Embarking on your truck driver’s journey only calls for a commercial driver’s license, after which you are free to practice it in Arizona.
Skilled and well-trained drivers are in high demand, and this job comes with a lot of fringe benefits, but only people qualified can apply for it.
So, if you are interested in truck driving, enrolling in a CDL training school is the first thing you need to do. Doing so will help you gain industry knowledge and hands-on experience, which would help you land an entry-level job as a professional truck driver.
How To Get a CDL In Arizona
Getting your hands on CDL gives you the freedom to drive any kind of vehicle, even for commercial purposes. Some certifications even allow transportation for hazardous materials. To obtain CDL in Arizona, here’s what you can do;
Join a CDL Training School
There are multiple CDL training schools in Arizona to choose from, depending on your resources and personal preferences. Here you will learn the necessary skills and information required to clear the written and driving test.
Before you give your CDL examination, you have to prove that you are 21 years or above through your social security number. Otherwise, entrants aged 18-21 years old can only get an intrastate license, which only applies to within Arizona until they turn 21. This is to protect young individuals from the transportation of potentially hazardous materials. Applicants are also liable to pass the US DOT medical exam.
Obtaining this calls for the DOT medical exam results. Applicants would also have to provide their social security card along with their driver’s license. Then there is a waiting period of at least fourteen days after which you are required to clear the standard CDL exam, which constitutes a written and a skills exam.
How Much Does It Cost To Get a CDL In Arizona?
Obtaining the CDL calls for completing the Arizona license application, for which you should undergo a physical medical test through a certified medical examiner. Renewal of the health certificate after every two years is also required. All these incur minor costs. Fees for CDL following the specific certificate are as follows;
- Class A or B: $25
- Class C: $12.50 plus $10 passenger endorsement
- Doubles/triples trailers endorsement: $10
- Hazardous materials endorsement: $10
- Motorcycle endorsement: $7
- Tank endorsement: $10
CDL Variations Available in Arizona
Commercial driver licenses (CDLs) in Arizona are offered in three classes: Class A, B, and C.
- Class A CDL is needed to run a truck or trailer in case the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is 26,001 pounds or more when the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the trailer, which is added to the GVWR of the power unit (the truck), is 10,001 pounds or more.
- Class B CDL is needed to drive any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. The vehicle may be towed if the GVWR of the trailer is 10,000 pounds or less.
- Class C CDL is needed to drive vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less if the vehicle has to transport hazardous materials or 16 or more passengers (driver included). The applicant should also have the passenger or hazardous materials endorsement to get this license.
Review of the Best CDL Trucking Schools in Arizona
To help you choose the best CDL trucking school that fits your needs, we have reviewed and compiled the top CDL trucking schools in Arizona. To make this list, we have taken into account their programs, cost, and other facilities offered.
- Address: 2350 S 48th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85043
- Average Tuition Cost: $6,700
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class A, Automatic
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations:Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Card Certification
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 2:1
- Website: https://www.roadmaster.com/locations/phoenix-arizona/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Roadmaster Drivers School
Roadmaster Drivers School offers multiple qualifications, with the most popular one being the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The time it takes to complete these ranges from three weeks to three months, depending on the program the applicant opts for. For those who cannot pay the tuition cost, the school offers grants or scholarship funding.
The school has spacious classrooms and computer labs, making it a great learning environment. The faculty also offers specially designed field-driving courses and late-model tractor-trailers, especially for on-site training. The majority of trucking carrier recruiters prefer hiring their graduates.
The faculty is immensely helpful and guides you through your future job prospects. It has been highly rated and positively reviewed. The program teaches students how to be compliant with the Department of Transportation laws while driving. It also gives tips on trip planning and hooking/unhooking a trailer. Applicants intending to drive commercial vehicles may find learning about the advanced truck driving techniques, such as skid avoidance and truck, recovery very useful.
They also learn how to respond to emergency actions such as break-away trailers or hydroplaning. The equipment provided is top-notch, and they get to learn from some of the most experienced truck driver trainers in Arizona.
They have a hands-on approach to teaching so the student can get the most real-world truck driving experience and get employed in Fortune 500 companies, small to midsize shippers and carriers, large on-line retailers, specialized equipment, fleets, and local municipalities or utility companies countrywide.
- Address: 5650 E Travel Plaza Way, Tucson, AZ 85756
- Average Tuition Cost: $10,775
- Average Class Size: 10 students per hour
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), Commercial Vehicle Training Association
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 3:1
- Website: https://hdssafetyservices.com/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By HDS Truck Driving Institute
HDS Truck Driving Institute has a nationally-recognized training and testing system and offers both class A and class B training and testing. It also has refresher courses for people who have little prior experience. Students can graduate in as little as about four weeks and land a job with a reputable employer. This institute is also known to have its students learn to comply with the strict regulations of the transport industry.
Their method of training complies with the rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If you are concerned a lot with the safety aspects of truck driving, this is the best school to go to as it has the most experience in safety solutions beyond basic DOT-required drug testing, such as Electronic Logging Device (ELD) audits and driver qualification files.
