A truck driving career is a great way to see the country and make money at the same time. It is also a career choice that is growing by leaps and bounds, especially in the Southwest. You may be surprised to know there are top truck driving schools in Arizona.
For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the demand for truck drivers is currently growing faster than other careers. They expect the demand to continue to grow around 21% between the years 2010 and 2020. They estimate the demand within the state of Arizona to be even greater, with an estimated growth of 29% between 2010 and 2020. This means you will have the assurance of a regular job for many years to come.
However, before you can hit the road so to speak in terms of driving a big rig, you need specialized training. Please note, prior to entering some driving schools, your first step, according to the Arizona DMV, is to get your commercial instruction permit, which you get by completing a written test. This permit lasts for six months. After this time, you can complete a CDL driving test. The following are some amazing driving schools in Arizona that will provide you the training you need to get you behind the wheel as quickly as possible:
The CDL training program offered by Knight Transportation is located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is open to residents across most of the nation, though not every state. Knight Transportation provides expert driver training to help their graduates achieve and sustain long-lasting careers. Students are paired with trainers at Knight to provide a greater hands-on learning. Not everyone can be a trainer at Knight Transportation, though as they are hand selected and much have vast expertise and industry knowledge, which gives new students the benefit of their extensive experience.
Notable Points About Knight Transportation
- They offer a trainee salary. This means you can earn a salary while you complete your driving training.
- They provide small classes to ensure you get the individual attention you need.
- They offer refresher courses.
- They guarantee you a job once you graduate, since you will be hired prior to even starting your CDL training.
- CDL training usually last four to six weeks. ( Timeline listed below)
Timeline for Knight Transportation
- First step: Decide that you want to work with Knight
- Second step: Pass permit test.
- Third step: Complete Knight CDL school and application.
- Fourth Step: Get hired after passing the driver qualification process (which includes drug test and physical). This process usually takes around a week.
- Fifth Step: Head to Phoenix for CDL school; this is two to three weeks long. During this training, you will learn the ins and outs regarding the trucking business.
- Sixth Step: Graduate with a CDL and hit the road. You will get real world experience with a Knight trainer by your side. The constant feedback from your trainer who rides in the passenger seat for around four to six weeks means you get valuable training not offered by many other programs.
- Seventh Step: Get your own truck. Once you complete your OTR training and pass your road test, you will receive your own truck and are ready to hit the road solo.
- Once you hit 30K solo miles, your pay will increase, and will increase again at 60k miles and yet again at 90k miles. After you hit 90k miles, you are eligible to become a trainer or you can keep driving solo.
Tuition Costs for Knight Transportation
- The cost for the CDL course is $3,995 and the refresher course costs $1,200.
- Applicants must pay $500 as a down payment on their first day of school.
- Students who pay in advance can save 25%.
Swift has been in operation since 1996 and has over 40 training facilities throughout the nation and Mexico. Students of Swift Transportation can get their CDL from the largest truck loading carrier in all of North American. Their Arizona location is located in Phoenix.
Notable Points About Swift Transportation
- Your total tuition costs is reimbursed over 26 months of employment through Swift.
- Classes start new each week.
- They provide financing for student housing.
- Tuition is reasonably priced.
Requirements For CDL in Arizona
It is worth noting the following qualifications for getting your CDL in Arizona, because without meeting these requirements, you won’t be able to procure a CDL even with the very best training. In order to qualify for a CDL, you must be:
- At least 18-years of age to drive within Arizona state lines.
- At least 21 years of age to drive cross country or to haul certain materials, like those considered hazardous.
- You must have held a non-CDL driver’s license for a least one year’s time.
- You must be able to prove your citizenship or legal presence in America.
- You must have proof of your social security number.
- A valid DOT medical examiner’s card.
When Choosing an Arizona Truck Driving School, Ensure the Following
- They provide coursework in safety regulations and driving laws as they relate to Arizona law.
- They teach the various safety and mechanical parts on a semi.
- They teach driving techniques necessary to safely operate a tractor trailer.
Additional Question to Ask About Top Truck Driving Schools in Arizona
- How long does the training take?
- Do they provide behind-the-wheel training?
- What is the ratio of students to instructors?
- Is there job placement offered?
- Is the school accredited?
The above schools are great choices to consider when beginning a career in truck driving.
Knight Transportation: https://driveknight.com/driving-associates/training/cdl-training/
Swift Transportation: https://careers.swifttrans.com/driver-jobs/student-hiring/