportation company that provides a range of shipping and logistics solutions, with a focus on less-t
han-truckload (LTL) freight transportation.
Safety is a significant focus for YRC Freight. The company emphasizes training and compliance with industry regulations to ensure the well-being of its drivers and the public.
Pros And Cons Of Paid CDL Training Programs
Paid CDL training programs offer individuals the opportunity to receive training to become a commercial truck driver while earning a salary or stipend during the training period.
Like any career path, paid CDL training programs come with both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons to consider.
- The most significant advantage of paid CDL training programs is that you’ll receive a paycheck while undergoing training.
- No upfront costs.
- Many paid training programs offer job placement with the company upon successful completion of training and obtaining the CDL.
- CDL programs provide hands-on experience, giving you the opportunity to learn essential driving skills and techniques under the guidance of experienced instructors.
- Paid training programs often have a structured curriculum that covers both classroom instruction and practical training, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the CDL exams and for the job itself.
- Some paid training programs require you to commit to working for the company for a certain period after completing training. Breaking this commitment might result in penalties or fees.
- Depending on the program, you might have limited choice in terms of the company you’ll work for after training.
- Truck driving can be physically and mentally demanding.
- The lifestyle can involve long hours on the road, time away from home, and potential isolation.
Do I need any prior experience to join a paid CDL training program?
No prior experience is usually required. Paid CDL training programs are designed to train individuals with little to no experience in truck driving.
How long does paid CDL training take?
The duration of training can vary depending on the program and the type of CDL you’re obtaining (Class A CDL training or Class B CDL training). Training can last from a few weeks to a few months.
What are the benefits of a paid CDL training program?
Benefits include receiving a paycheck while training, no upfront training costs, job placement upon successful completion, hands-on experience, and the opportunity to start a new career as a CDL driver without prior experience.
Are there any costs involved in a paid CDL training program?
Paid CDL training programs typically cover the costs of training, commercial learners permit, tuition, CDL test fees, and often transportation to the training location. However, it’s essential to understand the terms and any potential costs you might incur if you don’t complete the program.
Can I choose my employer after completing the program?
Some programs offer job placement with the company that provides the training, while others might allow you to explore job opportunities with different companies.
What type of training is provided?
Entry level driver training includes both classroom instruction and hands-on practice. You’ll learn about safety regulations, driving techniques, vehicle operation, and more.
What happens if I don’t pass the CDL exam?
Some programs provide additional training and support if you don’t pass the CDL exam on your first attempt. However, it’s essential to inquire about the company’s policy in such cases.