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Getting Started

Ready to start your career in trucking? We can Help.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Allyson Hay
Professional Driver

"I love truck driving. Every time I see a female, I just smile and give them the thumbs up because we have a lot to offer to this industry."

How to Become a Professional Driver

Professional drivers are responsible for moving more than 70% of goods in the United States – making individuals with a commercial drivers license (CDL) a vital part of the American economy. There’s an incredible demand for professional drivers. As a result, professional drivers are able to earn competitive compensation and routes that offer a great work/life balance.

If you’re looking to become a professional driver, it all starts with obtaining your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), and then earning your CDL. Some truck driving schools may require GEDs or high school diplomas from their students – but not all of them. You will also need to meet the following requirements:

1

Be at least 18 years of age to drive in state

2

21 years old to drive state-to-state

3

A Clean Driving
Record

4

Proof of State Residency

5

A Social Security Number

6

Proof of Insurance

7

Pass Periodic Drug Tests & Medical Exams

8

Pass a Background Check

Another important consideration you should make when pursuing your training and CLD requirements is which class of license you need. There are three classes: A, B, C:

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Class A

This type of license is considered to be the most comprehensive option, and many employers seek out Class A certified drivers for their versatility. Class A is the ideal option for heavy duty vehicles. It’s not just about tractors and livestock carriers, you can operate tankers too! Class A gives you access to many types of commercial trucks, including tractor trailers, and flatbeds.

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Class B

Those who hold this type of license drive school buses and public transit vehicles. If you’ve seen trucks driving around town delivering goods to various businesses, or picking up trash at construction sites, you’ve seen a Class B driver.

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Class C

If you’re looking to operate a more compact vehicle, this is the option for you. It accommodates passengers and cargo in smaller packages while still maintaining safety features like airbags.

Types of Driver Jobs

There are several driver options from which to choose, based upon your career goals and interests. First you can choose between being a “solo driver” or a “team driver.” Oftentimes, team drivers are comprised of married couples, partners or friends. Team drivers can log more miles because the truck never stops moving (your partner drives while you rest and vice versa), and they can split the compensation.

Another option is to be a “dedicated driver,” which means you drive for a single company and typically spend more time at home (or work as a driver trainer once you’ve had a chance to gain experience). Or, a last option is that you can be an “Owner-Operator,” which means you own the truck you drive, which places all ownership responsibilities entirely on you (insurance, maintenance, etc.)

How to Choose the Right Truck Driving School for You

There are five critical criteria you should use in selecting the truck driving school that fits your own personal needs.

  1. First, select a school with a comprehensive program. 
    Choose a school that has solid curriculum (a diverse number of courses, range of topics covered, and on-the-road training will help you be successful in a career. Make sure to investigate the experience levels of the instructors you’ll be working with.

  2. Second, be willing to learn and be trained. 
    You’ll need to learn skills that you likely haven’t been exposed to before, such as shifting, backing up, coupling, inspecting and driving a large vehicle on the roadway. Being open-minded and willing to learn such skills will go far toward your success as a professional truck driver.

  3. Third, find out if your preferred school offers flexible trainings schedules.
    The school you choose should understand that as a student, attending class is not the only thing you’re juggling in your life. If desired, find a program that is designed to suit your needs. Very few schools offer one-on-one training and allow students to completely plan their own schedules.

  4. Fourth, seek out schools with a documented, highly rated job placement record.
    Most schools help graduating students to find jobs, so make sure the school you choose provides such assistance. Your ultimately goal is to obtain a job as a professional truck driver, so make sure to thoroughly investigate the school’s reputation in job placement of its graduates. You may even want to find a school with a record of placing drivers at the leading motor carriers.

  5. Lastly, secure a driver position that is aligned with your personal needs. 
    Once you have graduated from truck driving school, it’s not time to start your rewarding career! You have learned how to safely drive a tractor-trailer – and those skills will deteriorate quickly if you don’t continue to use them. Starting with a trucking company as soon as possible after graduation will enhance your orientation and training time with your new employer and will eliminate the potential of needing to complete a refresher course if you allow too much time to elapse.

Truck Driving Schools

Find a professional truck driving school in your area. The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) is the largest association representing commercial truck driver training programs in the United States. CVTA represents nearly 200 training providers in 42 states that collectively train more than 50,000 commercial drivers annually. 

Scholarships

The Women in Trucking Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports ambitious students, drivers, and professionals in the trucking industry who seek to grow their skills through classroom and vocational training. The foundation accepts applications for scholarship awards twice in the calendar year, Spring and Fall.

Career Center

The Women In Trucking Career Center connects talent with opportunity. See featured jobs, search by job function and state, upload your resume, get job alerts, access resources, the company directory, and more!


Testimonials

In 5 years, I would like to be an owner-operator or run some type of trucking business. I'd like to give back to the community - like volunteering to drive the trucks that house food for the hungry.
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Lisa T.

Five months ago, I felt stuck. Should I finish my degree in international business while I was financially struggling or obtain a technical career & apply what I've learned about back-end business operations? I have no doubt I made the right decision pursuing professional driving.
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Mitzi D.

For over 20 years I've always worked without any direction but I've always had a fascination with driving tractor trailers. Driving is exactly what I was meant to do and as a woman it's that much more exciting.
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Tracy C.

When pursuing a career, I wanted to have something that would withstand economic changes and a chance to grow my own business.
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Deadriann I.

I'm committed to a career in trucking as way to get away from the day to day routine of a regular job. I love that I'm contributing to society by transporting goods to different places safely that everyone around me uses everyday.
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Zana W.

To be a driver would fulfill a passion of mine and help with the demand for more drivers. Now that my daughter is older, my husband and I can do as we planned - work on becoming Owner-Operator team drivers.
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Jennifer A.

In the News

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Trucker Encourages Women to Join Trucking

Via Spectrum News

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Drawn by the Salary, Women Flock to Trucking

Via Wall Street Journal

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Truckers Keep American Supply Chains Running

Via NBC15

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Interested in speaking with someone from our team? We'd love to hear from you!