How Much Does CDL Training Cost?
How Much Does CDL Training Cost?
Career advancement training is an investment, and it can come at a cost. The price tag for CDL training from a truck driving school or CDL training program can include school tuition, living expenses, time out of work for classes, and more. Before you take the next step in your career and start your training, it is important to know how much that truck driving school will cost and consider other CDL training options.
Overall Cost of CDL Training
Most people know they'll have to pay for tuition if they go to truck driving school, but some forget to factor in living expenses and the cost of taking time off work.
Truck driving school tuition. On average, CDL truck driving school takes about 3-16 weeks to complete for most types of CDLs, but the length of time can vary depending on the type of CDL you are trying to earn and whether you are attending school full-time or part-time.
Time out of work for classes and training. These costs vary depending on whether you are attending school part-time or full-time, and whether you're able to work some or not at all while you're attending CDL training.
Living expenses while you are in training. Some people travel to get their CDL training, either because there is no school in their area, or because the school of their choice is not close to their home. Some schools include lodging and basic living expenses, while others do not.
CDL test cost and other related fees. The CDL exam costs vary from one state to another, so you will have to find out what your local DMV charges for this test. We do a deep dive into these fees here: CDL Fees by State
Cost of CDL Tuition
The cost of CDL tuition ranges from $3,000 to $8,000 or more depending on the school or training facility. This can be paid out of pocket by trucking students, there may be grant money or some trucking companies may offer company sponsored CDL training. More and more trucking companies are following the Roehl Transport model by actually providing the CDL training themselves. At Roehl Transport, we offer multiple pathways to getting your license, including paid, on-the-job training and tuition reimbursement options.
Factors that Affect Costs
As you can tell, CDL training spans quite the range. It is important to know why that range is so wide and whether it's worth it to pay for a more expensive program.
Reputation. Know the job placement record of the program you are considering. Some trucking companies may not hire from some schools. Compare two or more programs to decide what is best.
Scope of program. How much driving time and classroom time does each program afford? The more time you spend in training, the more prepared you will be. This can affect your job placement and earning potential in your first year.
Lodging and living expenses. As we mentioned above, some programs include lodging and living expenses, others do not. If you are considering a program that includes these expenses with the cost of tuition, find out what you're paying for. Remember, living expenses come down to more than just food and lodging, so even if your program wraps living expenses into tuition, plan to pay a small amount out of pocket. With Roehl’s Get Your CDL program, your lodging and most meals are provided.
Ways to Control Costs
There are many ways to defray costs while you are in CDL training. We have already mentioned two very simple ways to make your CDL training affordable: get your CDL training through Roehl Transport, or submit your tuition receipt to us for reimbursement after paying for it out of pocket.
Other ways to control costs include:
Veteran benefits. If you are a veteran, you may be able to use your tuition-related GI benefits to get your CDL training at little or no cost. Speak to your VA office to learn more about the benefits afforded you. In addition to speaking to the VA about your options, Roehl also offers options for military veterans .
Grants. In some cases, grants may be available to pay for tuition up front. Conduct research online to find out what you might qualify for.
Scholarships. Some scholarships may be available to reduce the cost of tuition. Talk to the admissions department at the CDL training school you are planning to attend to find out more.
Time Out of Work for Classes and Training
Many students take a big hit to their finances when they enter CDL training because their income is dramatically reduced while they attend school. If you simply cannot afford to be without work while you're in CDL training, there are ways to ensure you'll keep making money while you're in school.
Get paid while you get your CDL with Roehl Transport.
Research part-time programs that would allow you to continue working even while you attend school.
Apply for grants and scholarships, seek reimbursement through Roehl, and borrow the money you will need for your living expenses while you're in school. Be sure to talk to a Driver Employment Specialist to understand your options and process.
If you are going to truck driving school full time during the day, be prepared to pay for your bills and basic needs for the next 3 to 16 weeks while you're in trucking school.
Some of the expenses you can expect to cover while you are in CDL training:
- Bills at home (utilities, rent, your phone bill, etc)
- Food (three squares per day, plus the occasional late-night snack)
- Laundry detergent
- Entertainment (during downtime)
Costs will vary by quite a bit while you are in school. One of the reasons this amount can be so unpredictable is because some training programs take much longer than others. Many students estimate $500 to $1000 spent on basic living expenses. To estimate your own costs, track your expenses for a week. Then, multiply that amount by the number of weeks you will be in training school.
CDL Test Cost and Other Related Fees
Training is separate from the test and other related fees, and we have covered all those expenses in a recent article. Plan to set aside at least a couple hundred dollars to cover the related fees. See our recent article to determine how much you can expect to spend on this in your state.
Better Than Free CDL Training or Tuition Reimbursement with Roehl Transport
CDL training can elevate your career, and cost should not stand in your way. That’s one reason Roehl created the Get Your CDL paid truck driver training program.
Better than Free CDL Training
If you have not yet completed CDL training, you may have the option of participating in Roehl’s Get Your CDL Program, where we provide lodging and most meals. You are hired as an employee on the first day, and training to get your CDL is part of your job. While you are training to get your CDL, you will also be paid $616 per week so that you can focus on what matters: learning the skills you need to pass your CDL exam.
Have you already attended and completed CDL training? Great, Roehl may even reimburse you up to $6,000 for tuition costs incurred elsewhere.
CDL Cost Summary
Getting a CDL can be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. There may be options for you if you want to attend a truck driving school, company sponsored training program, or even to get paid while you get your CDL. To explore your options, give a Roehl Employment Advisors a call.