Are you ready for a career change? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the trucking industry is projected to add 99,700 heavy and tractor-trailer jobs between 2018 and 2028. If you want to enter this field, take a look at what you need to know about truck driving schools.
What Types of Skills Will You Learn?
There are obvious skills you'll learn in a CDL training program. Even though CDL school will prepare you to drive a commercial vehicle, do you need additional specific skills? If you want to work in a specialized environment, such as construction, you may need extra training. Ask the school staff about what types of courses they offer and how the training will help you to reach your career goals.
Does the School Have the Right License, Certification, or Accreditation?
Licenses, certifications, and accreditations are given by states and third-party associations or educational organizations. These show the school has met the minimum educational legal and industry standards for training professional drivers.
Who Will Teach You?
A high-quality driving school employs skilled instructors who have experience and expertise. While a history of commercial vehicle operation is necessary for any CDL instructor, the teacher should also understand basic instructional principles. CDL instructors are more than drivers—they're also skilled educators with the ability to help novices become competent professionals.
How Many Students Are in Each Class?
A low student to teacher class ratio means you'll get individualized attention. If the school doesn't restrict enrollment or has a high student to staff ratio, you may not learn the concepts necessary to perform your future job. Don't get lost in a crowd of would-be drivers. Instead, select a school that favors a low ratio approach.
Does the School Help with Job Placement?
Even though the BLS's statistics show a projected overall employment increase in the trucking field, you may still need help finding your first job. If you're not sure where to start your job search, ask your potential CDL school if they provide assistance. Along with a job or employer list, some programs also help students to create resumes or offer interview training.
What Is the Cost?
Some programs advertise free training to recruit new students. While there are scholarships, grants, and employer reimbursement programs to offset the cost of driving school, take caution when choosing a supposedly free program. Schools have costs, such as instructor salaries and equipment, to pay for. A completely free course may cost you in materials or other unexpected fees.
For more information, reach out to truck driving schools.