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How to Become a Truck Driver

Truck Driving Jobs are listed everywhere and the money you can make as a professional truck driver has never been higher. There is a significant shortage of Class A CDL licensed truck drivers which is causing trucking carriers to pay more money to attract truck drivers. If you are ready to learn how to become a truck driver just follow these steps!

For you to qualify for your Class A CDL license and those readily available truck driver jobs, you will need to pass a few basic qualifications which we will outline.


Some medical conditions may prevent you from becoming a truck driver due to various Federal and state regulations relative to safety. The physical examination you take for your medical certificate confirms that you are healthy enough to safely perform the demanding job of a Class A Truck Driver and keep our nation’s roads safe.

These conditions are mandated by the federal government and are checked for at the required Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. A DOT physical examination must be conducted by a licensed medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry.

To start, you must fill out your health history. This includes information on any surgeries you’ve had, medications you are currently using, specific diagnoses, substance issues and symptoms. From there, the medical examiner tests various parts of your health. They test your pulse, blood pressure, vision in both eyes and hearing. You must also pass a urinalysis test. This is used for drug testing and detection of blood, sugar, or protein in the urine. During the physical examination, your doctor checks your overall health and each body system, marking it as normal or abnormal. The doctor then sends the DOT physical form directly to the licensing agency in your state.

Criminal Background

While having a felony on your record doesn’t affect your ability to get a Class A CDL license, it may affect your ability to get employed at a trucking carrier. Not all felons will qualify for jobs after obtaining their CDL license since several variables like the type of conviction, time since completion of sentence and whether the felony was violent or not will affect employment.

Driving Record

CDL training schools and trucking carriers look for drivers who have proven to be skilled and safe on the road. Speeding tickets, DUIs, and other traffic violations are important factors when getting a CDL but don’t automatically mean you’re disqualified.

Review the Entry Requirements for Training Schools

Before you receive a CDL, you’ll need a regular driver’s license. Be sure your license is valid and current. For most training programs, having a high school diploma or GED would be best.

Compare community college and training school programs to determine the best option for your situation. You can enjoy affordable and hands-on training to jumpstart your career at your local Roadmaster Drivers School location. 

Study for Your CDL Exam

Receive the information you need from a skilled team at Roadmaster Drivers School. The entire training program takes about a month — you may be in a new and exciting career pretty quickly.

Depending on your situation, up to 100% of your tuition could be reimbursed. You may also still qualify for unemployment benefits or be able to work using your commercial learner’s permit. A learner’s permit allows you to take on some commercial trucking jobs, but it’s meant to be a temporary step as you prepare to take the CDL exam.

Truck driver training

What Is a CDL?

A CDL is a commercial driver’s license. You need a Class A CDL to drive large trucks, whether a large flatbed or tractor-trailer. This type of license allows you to drive vehicles weighing over 26,001 pounds; with this license, you can also carry a towed vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds.

As a truck driver, a CDL is necessary to get you on the road safely and within the law. Before driving a truck, New drivers must apply and get their Class A CDL license. Instructions for obtaining your CDL differ depending on the state you’re in, but you can expect to:

  • Complete a CDL application to become a professional driver.
  • Submit several pieces of personal information, including proof of your identity.
  • Pay an application fee.
  • Get your photo taken.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass knowledge tests.
  • Pass the CDL Skills test.

Obtaining your CDL Learner’s Permit

A Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) only authorizes you to practice on public roads with a qualified CDL holder sitting next to you. Getting the permit involves more than just passing all the knowledge tests for the type of driving that you want to do. To make sure that you are eligible your driving record is checked for the last 10 years in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. You need to bring in the proof that your state accepts requires to show that you are medically qualified. Most types of commercial driving require a DOT medical card which means you need to have requiring a DOT physical. Your state may require specific documents it wants to see to prove your name and proof of residency.

Train to be a Truck Driver

Truck Drivers are required to hold a Class A CDL license to drive their tractor-trailers both in state and on long trips across state lines. To get a Class A CDL license, you should have the minimum required hours of combined classroom and “behind the wheel” training driving a truck. Truck Driving Schools, like Roadmaster, provide training to assist you in obtaining your Class A CDL license in about a month.

Take the Exam

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations exam is required before receiving your Class A CDL. A Class A CDL gives you a competitive application for high-paying jobs in a stable industry even without endorsements.

There are also Class B and C CDLs, but these licenses don’t certify you to drive the largest commercial vehicles. Choose a Class A CDL to expand your horizons and drive regional and long-haul routes.