So, you’ve decided to earn your CDL? Congratulations! You’ve taken your first steps to a long and successful career field with plenty of travel opportunities and adventures waiting for you.

Earning your CDL isn’t always a straightforward path. It takes time, dedication and knowledge to earn it and while it may seem like the path is long, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the process easier ahead of time.

How Long Does it Take?

An average Class A CDL program lasts about seven weeks based on full-time programs that run for five days per week. Class A programs last longer than Class B programs since a Class A license permits you to drive a greater variety of trucks and take on larger loads while Class B programs prepare you to drive straight trucks, dump trucks, and other trucks that carry smaller loads.

The average program length near you depends on which state you live in. Some states have more restrictive licensing procedures than others. If your state requires more driving hours or more rigorous testing, you may need to spend more time in school than someone from a neighboring state.

How Do I Know I’m Committed?

One of the best ways to figure out if you’re truly committed is to contact truck driving schools near you, find out when they have programs starting, and ask how long their programs run.

Starting truck driving school is a big decision. Making the right choices early in your education can help you prepare for the career you want and spend the right amount of time in school. This is the time you need to look at the differences between the licenses, the jobs that are hiring for each of those licenses and the pay rate each of them pays. For example, salary vs percentage is a huge difference. The hours that you start versus the hours that you finish is also a question you need to consider. Are they a reputable company? Will they make you drive heavy in a state that punishes drivers with jail time for breaking this rule? How long do you want to stay on the road?

These are the questions you ask and truly think about before beginning your CDL journey. Next month we’ll have a few more factors to consider as you begin studying and applying for your CDL.