Truck Driving Schools in West Virginia
If you want to become a truck driver in West Virginia, there are many schools just waiting for you. There are six truck driving schools located throughout the state, allowing you to learn about how to earn a Class A, Class B, or Class C driver's license. Most of these programs are very affordable, as they only last between four and eight weeks. However, the actual cost of tuition depends on which school you attend. You can often lower the amount of money you have to spend on your education by applying for federal financial aid. Most students qualify for some type of grants or scholarships.
Complete CDL Training in West Virginia
On your first day of driving school, you immediately begin the classroom portion of your education. During this part of your training, learn about the parts of the truck, West Virginia driving laws, and driving techniques. You can expect to be tested on this information when you apply for your commercial driver's license. The second half of your truck driving education involves getting behind the wheel of a truck and really learning how to drive it. You work individually with a driving instructor, in order to ensure that all students are completely comfortable with driving a heavy truck.
How to Get Your CDL License in West Virginia
All licensure of truck drivers is done through the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. There are three steps to earning your commercial driver's license. First, you sign up to take a written exam. Upon passing that, you earn a learner's permit. Once you are ready to take your skills test, you can register with the Division of Motor Vehicles. When you pass that test, you can finally get your CDL.
Career Opportunities with Your West Virginia CDL
Thanks to the country's need for transported goods, the demand for truck drivers is very high. According to O*Net, a 21% increase in truck driving job openings is expected between 2010 and 2020. They expect this to result in about 330,000 new truck driving jobs throughout the decade (O*Net, 2010).
Truck drivers in West Virginia can earn a wide range of salaries. The salary you earn may depend on where you are employed, your experience, and seniority. Most truck drivers in West Virginia earn between $21,300 per year and $51,700 per year (O*Net, 2012). The median salary in the state is $31,500 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Starting your truck driving career in West Virginia is a great move, because it puts you in the position of being able to travel to many other states. You may be able to find an intrastate driving job during your job search. Intrastate jobs allow you to drive only in West Virginia and return home on a daily basis, while interstate driving jobs require you to travel to different parts of the country. With an interstate driving job, you may return home as often as once per week or as rarely as once per month. Some of the large West Virginia employers you may come across in your job search include West Side Transport, C. R. England, Schneider National, and A&R Transport.
West Virginia is most known for the natural beauty found in the Appalachian Mountains. While there are a few cities in West Virginia, including Huntington, Parkersburg, and Charleston, the vast majority of West Virginia residents who live in rural communities. The mountains are dotted with small, tightly-knit towns and villages. As a truck driver, your job may be based out of one of West Virginia's larger cities or towns. If you live in West Virginia, you can enjoy a very low cost of living. Sperling's Best Places reports that the cost of living in West Virginia is 14% lower than the national average.