This school offers several training and testing programs to meet your needs in under four weeks, depending on the course. Military and veteran benefits are also available, making it a more lucrative option in comparison to all others. They have an in-house job placement coordinator who helps students during their program with job opportunities after they clear the CDL exam.
CDL Training Program in this school involves classroom and yard training. The program starts with preparation for passing the written permit test and ends with supervised on-the-road training. The second phase is when the student gets to learn all the tips and tricks around operating a truck in the safest possible manner.
It also offers endorsements for operating tanks and traveling with the hazardous material. Very useful topics are covered in the process, such as driving techniques and maneuvers, safety awareness, trip planning, roadside inspection guidelines, weight distribution, and preventative maintenance.
- Address: 4115 E. 32nd Street, Yuma, AZ 85365
- Average Tuition Cost: $7,600
- Average Class Size: 8 students per hour
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations:Arizona Motor Transport Association Safety Council, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 2:1
- Website: https://yumatruckdrivingschool.com/about-us/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Yuma Truck Driving School
Yuma Truck Driving School offers a commercial truck driver program that goes on for eight weeks to prepare students for entry-level, and a CDL training program for four weeks that is designed to cater to the needs of professional firms in the trucking industry. The campus also has services that allow all students to be employed on an equal opportunity basis. Differently-abled individuals are also welcome to apply. Specialization in CDL training for military personnel who wish to be in the civilian workforce is also offered.
The schedule is pretty flexible to cater to different individuals. Moreover, the school is licensed by the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division, and is a member of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, a proud sponsor of HirePatriots and has been declared a Designated Veteran Supportive Campus by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services.
The school’s training is recognized countrywide. Its refresher courses, road testing, and third-party commercial driver license testing are opted for by most people who wish to specialize in a certain skill. Since not everyone can afford to pay upfront, the school offers financial assistance to those who qualify for it, sponsored by Yuma Private Industry Council (YPIC), Arizona at Work, and Portable Practical Educational Preparation (PPEP).
The skills included in the program are pre-trip and post-trip inspections, cab familiarization, proper shifting techniques, backing, turning, and packing, along with other minor skills such as loading and unloading cargo, nighttime operations, and safe turning on the bus. The training equipment provided is a tractor-trailer and a passenger bus.
- Address: 2621 S. 51st Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85043
- Average Tuition Cost: $4,500
- Average Class Size: 10 people per hour
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations:Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), Commercial Vehicle Training Association
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 5:1
- Website: https://phoenixtruckdrivinginstitute.com/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Phoenix Truck Driving Institute
Phoenix Truck Driving Institute is known for equipping its students with the expertise needed to pass the CDL test in the most precise manner. The program is most suitable for applicants looking for Class A and Class B training for four weeks. Depending on the performance of the student, they are also offered a lifetime job placement or complete tuition reimbursement.
The program offered is CDL training of four weeks, which makes up 160 hours of training. Job placement assistance is also offered. Students can choose from class A, class B, refresher, a hazmat endorsement, tank endorsement, and doubles/triples endorsement.
For training, a tractor-trailer is used, and by the end of the course, the student is fluent in English so they can land jobs at multinational trucking firms. They also offer an in-house career counseling session so the student can get a sense of all the available career options and know how to move forward.
The curriculum is also structured in a way that the students can easily manage it alongside other things in their schedule, so students are free to avail of this to their benefit.
- Address: 2323 S. 51st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85043
- Average Tuition Cost: $4,500
- Average Class Size: 8 people
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations:Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 4:1
- Website: https://swtdt.com/programs/class-a/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Southwest Truck Driving School
Since 1999, Southwest Truck Driving School has been helping countless people obtain CDL licenses. Class-A has a duration of 40-80 hours while Class B has a maximum of 40 hours. The campus has top-grade industry gear so students can get the best hands-on training. The curriculum is also designed to improve and modify the current industry structure, so the students get the best, up-to-date education.
The training is done on-site and involves everything from reading maps, tracking hours of service, spotting hazards, developing defensive driving habits, handling and locking down cargo, to adhering to rules and regulations (FMCSR).
Since this campus is family-owned and operated, its aims are not that of a regular corporate firm which only focuses on profit maximization. Here, the emphasis is on the betterment of the student and making sure they learn everything, from the basics to the advanced tricks and tips.
They are also given counseling for job prospects. The refresher training program re-acquaints students with tracking hours of service, defensive driving habits, and safety procedures, along with the state laws concerning over-the-road hauling.
They also get to learn a lot about trip planning strategies to ensure the successful completion of their drive and options available to them about their trucking career. The recreational vehicle training program helps the individual learn how to drive an RV, from Class A motorhomes and Class B camper vans to 5th wheel trailers and other towable RVs. In this, they learn how to safely operate the RV to minimize camper-related breakdowns. This way, they can better look out for campground hazards and plan for wastewater disposal and other RV campground maintenance.
