If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a commercial truck driver, you may be wondering how long it takes to complete CDL school.

The short answer is that it depends on several factors, including the type of program you choose, your availability, and your commitment level.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to how long CDL school is, including the different types of programs available, the average length of each program, and what you can expect during your training.

Types of CDL Programs

CDL or Commercial Driver’s License programs are designed to train individuals to become skilled truck drivers. There are several types of CDL programs available, including:

Full-time programs

Full-time CDL programs are designed for individuals who are looking to complete their training quickly. These programs usually last for 3-4 weeks and require students to attend classes and practice driving full-time. Full-time programs are ideal for those who have a flexible schedule and can commit to the intensive training.

Part-time programs

Part-time CDL programs are ideal for individuals who cannot commit to a full-time training schedule. These programs are designed to be completed on a part-time basis and usually last for 8-10 weeks. Students attend classes and practice driving on weekends or during the evenings.

Online programs

CDL online programs are becoming increasingly popular due to their flexibility. These programs allow students to complete the classroom portion of the training online. However, the driving portion of the training must still be completed in-person. Online CDL programs can take anywhere from 4-12 weeks to complete.

Company-sponsored programs

Many trucking companies offer company-sponsored CDL training programs. These programs are designed to train individuals to become truck drivers and then hire them upon completion of the program. The length of these programs varies depending on the company, but they usually last for 4-6 weeks. The advantage of company-sponsored programs is that students are guaranteed a job upon completion of the training.

Program Type Length of Program
Full-time 3-4 weeks
Part-time 8-10 weeks
Online 4-12 weeks
Company-sponsored 4-6 weeks

When choosing a CDL program, it is important to consider your schedule, budget, and career goals. Research different programs and read reviews from past students to ensure that you are choosing a reputable program.

For more information on CDL programs, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

Average Length of CDL Programs

CDL school is a great way to start a career in the trucking industry. But before enrolling, you might be wondering, how long does CDL school take? Well, the answer depends on the type of CDL you’re pursuing. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the average length of CDL programs:

Class A CDL: 3-5 weeks

Class A CDL is the most common and comprehensive type of CDL. It allows you to drive any combination of vehicles with a total weight of 26,001 pounds or more, including tractor-trailers, tankers, and flatbeds. The average length of a Class A CDL program is 3-5 weeks. During this period, you’ll learn everything you need to know about driving, safety, and regulations. You’ll also get hands-on experience behind the wheel and practice driving in various situations, including city streets, highways, and rural roads.

Class B CDL: 1-2 weeks

Class B CDL is a more specialized type of CDL that allows you to drive a single vehicle with a weight of 26,001 pounds or more, including buses, dump trucks, and delivery trucks. The average length of a Class B CDL program is 1-2 weeks. This program focuses more on the specific skills and knowledge you need to operate these types of vehicles. You’ll learn about air brakes, passenger safety, and other specialized topics that are relevant to your chosen field.

Advanced CDL training: 1-2 weeks

If you already have a CDL but want to advance your skills and knowledge, you can enroll in an advanced CDL training program. These programs are designed for experienced drivers who want to specialize in a particular type of driving, such as hazardous materials, tanker trucks, or oversized loads. The average length of an advanced CDL training program is 1-2 weeks. During this period, you’ll learn about the specific regulations and safety requirements that apply to your chosen field. You’ll also get hands-on experience with the equipment and vehicles you’ll be working with.

Keep in mind that these are just the average lengths of CDL programs. The actual length can vary depending on the school, the state, and your own learning pace. To get a more accurate idea of how long CDL school will take for you, it’s best to consult with the school you’re interested in and ask about their specific program requirements.

Factors Affecting CDL Program Length

Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requires specialized training through a CDL school. However, the length of the program can vary depending on several factors. In this guide, we will explore the main factors that affect CDL program length.

Program Type

One of the main factors affecting CDL program length is the type of program you choose. CDL schools offer various types of programs, including full-time, part-time, and accelerated programs. Full-time programs typically last between 3 to 5 weeks, while part-time programs can last between 8 to 12 weeks. Accelerated programs, on the other hand, can be completed in as little as 1 to 2 weeks.

Pro Tip: Before choosing a program, research the different types of programs available in your area to determine which best suits your needs and schedule.

