Truck Driving Schools in Kentucky
If you want to see the country, work independently, and return home on a regular basis, truck driving may be the career for you. The first step is attending a truck driving program in Kentucky. There are 18 truck driving schools in Kentucky, including technical colleges, vocational schools, and dedicated truck driving training centers. The cost of tuition varies widely between each program, and some vocational centers even have free training for qualified students. Some employers reimburse employees for the cost of their driving training, so that is something to consider. Otherwise, federal financial aid can be used for most truck driving programs.
Earn CDL Training in Kentucky
There are two parts to any truck driving program. The first part involves preparing for the written exam. This includes learning driving laws and learning how to take care of a truck. The second part of the training program is when you get behind the wheel of a truck with a certified instructor. You spend many hours learning how to drive a truck before you have to take your driving exam. In general, most programs in Kentucky take between five and eight weeks of full-time study. You can expect to spend eight hours a day Monday through Friday in your truck driving program.
After completing your truck driving program, you should be ready to start the process of earning your commercial driver's license (CDL). Licensing is done by the Motor Vehicle Licensing Division of Kentucky. After you complete a written skills test, the division should administer a learner's permit to you. You can schedule your driving test as soon as 10 days after getting your permit. The skills exam tests your preparation knowledge, parts knowledge, and driving skills. Upon successful completion of your skills exam, you can get your CDL from the Motor Vehicle Licensing Division.
Working with Your CDL License in Kentucky
The job outlook for truck drivers is strong in most parts of the country, including Kentucky. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job openings for truck drivers are expected to increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020. The statistics in Kentucky are similar. According to O*Net, job growth for truck drivers is expected to increase by 19% in the same time frame.
Truck drivers in Kentucky can look forward to earning a solid base salary. Most truck drivers in the state earn between $24,400 per year and $57,600 per year (O*Net, 2012). The median salary for truck drivers in Kentucky is $35,900 per year (O*Net, 2012). In addition to your base salary, many trucking companies now offer sign-on bonuses to new employees.
If you choose to work as a truck driver in Kentucky, there are many potential employers you can choose from. There are some in-state driving jobs, but they are few and far between due to Kentucky's relatively small size. Most jobs that you may find typically require interstate travel. Depending on your employer's needs, you may drive just in your area or you may drive around the country. Some of the largest trucking employers in Kentucky include C.R. England, Premier Transportation, West Side Transport, and A&R Transport. Depending on how far you drive, you may return home once per week, once every two weeks, or once per month.
Uniquely located in the middle of three different areas of the country, Kentucky somehow manages to combine the best of all three areas. Kentucky residents are known for their Midwestern friendliness, southern food is widely available in the state, and the East Coast is just a drive away. There are some large cities in Kentucky, including Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green. However, most Kentucky residents choose to settle down in one of the many rural and suburban areas of the state. The cost of living in Kentucky is about 12% lower than the national average, as reported by Sperling's Best Places.