This is a very tricky question to answer because you have so many other options available which streamline your entire process. For example, due to the expansion of the internet you have free CDL practice tests, information on endorsements available within your profession, etc. At one point it was tough getting tuition to go to truck driving school, however many governmental programs are now available because they understand the importance transport plays in the economy. Next,
With all these options available sometimes company paid training might NOT be the right option for you. This depends on the way you look at the various options you have in your state. Schools are popping up everywhere simply because transport is growing by 5%-10% each year. In the end, it comes down to your preference, and you should explore your options before getting started. Let’s look at some positive & negatives about company paid training.
I’ll start by going over some important things to pay close attention to before selecting your school.
Tips When Choosing a Paid Training Program
Over time I have heard many stories from young drivers who went to a company paid training program, and they have all had mixed feelings about their decision. You have to keep in mind NOT all companies are the same, and this means the paid training won’t be the same either. It doesn’t matter if they are covering the cost, you want to ensure you get the MOST knowledge out of the program…right?
They should go through the fundamentals like the difference in types of licenses, and then have you pass each test to make sure you understand the material. For example, you should write the CDL A Practice Test or even the CDL Practice Test Air Brakes if that’s what they have been teaching you during that phase. No point in learning something which you won’t be able to hold on to at a later time.
Just make sure when they have completed certain areas of the program, you go through each taking notes so you remember what’s important. It can be a matter of life or death if you don’t know what the rules and regulations are in your State.
Here’s something I’ve noticed when looking over some of the school websites. Many of them provide free online cdl practice tests on their school website. You might want to take advantage of them going forward just so you can practice, etc.
Let’s jump into the main area of discussion which is understanding if company paid training is right for you. I’ll be going over the MOST common factors discussed by new and existing truck drivers.
Two Different Types of Training
With CDL training you have two approaches:
Independent Training Programs – In this approach you will decide what school to enrol in, and you’ll be responsible for all the costs involved. However, keep in mind truck driving schools can be very expensive which is why students will usually opt into the next approach.
Company or Dependent Training Programs – In this approach the company will pay all training costs involved however you will have certain restrictions placed throughout the entire process. For example:
- You MUST pass all examinations before you’ll be qualified to work with the company. This is why they encourage taking free CDL practice test
- You’ll have to sign a contract before being placed in a training program and follow all conditions which normally include being tied to the company after completion.
- Follow additional training requirements as stated within the contract.
- Have a small selection of schools to choose from which normally depend on the company you are working with and their relationships within training schools.
Now that you know about the two different types of options available, let’s go over the direct pros and cons.
Company Paid Training Pros
- A great opportunity for someone who otherwise would NOT be able to pay for training.
- Many of these companies will take care of FULL expenses which means your housing, transportation and meals are covered. This normally would be a high added expense for someone.
- High reputable companies normally provide a paid training program which means you are guaranteed a job right after completion. This job usually pays well and is above starting position.
- After a few months and years, you have gain extensive experience within the industry. Being employed by a reputable company will allow you to network with the right people. You’ll use the BEST technology and logistics equipment which you otherwise would have NO access to at another company. Reputable companies provide you with extensive resources for continual learning. They’ll provide you with training for combination vehicles then an opportunity to write the cdl combination practice test. These cdl practice test and answers have been developed to get your mind thinking in the right direction. These tests usually would have costs you enormous money however they are provided for free by the company.
All of these positive factors for taking company paid training can be enticing however keep in mind there are some negatives to the process especially if you are trying to flourish on your own afterwards.
Company Paid Training Cons
- With company paid training you are in a legal binding contract to work for them after completion. These contracts can bind you to them for several years until they know they got a return on their investment.
- Company paid training can be overwhelming because of what’s expected. For example, you’ll be required to pass additional test, might need to do research papers and continuous training on the job.
- After training you have to be careful with the fine print. Companies will pay for your training, but then your pay rate, if not careful, can be very low compared to others for 1-2 years. They feel they can give you this rate simply because they have paid for your training.
- Very high demands since you just came out of a company training program. You are fresh to the industry and they feel you are obligated to take heavy loads, longer hours, etc.
Wrapping It Up
Once you have completed your training you’ll be eligible to apply for a job. Keep in mind if you went through the company paid training route then you’ll have a job waiting for you. This job might pay you more per mile than others which will depend on the company you are working for. For example, Swift Transport has solid partnerships with programs, and they’ll reimburse you for the complete cost after successful completion. They have this program in place to help jumpstart your career even when you have NO experience. Here are some other benefits:
- Financing available for student housing
- Bus transportation to and from the Academy
- Drug screen testing
I encourage all of you to explore what options you have available within your state. Some state programs will provide you tuition for trucking school however you’ll have to go to a school designated by them. If you do a quick search online for “trucking company paid training”, you’ll be able to find many options available to you. I encourage all of you to do your research both online and by calling them for more information. You might want to contact some colleges which provide truck driving courses because you might be able to secure financing through them.