Your Complete Guide to Becoming a Certified Truck Driver

October 19, 2019

You have done the research, searching for entry-level jobs that pay a decent wage or salary, and you now know that truck driving is a good option, especially without a college degree. However, now you have to answer a more practical question: how do you become a certified truck driver? Also, once you answer that question, you might be worried about the potential legal risk of driving nearly 10 hours per day or more, which is why, after learning about qualifications, you might want to contact a CDL traffic ticket lawyer and discuss your options once trained and hired. However, that is putting the trailer before the cab, so to speak. Therefore, remain focused on the how of becoming a truck driver before anything else.

Meet Qualifications to Apply

The hurdles to becoming a licensed truck driver are minimal. In fact, there are typically only three requirements to be a truck driver and get a CDL license.

  1. Most states require you to be at least 21 years of age.
  2. You must have a clean driving record with no major violations, such as a DUI.
  3. Most employers and truck driving schools require a diploma or GED, but some programs do not make this mandatory.

Attend Truck Driving School or Apprenticeship Program

While having traffic ticket lawyers on standby might be a good option for some people, if you attend a reputable truck driving school or enter into a legitimate apprenticeship program, there is no need to worry about excessive ticketing. Truck driving schools and apprenticeships will typically divide your education into two parts: classroom experience and practical learning. In the classroom, you will study the state and federal laws regulating the trucking industry. During your practical learning, you will get hands-on experience driving, operating and maintaining a rig. Apprenticeship programs have the ended benefit of guaranteed job placement after training, but many schools also have job placement tools and relationships in place.

Pass Examinations

Once you complete your initial CDL training, you will need to pass both your state and federal examinations. The state exam will be for the CDL license, and it will include a written and driving portion. If you pass this exam, then you will also need to complete the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration exam, which is made up of a written portion and a physical exam. The written part only needs to be completed once, but the physical exam will need to be repeated every two years.

Find a Job (If Not an Apprentice)

If you are not enrolled in an apprenticeship program, then you will need to find a job for entry-level CDL drivers. With any luck, your truck driving school of choice will have job placement tools to make this process easier. However, truck driving is an in-demand field, which means that you can likely find employment within 30 to 60 days of passing your exams and receiving your license by calling trucking companies.

Complete Training

Once hired, you will need to complete orientation and on-the-job training. Orientation will probably consist of three to five days of learning about the company and completing any necessary paperwork. A training period of several weeks will follow this initial period. You will probably be assigned a mentor who will teach you about policy, routes and paperwork. Once you successfully complete this training period, you will be given your own route and truck.

Now that you know how to become a truck driver, what are you waiting for? Find yourself a school and get started on your new career path. However, don’t forget the risk of more road time. Find a CDL ticket lawyer to help you if you ever feel that you have been wrongly given a citation.