Availability and Scheduling

Another factor that affects CDL program length is availability and scheduling. Some CDL schools may only offer programs at certain times of the year or may have limited class sizes, which could affect how long it takes to complete the program. Additionally, some schools may offer flexible scheduling options, allowing students to attend classes on weekends or in the evenings, which could impact the program’s overall length.

Student Commitment Level

The level of commitment a student brings to the program can also affect the program’s length. CDL schools require a significant time commitment from students, including attending class, completing homework assignments, and practicing driving skills. Students who are fully committed to the program and consistently attend classes and complete assignments are more likely to complete the program in a shorter amount of time than those who are not as committed.

State-Specific Training Requirements

Finally, the length of a CDL program can also be affected by state-specific training requirements. Each state has its own set of requirements for obtaining a CDL, which can include a certain number of hours of classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training. Some states also require additional endorsements, such as hazardous materials or passenger endorsements, which can add to the overall length of the program.

State Classroom Hours Required Behind-the-Wheel Hours Required
Texas 160 44
California 80 20
New York 30 24

Pro Tip: Check your state’s CDL training requirements before enrolling in a program to ensure that you meet all the requirements and understand how they may impact the length of the program.

What to Expect During CDL School

Obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) requires completing a training program designed to teach the skills and knowledge necessary to safely operate a commercial vehicle. CDL school can vary in length depending on the program and the student’s availability, but most programs typically range from four to twelve weeks.

Classroom Instruction

CDL students typically start with classroom instruction covering topics such as federal and state regulations, safe driving practices, trip planning, and map reading. Students learn about the mechanics of the vehicle, how to maintain a logbook, and how to complete various forms required by the Department of Transportation.

Behind-the-Wheel Training

After completing classroom instruction, students move on to behind-the-wheel training. They learn how to operate the vehicle, including shifting, braking, and accelerating. Students practice driving in various road and weather conditions, as well as maneuvering the vehicle through tight spaces such as alley docking and parallel parking.

Pre-Trip Inspections

Pre-trip inspections are a crucial part of CDL training. Students learn how to inspect the vehicle before each trip to ensure that it is safe and in compliance with federal regulations. They learn how to identify potential problems with the vehicle’s brakes, lights, tires, and other systems.

Driving Maneuvers

Students learn a variety of driving maneuvers, including turning, backing up, and changing lanes. They learn how to handle different types of intersections and how to merge onto highways safely. Students also practice driving at night and in inclement weather.

Safety Procedures

CDL school emphasizes safety procedures and defensive driving techniques. Students learn how to identify potential hazards on the road and how to react to emergencies such as tire blowouts or brake failures. They also learn how to properly secure cargo and how to respond to hazardous materials incidents.

Regulatory Requirements

Finally, CDL students learn about federal and state regulatory requirements governing commercial vehicle operation. They learn about hours-of-service regulations, weight and size restrictions, and other rules that apply to commercial drivers. Students also learn about the consequences of violating these regulations, including fines, license suspension, and even criminal charges.

Preparing for CDL School

Getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a significant step towards a career in trucking. However, before enrolling in a CDL program, there are several things you should do to prepare.

Researching CDL programs

Not all CDL programs are created equal. It’s essential to research various CDL programs and find one that fits your needs and budget. Look for programs that offer hands-on training, classroom instruction, and assistance with job placement. You can find information about CDL programs on state government websites or through organizations like the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA).

Gathering required documentation

Before enrolling in a CDL program, you’ll need to gather some documentation. This may include a valid driver’s license, a social security card, a birth certificate or passport, and proof of residency. Check with your chosen CDL program to ensure you have all the necessary documentation.

Practicing basic driving skills

While CDL programs are designed to teach you everything you need to know to pass the CDL exam, practicing basic driving skills can help you feel more comfortable behind the wheel. Practice driving a large vehicle in an empty parking lot or a quiet street to get used to the size and weight of a commercial truck.

Preparing mentally and physically

CDL school can be challenging, both mentally and physically. Prepare yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. You’ll also need to be mentally prepared to learn new skills and pass the CDL exam. Practice good study habits, stay focused, and ask questions when you don’t understand something.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to start your CDL program and begin your career in trucking.


In conclusion, the length of CDL school depends on several factors, but most programs can be completed in a matter of weeks.

By understanding the different types of programs available, the average length of each program, and what to expect during your training, you can make an informed decision about your career path.

If you’re ready to pursue a career as a commercial truck driver, start researching CDL programs today and take the first step towards your new career.

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