Washington has over 6,000 miles of public roads that are open for driving, and some of its designated highways have been around since the early-1900s. Trucking is one of the most popular industries in the state, with over 140,000 drivers employed.
These opportunities provide extensive employment for those looking to embark on a new career as a professional truck driver.
Before you start looking into a truck driving school Washington to enroll in, it’s essential to understand what exactly truck driving involves and why so many people are entering the industry.
What is Truck Driving?
Truck driving is simply driving a large commercial truck. It may sound simple enough, but driving one takes extensive training and licensing in multiple states.
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There are three types of license you’ll need when starting: your state’s driver’s permit (earned when turning 16), commercial driver’s permit (earned through your state’s transportation agency), and endorsement on that CDL (obtained through your chosen truck driving school).
Your state will dictate how long you can hold onto this permit. For example, if it expires after one year, then you’ll need to wait until the next time you turn 16 before applying for a new permit.
The reason you need a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, is because you’ll be operating an oversized commercial vehicle that requires multiple endorsements to drive legally.
Once you’ve earned your CDL and received endorsements on that license (you’ll need both for any truck driving jobs), you’re ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime with hopefuls from across the country joining you along the way.
Things to Know About Truck Driving Schools
Here are things you must know before enrolling in a professional truck driving school in Washington.
What to Know About Tuition Fees?
Professional truck driving schools vary in cost, depending on whether you pursue the training through a public or private school.
Several factors play into the tuition fees for these establishments, such as duration of the course, location, facilities offered; student debt rate; accreditation status; availability of federal funding through grants.
For example, the cost of attending a public truck driving school may be covered by financial aid or your state’s Workforce Training Assistance Program (WTAP).
Your school may have scholarships available for those who excel academically during their training.
Private schools are usually more expensive than public institutions, but they offer options to pay tuition fees through private loans. These establishments also offer flexible payment plans to ease the financial burden on prospective students.
What You’ll Learn During the Program?
Aspiring truck drivers must take the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) training curriculum, which covers pre-trip inspection, collision prevention, defensive driving, hazardous material transport, and much more.
You’ll learn all about truck driving laws and safety standards in Washington and across the country during the course.
You’ll also benefit greatly from the advanced techniques discussed during your training, such as engine maintenance, manual transmission operation, the addition of trailer components, and many other essential topics.
How to Find the Perfect Driving Program for Your Needs?
Most professional truck driving schools offer training programs either part-time or full-time.
You can pick a school that offers courses at night, during the day, or on weekends, so you don’t have to adjust to your job and family commitments.
Before enrolling for truck driving schools in Washington, you’ll need to research your options to determine whether a particular institution is reputable and offers the necessary features you require.
What Benefits You’ll Gain After Completing the Training?
Prospective truck drivers will be happy to know that there are many benefits for those who complete training at professional truck driving schools.
You’ll learn how to operate semi and heavy-duty vehicles that require long and short-haul trips, which means you could start working for trucking firms around the state within a few days.
Your training will also be industry-recognized by your employers because the FMCSA accredits commercial driving schools in Washington.
What to Know Before You Get Behind the Wheel?
Truck driving schools in Washington won’t just teach you how to operate a truck on the road but also how to handle it with care.
That’s why they’ll familiarize you with vehicles’ controls and components before you even start your training for various endorsements.
You’ll also learn about different types of trucks used for commercial transport, such as straight trucks, tractor-trailers, and tandem trucks.
How You’ll Benefit from Career Services?
Truck driving schools in Washington offer career services to help you find the ideal job after you complete your training.
The benefits include: placing graduates in trucking companies before they even finish their training, providing industry contacts for networking purposes, and facilitating job interviews.
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