The cost varies between states and between providers. Typically the cost of obtaining a suitable Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is somewhere between $3,000 and $7,000. The type of license you wish to obtain also influences the cost – the price for Class A training differs from that of Class B, and there are a variety of additional, relevant driving endorsements which can also be obtained for the further outlay.
The minimum age to drive a truck without leaving the state (intrastate) is 18. If you wish to drive a truck across the country (out-of-state), the minimum age is 21.
If you train full-time (forty hours a week), it usually takes around seven weeks to complete the relevant CDL training. For training participants who need a part-time course, perhaps because of pre-existing work commitments, it may take longer. Also, obtaining the Class A license requires significantly more training than the Class B – many trainees can obtain their Class B license in around a week.
No formal qualifications may be required, although some companies stipulate a driver needs their High School Diploma before they will be considered for a position. Truck drivers must have the relevant CDL, plus endorsements, for the type of truck they wish to drive. Some companies may have particular requirements concerning their drivers, for example a clean criminal record, clear drug testing and the ability to pass a medical before commencing employment.
Completing an appropriate training course which leads to gaining a Class A or B CDL, plus endorsements, is the only way to legally operate as a truck driver.