28 Locations for Trucking Schools in Alabama
Thursday, Mar 1 2018 admin
A pathway to a successful truck driving career often begins with trucking school. While experienced truckers might not have attended truck driver training, times have changed. Today you are dealing with trucks with advanced technology, driver safety issues, and a lot more traffic than drivers starting out 30 years ago. As a result, going to truck driving school can help you gain the behind the wheel experience and knowledge you need in a short amount of time. If you are a student driver in Alabama, here is a comprehensive list of the trucking schools in the Cotton State.
Trucking Schools at Community Colleges
If you have already spent some time in college or tech school, then going to a trucking school at a community college in Alabama might be right up your alley. Several community colleges and one technical institute offer commercial truck driver training. These trucking training programs provide students with a certificate or diploma showcasing they have completed CDL training.
This certificate or diploma looks great when presented alongside a resume or trucking job application. Since it is given by an accredited college, it adds to your clout as a professional truck driver. It shows you are dedicated to your career and want to do what it takes to get your CDL.
Here is a list of colleges currently offering some form of truck driving school:
- Bevill State Community College Truck Driving School in Sumiton, AL
- Bishop State Community College Commercial Vehicle Driving School in Mobile, AL
- Calhoun Community College CDL Training in Decatur, AL, and Huntsville, AL
- Central Alabama Community College Skills Center Truck Driving in Alexander City, Childersburg, and Talladega, AL
- Reid State Technical College Commercial Driver Training in Evergreen, AL
- Shelton State Community College Truck Driver Training in Tuscaloosa, AL
Differences in Paying for Truck Driving School at Colleges
Another benefit of going to a community college is that you are more likely to be able to receive scholarships, work-study grants, and other financial aid. Some truck driving schools require students to apply for college, which involves sending in your high school or GED transcripts and paying per credit hour. If this is the case for the Alabama trucking school you choose—then you can apply for FAFSA.
This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that matches hundreds of thousands of college students up with grants, federal loans, and scholarship opportunities. If you are paying per credit hour for school, fill out the FAFSA form online.
Once you complete the paperwork, you are given a reward letter that shows what financial aid you can receive. You are under no obligation to receive any of the aid, which includes grants you don’t have to pay back. So it’s a good way to find financial help for paying for trucking school.
Note that most community colleges offer truck driving school as a certificate program. This means you pay a flat rate, and you do not have to apply to the college outright. As a result, you do not qualify for the financial aid. However, these courses are much cheaper than if you had to pay per credit hour for your tuition.
Privately Owned Driving Schools
The most popular way to go to truck driving school in Alabama is to attend a privately owned training program. There are more than a dozen of these schools including:
- A-1 Whatley Driving School in Madison, AL
- Alabama Benz Driving Academy in Montgomery, AL and Headland, AL
- Alabama Driving Academy in Huntsville, AL
- Alabama Skills Center Truck Driving in Selma, AL
- Balentine Driving School in Huntsville, AL
- Truck Driver Institute/ Commercial Drivers Institute in Oxford, AL
- C 1 Truck Driver Training in Decatur, AL
- Coach Walker's Driving School, LLC in Huntsville, AL
- Coastal Truck Driving School in Bossier City, AL
- Jomil Driving School
- Precision Driving School in Jacksonville, AL
- Premier Driving Academy in Theodore, AL
- Red Mountain Driving Academy in Trussville, AL, and Birmingham, AL
- South Alabama Skills Center Truck Driving in Eufaula, Troy, and Opp, AL
- Tennessee Valley Driving Academy aka Brian Gafford Driving School in Athens, AL
What to Look for: Professional Trucking Schools
The first area you want to research when choosing a private trucking school is the type of coursework provided. There is no standardized training requirement that states all schools have to provide students with a set amount of time behind the wheel or in the classroom. So how do you know if you are getting enough time?
In general, classes run for at least two weeks and as long as eight weeks. If you are in a rush and are a quick learner, the shorter time frame may work for you. However, for most new truck drivers, the longer you can spend in a class, the better.
The next point is how much time is spent in classroom training and for behind the wheel training. You want a good mix of both, but having more hands-on driving training is optimal. You can always supplement your classroom, knowledge training with study guides online or in print.
Yet most student drivers lack the equipment to get to train in a truck with a professional driver. Optimally, look for a program that guarantees you will have a smaller student to teacher ratio so you can have more one on one time with the teacher behind the wheel.
Final Tip for Trucking Schools in Alabama
Find out if the private schools, as well as community colleges, are partnered with or sponsored by trucking companies. This can provide you with professional networking opportunities to help you find a trucking job after you graduate.
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