Paid CDL Training versus Truck Driving School: What You Need to Know

paid cdl versus truck driver school mti


CDL truck driving can be a good career path for anyone who values freedom and flexibility in their work environment. For those who enjoy life on the open road, professional opportunities are available-the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for professional truck drivers is expected to increase by 6% through 2030, creating thousands of local CDL jobs in the process. 

While commercial truck driving offers many benefits including competitive pay and a degree of job security, this skilled trade can be physically and mentally demanding. Preparing for the challenges ahead and ensuring one’s own safety requires quality, hands-on training. 

Ultimately, how you elect to receive this training-whether by attending a trucking school or through paid CDL training-can significantly affect your professional opportunities as a driver. If you’re considering a professional truck driving career, it’s important to understand your education options beforehand. 

What is Trucking School? 

For many, the first step toward a career in commercial truck driving is finding CDL trucking schools in your area that provide the necessary training required to pass your state licensure exam.

MTI offers a 20-day CDL Training Course that teaches you the essential procedures and techniques both in the classroom and behind the wheel to prepare you to pass the Missouri state licensing exam. 

If you are wanting to prepare for the state range and drive test as well as learn about preventative maintenance, load securement and cargo holding, weigh stations and transportation security, forklift training and FMCSA rules and regulations you may want to consider the 20-week long Professional Truck Driving Program.* 

*Financial aid is not available for the CDL Training Course.
*Financial aid is available for the Professional Truck Driving Program to those who qualify

What is Paid CDL Training?

When researching different pathways that lead to CDL truck driving career opportunities, you’ll likely learn about truck companies that train new hires, offering what is commonly referred to as ‘paid CDL training’. For many, the idea of being paid to learn essential driving skills can be enticing-but there’s a lot more to consider about CDL jobs with training. Typically, paid CDL training only prepares you to work a specific type of professional driving job.  

Here are a few of the disadvantages of paid CDL training:

Less Potential Career Flexibility

One of the major benefits associated with professional truck driving is the freedom and flexibility it provides-however, paid CDL training may limit your early career opportunities and earnings because generally, you’re contractually obligated to work for a single company at a set rate of pay. 

CDL jobs with training may compensate you less to account for their instructional expenses-in this sense, ‘paid CDL training’ isn’t always free or financially incentivized. Keep in mind, ending a trucking contract prematurely can also prove costly-in many cases, it makes less financial sense to leave early. 

Supply chain issues have created more demand for commercial freight-in response, some companies are offering more competitive pay to attract professional truck drivers. Naturally, these conditions have created many potential career opportunities for professional truck drivers-but for drivers committed to a single company, their options are more limited. 

Increased Competition

Paid CDL training may attract a lot of competition, where in contrast, attending a CDL truck driving school can create more efficient pathways into the truck driving field. 

Generally, truck driving school has less waiting involved before you get behind the wheel and start building the professional skills you need to operate as a professional truck driver. 

Naturally, many people interested in paid CDL training are enticed by the possibility of earning income in less time-in reality, it may take more time to find this type of opportunity and begin training and working professionally versus attending trucking school. 

Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) offers a 20-day CDL Course Training Program and a five month Professional Truck Driving Program. Upon completion of the program and after obtaining your license, you’re equipped with the essential skills and knowledge you need to pursue entry-level careers in the field-anywhere in the country.

More Scrutiny Toward Your Driving Record

While a truck driving company offering paid CDL training has no obligation to tell you how your driving record affects your overall hireability, trucking schools like Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) can help answer any eligibility questions with a dedicated Admissions Team and through related Student Services.    

Please note, there are enrollment requirements for the CDL Training Course and Professional Truck Driving Program, including:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older, 21 years of age for interstate travel 
  • Must possess a valid state driver’s license
  • Must provide a copy of motor vehicle record
  • Must have no unpaid tickets anywhere in the United States
  • Must meet physical qualifications as specified by the State (Missouri)

MTI’s Admissions Team can answer any questions you have regarding enrollment in the CDL Training Course or Professional Truck Driving Program. 

Paid CDL Training or Trucking School: Weighing Your Options

While there are many pathways to becoming a professional truck driver, MTI’s Professional Truck Driving Program and CDL Training Course offer many competitive benefits over paid CDL training.

Here are a few of the advantages of trucking school:

  • Attending a trucking school like MTI allows you to invest in yourself. Many truck companies that offer paid training essentially require you to invest in them by locking into a contract for a set length of time. In contrast, receiving your training at MTI gives you the freedom to take advantage of any competitive local CDL jobs throughout the country.
  • Attending a truck driving school can offer a more convenient way to begin your professional driving career. Whereas CDL jobs with paid training may be limited by competition and other local factors,a truck driving school offers regular enrollment dates. The relatively minor time (20 days to five months depending on the type of program you enroll in) required to complete trucking school also makes it possible to adapt your professional education to your own schedule. 
  • Attending a truck driving school can help you better navigate eligibility requirements.Truck companies that train new hires have the ability to be picky-if your driving record isn’t spotless or they perceive you’re not committed long-term, you may be overlooked. With trucking school, you aren’t subjected to the same kind of scrutiny and there’s a dedicated team to answer any questions concerning your eligibility requirements.

Truck Driving School in Springfield, MO

CDL drivers serve an important role within the American economy by delivering food and goods throughout the country to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population. With steady career growth and thousands of professional opportunities available around the country, professional truck driving may be a great option for you. Classes are now enrolling, request more information and take the first step toward a new career today. 



U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bankrate Wall Street Journal
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