How Long Does it Take to Get a CDL

How much time will I need to commit to a CDL program?

As you look into truck driving schools in your area, you may see that most truck driving programs are full-time. If you’re dedicating 40 hours a week to your truck driving training, you may be unable to work until you get your CDL. Knowing how long CDL programs last can help you plan accordingly, ensure that you can take time off of work until you start your new career, and choose a school that fits into your schedule.

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CDL Training Program Lengths

On average, a Class A CDL program lasts about seven weeks. This is based on full-time programs that run for five days per week. Class A programs tend to last longer than Class B programs, since a Class A license permits you to drive a greater variety of trucks and take on larger loads.

Class B programs prepare you to drive straight trucks, dump trucks, and other trucks that carry smaller loads. Because of this, you may be able to complete your Class B training in less than one week.

The average program length near you depends on which state you live in. Some states have more restrictive licensing procedures than others. If your state requires more driving hours or more rigorous testing, you may need to spend more time in school than someone from a neighboring state.

One of the best ways to figure out your commitment is to contact a number of truck driving schools near you, find out when they have programs starting, and ask how long their programs run.

Factors That Affect Your Time Commitment

Starting truck driving school is a big decision. Making the right choices early in your education can help you prepare for the career you want and spend the right amount of time in school. While examining different education options in your city, keep these factors in mind:

  • License class: The license class you choose may be the most important factor to consider. Balance the amount of time you’re willing to spend in school with your long-term career goals.
  • Endorsements: Adding an endorsement to your license, such as passenger, HAZMAT, or doubles/triples can expand the number of job opportunities you have once you earn your license. Each endorsement may add extra time to your training period.
  • Part-time vs. full-time: Select trucking schools do have part-time options. If you opt to attend school part-time rather than full-time, you may spend a longer period of time getting your license.
  • Driving hours: Find out how many driving hours are provided by each school you consider. Though additional driving hours may require a longer training period, they may also make you a more confident driver.
  • Classroom hours: Some schools have fewer classroom hours than others, particularly those that expect you to pass your written exam before you start your education. Passing the seated exam prior to starting your education may allow you to complete your training more quickly.

When you compare trucking school to other education options, it’s clear that this option allows you to get ready for a new career quickly and affordably. Get started by contacting local truck driving schools and finding out how long their programs are.