Finding a Balance: How to Pay for Truck Driver Training

Trucker with semi truckIf you are interested in becoming a trucker, then prepare yourself for some changes. For starters, truck driving school was once an option or pathway to getting hired by a trucking company. However, nowadays if you don’t go to trucking school you’ll be hard pressed to find a trucking job that is worth your time. Tack on the fact that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has passed a rule that all new truck drivers will be required to get training. Where do you stand in this new truck driver territory? How to pay for this training?

Cost of Truck Driving School

The time it takes to go through a truck driving school program varies. For example, at Roadmaster Drivers School, Inc. the program is a three to four week session. At SAGE Truck Driving Schools has a comprehensive tractor trailer driver program that lasts for four to five weeks. SEC Training Centers also provides a five-week training program. You will even find some training programs that last for a week, which is a very tight time frame for learning and retaining any amount of knowledge.

As for how much truck driving school costs that’s another matter that varies greatly. You can expect to pay between $3,000 and $8,000 for the program. If you don’t pass the course the first time around, then you are looking at being in debt without having a trucking job to go to. That’s why it’s important to treat truck driving school with a professionalism that you will carry on as a truck driver.

Paying for Trucking School

To pay for truck driver training courses you do have options. It is not viable for most individuals to pay the thousands of dollars out of pocket, and truck driving training schools know this. As a result, most are set up to help you find financial aid or loan programs that will benefit you. Here are some places to get started:

  • If you are a military truck driver you can use your GI Bill Educational benefits to cover your tuition costs, if applicable.
  • Ask the trucking school advisor if you are able to get a grant via the Community Reinvestment Act or Workforce Investment Act, which is available in many states and local communities to help boost employment.
  • Inquire about scholarships at the trucking school; you may be able to get a scholarship through a trucking company that will cover your expenses as long as you agree to drive for that company post-graduation.
  • Check out lending companies that offer student loans; while you will have to pay interest and fees, it may be your only option.
  • Find out if the trucking school has an installment program so you can pay gradually for the training.
  • Ask trucking job recruiters who are contact with you through the trucking school if their affiliated companies offer tuition reimbursement.

This last one is possibly the most affordable option since you will not have to pay anything for your training. Most trucking companies now provide total tuition repayment for new truck drivers who are fresh out of school. However, you must apply for a trucking job within a set time frame, typically within a few months, after graduating to be eligible. Considering the window of opportunity is narrow, you want to make sure you understand the fine print of this option before you commit to truck driving school.

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