Truck Driving Schools in Montana
Because of Montana's largely rural makeup, many companies rely on truck drivers to transport their goods. If you want to become a truck driver in Montana, there are three schools you can choose to attend, including two truck driving schools and one community college. Truck driving is one of the more affordable education programs you can go through, because the average tuition cost in Montana is $2250. Most programs are eligible for federal financial aid. The average scholarship award in Montana is $1224, which can go a long way to reducing the cost of your education. Another benefit of attending a Montana program is the average class size. The average class size in Montana is 11 students, which gives you plenty of opportunities to ask questions and interact with your instructor.
Earning Your CDL in Montana
The first part of your driving program in Montana is meant to prepare you for the written portion of your commercial driver's license exam. This part of your program includes information on truck parts, driving laws, and how to safely drive a heavy truck. During the second part of your driving program, you get to practice everything you have learned. You can expect to spend many hours behind the wheel of a truck before you are expected to take your driving exam.
What Are the Montana CDL Requirements
Before you can begin working as a truck driver in Montana, you have to earn your commercial driver's license from the Motor Vehicle Division of Montana. In order to get your license, you have to complete and successfully pass a written exam. Once you pass the written exam, you can take the skills test. After passing the skills test, you can get your CDL from the Motor Vehicle Division.
Join the Montana Trucking Industry
The nationwide job outlook for truck drivers through 2020 is strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for truck drivers is expected to increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020. They expect this to result in approximately 330,000 new truck driving jobs across the country. In Montana, O*Net expects there to be about 248 new truck driving jobs each year between 2010 and 2020.
If you decide to stay and work in Montana, you can look forward to earning a good base salary. The median salary for truck drivers in the state is $37,900 per year (O*Net, 2012). In Montana, most truck drivers earn between $25,000 per year and $59,100 per year (O*Net, 2012).
As a truck driver, you can expect to spend long hours on the road. It is important to be able to motivate yourself to work and be comfortable working independently, as you work alone most of the time. There are some truck driving jobs that allow you to return home on a daily basis, but most jobs allow you to return home once per week or once every two weeks. Since Montana is such a large and sparsely populated state, you may be able to find in-state driving jobs. Interstate driving jobs may keep you in the northwest region of the country, or they may take you across the country. Some of the biggest Montana truck driving employers include BNSF Railway, Nabors Industries, and Kelly Services.
As noted earlier, Montana is very sparsely populated for the most part. Even Montana's largest cities, including Billings, Great Falls, and Missoula, are considerably smaller than the biggest cities in most other states. This makes Montana the ideal state for those who want to lead a quiet, peaceful life. The cost of living in Montana, according to Sperling's Best Places, is about 4% higher than the national average. There are many ski resorts and national parks in Montana, giving you many skiing and hiking opportunities. No matter what time of year it is, Montana is full of natural beauty.