So, you want to become a truck driver? If you are motivated, do not mind spending time on the road away from family and friends, and enjoy traveling, then this could be the perfect career for you. Not to mention, the career outlook for truck drivers is growing, as there is a shortage of qualified drivers.
One common question anyone who is considering this career has is “How much does it cost to be a driver?” Some of the more common costs you will incur include:
1. Truck-Driving School Tuition
Truck-driving school tuition is required to earn your CDL. The costs will vary based on the school. However, most schools offer financial aid, accept the GI Bill, or have employee-sponsored programs to lower the costs of tuition.
2. Housing Costs
Unless you are lucky to be living with your parents or have a partner or spouse who already works, you will need to have money set aside to cover housing costs. Some truck-driving schools will have arrangements with places that offer affordable housing, so check with the school first.
Otherwise, you will want to look at other options, like a short-term rental lease or an extended-stay hotel. Housing costs can vary based on the location of the truck-driving school.
3. Meals and Entertainment Costs
Some schools will include lunch with tuition, and others may not. You should budget meal costs, depending on whether you have access to a kitchen to cook meals or need to dine out. Entertainment costs can include the cost of streaming services, games, and so on.
4. CDL Exam and CDL License Costs
There will be a cost to get your CDL and take your CDL exam. These, as well as any endorsements you need on your CDL license, can vary from one state to another. You should budget around $400. Sometimes, these costs will be bundled with your tuition, so check with your truck-driving school.
The Benefits of Employer Sponsorship
Many trucking companies offer employer sponsorship for truck-driving school. Taking advantage of this option is a great way to defer many of the costs associated with becoming a truck driver. Your total tuition could run just a few hundred dollars. Some companies may also offer a weekly stipend or interest-free loans to help with meals and housing costs.
When you finish school, you typically agree to drive for the company for a set contract period. This is a great way to become a truck driver. Just remember to consider these benefits when negotiating your truck driver salary.
After finishing up your on-the-road training and driving on your own, don’t forget to customize your truck to make life on the road easier—like upgrading your semi-truck seats. To find truck seats, mattresses, and more for your truck, please feel free to shop online at Suburban Seating & Safety or call us at 844-727-7328 for further assistance today!