Truck Driving Schools in Colorado
Despite its moderate size, Colorado has a wide variety of trucking schools to choose from. There are 12 schools with truck driver programs in Colorado, and almost all of them are specialized truck driving schools. This means that there is generally a higher rate of acceptance, more start dates, and more one-on-one student help. Most schools are concentrated around Colorado Springs and Denver, but there are some in outlying suburbs.
Colorado CDL Training in Colorado
While the specific duration of your program will depend on where you go to school, the majority of programs take four to five weeks of full-time learning to complete. Some schools, including SAGE, offer different levels of truck driving education. For example, SAGE offers a tractor-trailer basic driving class, which is what most students start with. You may also choose an advanced tractor-trailer class or a CDL essentials class. The basic class includes 150 instruction hours, including 44 hours of driving instruction. In addition to learning practical driving skills, you will learn how to take care of a tractor-trailer, driving laws and restrictions, and how to earn your CDL (commercial driver's license).
There are various ways to pay for your truck driving education. Student loans can often be used for your program, and some schools accept payment plans. You may also be eligible for Workforce Reinvestment Act funds, vocational rehabilitation funds, and other federal or local grants.
Colorado CDL Requirements
Prior to beginning work as a truck driver, you need to get your commercial driver's license from the DMV of Colorado. You can get a Class A, B, or C license. A test will be administered, and you will have to demonstrate your competence in pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. Be sure to bring your social security card, your driver's license, and a completed medical examination form.
In general, truck drivers can look forward to lots of job prospects. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for truck drivers are expected to increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020. This is expected to amount to 330,000 new jobs between 2010 and 2020 (BLS, 2010).
The outlook for truck drivers in Colorado is good. Between 2010 and 2020, O*Net predicts an 11% increase in job openings for truck drivers (O*Net, 2010).
Trucking Jobs in Colorado
Truck drivers in Colorado may be able to look forward to a great starting salary. According to O*Net, the median annual salary for a truck driver is $40,400. The salary range goes from $26,900 to $59,500 (O*Net, 2012). After gaining experience and seniority at a job, you may be able to earn a salary at the high end of the scale.
There are many different places you can work as a truck driver in Colorado. You may choose to work for a national company that conducts interstate travel or a local company that keeps you in the state. You may be home every weekend or less often if you travel in between states. Big truck driving employers in Colorado include C.R. England, Schneider National, and USA Truck.
After gaining experience and proving your dependability, you may be able to return home more often, spend fewer weekends driving, and choose your schedule. These perks often come with seniority, so don't worry if you have to work long shifts away from home at first.
If you're looking for a place to study truck driving and start your new truck driving career, Colorado may be the state you're looking for. The cost of living in Colorado is just slightly above the national average, according to Sperling's Best Places. This helps keep housing and food costs relatively low.
The layout of Colorado and its dependence on transported goods also creates a demand for skilled, educated truck drivers. There are many different companies you can work for in Colorado, including trucking companies, transport companies, and more. Many truck driving employers are based out of Colorado's largest cities, which include Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Fort Collins.