- Address: 4905 E. Broadway Blvd Tucson, AZ 85709
- Average Tuition Cost: $4500
- Average Class Size: 12 people per hour
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations:Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 19 to 1
- Website: https://pima.edu/academics-programs/degrees-certificates/industry-manuf-construction/truck-driving/index.html
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Pima Community College
Pima Community College is a great option to consider for people looking to start their career in the truck driving industry. Students can earn their Class A CDL in about five weeks and earn extensive on-the-road training on professional trucks and trailers. It is one of the most affordable programs offered with career placement assistance.
Students are also likely to receive a job offer before they even finish the training. Students with Class A CDL can opt for future jobs by going for Pima’s Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist Certificate.
Pima Community College’s CDL training program has the best skill set to offer to beginner trainees, especially those who want to opt for a self-driving truck in the future. The faculty also fills you in a lot in regards to the rules and regulations, so you are covered on the legal front.
The students are also taught how to safely operate a vehicle that can cater to 16 or more passengers. Exams for CDL for classes A, B, and C are offered via the Center for Transportation Training in partnership with TuSimple, which is a leading training institute in the operation of self-driving trucks. It also has a first-of-its-kind Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist certificate program.
- Address: 1313 N. 25th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009
- Average Tuition Cost: $1600
- Average Class Size: 8 students per hour
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: US Department of Education
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 1:1
- Website: https://arizonacdl.com/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By CDL Truck School
CDL Truck School offers a one-on-one driving instruction environment for those looking for a class A, B, or Bus License. It has a high-quality, inclusive tractor-trailer driving program in which students are valued for their outlook on truck driving methods.
Safety is the foremost priority that is taught as part of the skill set. This is reflective in their teaching method in which students are given one-on-one training. This ensures proper training and time efficiency for each student.
Being a training provider for the Workforce Investment Act, CDL Truck School has established itself as the to-go place for hundreds of agency students from all over Arizona. It has a short, seven-day training program and offers training on manual/auto-trans, full-sized flatbed trucks, smaller flatbed, bus tractor-trailers, and tractor-trailer delivery vans.
Why Start a Trucking Career in Arizona?
A trucking career in Arizona is a lucrative career opportunity availed by individuals who want stability with a steady income and growth prospects. It has multiple benefits as a career over others, which include:
According to a survey conducted online by CareerExplorer, millions of people who indulged in truck driving have positively answered when asked about how satisfied they are with their career choice.
Realistic and Conventional Career
Truck driving makes for a great option for people who want a consistent source of income with minimal risk involved in regards to the job being redundant or them being replaced with technology, as is the case with most jobs. It can also be less of a job and more of a fun activity for those who enjoy working outdoors and more of a hands-on activity than a 9-to-5 indoor job. It also requires the individual to be organized and have good time management skills.
Truck driving is a job which people can do part-time; 9% of the people employed work part-time. This flexibility allows students to get enrolled in a CDL trucking school to support their ongoing education or start saving up earlier.
Through truck driving, individuals can earn up to $60,000 per year. It also requires minimum technicalities in the academic environment, and it takes only three weeks to get your certificate.
CDL truck drivers, especially Class A drivers, receive great fringe benefit packages that cover their insurance. Some firms even offer driver graduates employment, along with stability and financial security.
Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in Arizona
Wondering how much a truck driving career gives back to you in terms of pay and the overall job outlook? We have broken it down for you below so you can make the right decision for yourself. Every year, you can expect to make:
Annually, truck drivers earn $46,000 on average. The starting wages are from $33,093 and can reach up to $64,000 if you have five or more years of experience. On a per-hour basis, experts can earn $30.77, while beginners can earn $18.60.
Basically, the more the experience is, the higher the chances of getting a good salary. Like any other job, beginner-level jobs tend to be low-paying but offer lots of fringe benefits. These include health, vision, life insurance, prescription drug card, 401K savings plan, and direct deposit program paid vacation, tuition reimbursement, electronic logging, amongst many others.
Many established firms also offer multiple career advancement opportunities along with driver awards programs and a quarterly fuel bonus. Taking all these benefits into consideration, a truck driving job can be a pretty good opportunity for many.
Hopefully, you have found this review helpful in making your decision regarding the CDL trucking school to go for in Arizona. Whatever the decision might be, make sure you have taken your current financial situation and prospects into consideration so that you don’t end up feeling stuck while you are enrolled.
People Also Ask
Many questions are surrounding the trucking industry in Arizona, so to help you clear your mind up about some procedures, we have answered some of the frequently asked questions below;
Do Trucking Companies In Arizona Pay You To Get Your CDL?
Some trucking companies like to invest in the students who are enrolled in the CDL program by paying them while their training is on-going from day one. Obtaining the CDL is a requirement of the job, and $500 per week is paid till the student is enrolled. This goes on for three weeks, after which the student can opt for on-the-job training as a long haul truck driver.
Can You Get Financial Aid For Trucking School In Arizona?
Yes, there is financial aid available for some trucking schools in Arizona through state grants or in-house financing. State grants are normally available if the school is a training provider for the Working Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or other state-affiliated programs. In-house financing is for those who don’t meet the state grant requirements. In this case, the student is offered affordable payment plans, which usually start 45 days after graduation.