Community College vs. Training School: How Should I Get My CDL?

truck driver in drivers seat

In these challenging times, more than ever, the trucking industry is looking for dedicated and well-trained truck drivers. But truck driving requires a lot of training. If you’re thinking about obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL), then you might be wondering about the best way you can get this training and ensure you’re truly comfortable behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

If you’re…

  • At least 18 years old
  • Have had a regular drivers license for a minimum of one year
  • Able to read English road signs and communicate with law enforcement in English
  • Able to pass a DOT physical and drug test

… you’re in good standing to get started on your CDL journey. You have two main options when it comes to truck driver training. The majority of prospective drivers train through either community college or training school.

Community College

Additional Fees and Expenses

The tuition and fees of community college aren’t the only expenses you’ll need to pay. Community college CDL programs usually require you to buy textbooks and pay for other unexpected expenses out of pocket. Most of the time, financial aid does not cover any of these expenses.

Process Takes Longer

Most community college CDL programs are 6-12 month courses, meaning it takes longer for you to get on the road, and start earning a paycheck. If you’re choosing between community college or training school based on which option gets you started sooner, community college might not be the best choice in your situation.

Less Hands-On Learning

While classroom learning is great, and there is some hands-on learning in community college CDL programs as well, nothing will truly give you the same hands-on experience as a driving school with real road driving and a longer driving range.

Truck Driving Training School

Hands-On Approach

Truck driving school involves tons of real-life job training and experience both behind the wheel and through observing the professionals. If your choice between community college or training school comes down to which offers more hands-on experience, a truck driving school may better suit your needs.

Faster Process

Many people deciding between community college or training school want to know which process is faster. Because driving school is more intensive and the sessions are longer than community college courses, it is a much faster way to get your CDL and begin earning big paychecks.

More Affordable

Not only are there no expensive surprises (textbooks, anyone?) when you choose a training school, but many schools and training centers also offer a variety of awesome opportunities such as lifetime job placement.

Get on the Road in Just 4 Weeks!

Each option has pros and cons, but ultimately, the choice between community college or training school will have to be based on what best works for you. If you decide that training school is your ideal route, you can rely on the American Driver Training Academy! 96% of our full-time students have their CDL Class A license in hand by the 5th week due to our proven training methods using hands-on training with industry professionals. For more information about our full-time truck driving school or part-time truck driving school, contact us today.