How to Become a Truck Driver

Post Date - Jan 30, 2023

Earning your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and joining the truck driving industry is one of the best career choices you can make! Averitt wants to support truck drivers in any way we can, so we’ve gathered all the major steps in earning your CDL and listed them here. If you’re feeling overwhelmed – no worries, we are here to help you!

The first step in obtaining your CDL is to find an FMCSA-certified truck driving school. The FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, regulates safety on our nation’s roads and is a great resource for any industry-related questions. Enrolling in an FMCSA-certified school is a key first step – if you don’t enroll in a school certified by the FMCSA, you won’t be eligible to take the CDL Exam when the time comes. For your reference, here is a resource that lists each of the certified schools across the nation.

These programs cover a lot of information, vary in length (some last only a few weeks), and can cost between $3,000 and $7,000. While this may seem expensive, it’s actually one of the most affordable vocational training opportunities out there – particularly because truck drivers can make $80,000 or more a year. Once you get set up with a school that best suits you, you can expect in-class instruction mixed with hands-on training to get you prepared for a truck driving career.

Your next step will be to hit the books. To earn your CDL, you first have to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Getting a hold of your state’s CDL Manual will provide you with all the need-to-know information to ace your CLP test. Most CDL manuals can be downloaded with a simple internet search on your state government’s official website. Once you’ve mastered the information in the manual, you’ll sign up to take your CLP exam at a driver license service center in your state. Earning your CLP sets you up to receive real-world training experience with a CDL driver. You’re almost ready to get out on your own and start a new career!

Before you can get on the road by yourself, you have to pass the CDL test. The CDL test is broken into three skills-based sections: vehicle inspection, basic truck controls, and driving skills. After all the studying and training you’ve done, you’ll be fully prepared to succeed and begin your truck driving career with your CDL in hand!

If you’re thinking about starting a career in truck driving, you’re already ahead of the curve – the industry is full of opportunities to create a fulfilling career. For example, our Dock-to-Driver Training Program gives our associates the chance to work on the dock while receiving on-the-job training to help them earn their CDL at no charge. Earn while you learn and obtain your CDL, then you’ll be ready to get behind the wheel and explore the many driving job options we offer.

If you want to learn more about why truck driving is a great career to choose and how Averitt is here to best serve you, check out our last blog post: 7 reasons why truck driving may be the perfect career for you!