Illinois Trucking Schools
Ready to prepare for a truck driving career in Illinois?
If so, great! We’re here to help you take the next step. Before you go any further, we want to spell out a few things you should consider while comparing all your CDL training school options. Take a look at this list of trucking school qualities that you should look for. Then, review the kinds of things you’ll learn when you earn your CDL.
Qualities Of Top Trucking Schools
There are several things you should look for when choosing a trucking school, including:
- How you will pay for school
- Does the school offer endorsements
- What is the cost of truck driver training?
- What are the minimum requirements to enroll?
- Do they have relationships with local trucking companies?
Many schools will have financial options for their students to choose from. It is common for trucking schools to help students directly through their own financing departments, or companies they work with to help students. You most likely won’t qualify for federal aid, but there may be scholarships or grants you can apply for.
Endorsements, such as HAZMAT, School Bus, and Air Brake can help you qualify for many types of trucking jobs in Illinois. In fact, programs offered by companies such as CR England Truck Driver School also hire drivers that complete their programs. There is a good chance you have seen a CR England trucking school graduate cruising down the highway in one of their 18-wheelers, since they hire drivers from all over the country.
The minimum requirements for most trucking schools are:
- 21 years of age
- Clean driving record
- Pass a drug test
- Employment references
- Clean criminal history
And last, make sure your trucking school knows local employers. The best thing about many of the schools on our list is that they can help you hit the road to success once you complete your training!
Wabash Valley College has many different financial aid opportunities for diesel technology students. One option is the Wayne Tech Scholarship. You must apply for this scholarship as a high school student and have good grades. The AEMP Foundation Scholarship is another diesel technology scholarship at Wayne Valley College.
Discovering Truck Driving Schools in Illinois
Before you begin your program, it's important to have a clear idea of how long you'll be in school. In general, truck driving programs take four to six weeks to complete. This includes the classroom part of your education as well as the time you spend behind-the-wheel. Diesel technology programs have a bit more variance. For example, Rend Lake College offers two different diesel programs: an Associate's degree, which requires two years of study, and an Occupational Certificate, which takes under one year.
As you look through the schools you may be able to attend, you may want to look at what skills you gain from each program. Many trucking schools support you through each step of the licensing process. Prestige Driving School offers help with passing your written exam, completing your driving hours, and getting your Commercial Driver's License.
You may be curious about what type of salary you can earn as a new trucker or diesel mechanic.
Below you can find a graph outlining Illinois trucking and diesel mechanic salaries compared to the nationwide average. All data was retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015).
Get on the Road to a Career in the Illinois Trucking Industry
There are many different ways you can use your trucking education. You may work for a trucking company, leasing center, or repair shop. Some of the most prominent trucking employers in Illinois are C.R. England, MCT Transportation LLC, and Beacon Transport. The job outlook is very favorable. O*Net anticipates a 10% increase in demand for truck drivers and an 8% increase increase in demand for diesel mechanics in Illinois.