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Commercial Drivers License (CDL)

Keep the supply chains moving

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The Class A CDL class is in session five days a week for three weeks and will be held at the Niles campus. The first week is in the classroom and the second and third weeks are behind the wheel practicing maneuvers and operations.

In addition to a home study component, this program is divided into two areas. The classroom portion of the program begins with the basics of the trucking industry and preparation in obtaining a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP). It continues with vehicle familiarization, basic systems, Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, defensive driving, trip planning, map reading, and log-book instruction. This portion of the program allows students to get more in-depth knowledge of the trucking industry and truck operations.

Upon obtaining a CLP, a Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical and Drug Screen, and successful completion of the classroom portion of the program, students will proceed to skills training. Skills training concentrates on the proper techniques of urban, rural and highway driving and includes straight line backing, alley docking, safe turns, and vehicle inspection.

You will get to observe real-world driving situations, learn how to properly change lanes, downshift, upshift, and how to do traffic checks and other safe driving techniques, giving you the skills and confidence to handle a tractor-trailer in all driving conditions. 

Students must obtain a Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical, Drug Screen, and their medical certification BEFORE they can register for the CDL class

All applicants must:

  • Be age 21 or older to drive a CMV across state lines (interstate) or 18 years of age or older to drive a CMV in Michigan.
  • Possess a valid Michigan driver’s license with no suspension or revocation in the last 36-months.
  • Pass a pre-enrollment drug screen**.
  • Pass a CDL eligibility check.
  • Agree to a background check.
  • Be able to read and speak the English language fluently.
  • Have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 or better with corrective lenses.
  • Have no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control.
  • Marijuana is not legal on a federal level; therefore a Medical Marijuana card cannot be in possession to obtain a CDL.

Upon completion of the program requirements, you will be eligible to take the CDL license examination and apply for one of the many jobs available as a commercial driver. After employment, you should expect one to three months of additional training at a trucking company.

Total Hours: 160

Tuition: $ 4,900*

*Cost may be significantly or completely offset through Michigan Works! Funding opportunities. Contact your local Michigan Works! office to learn more about whether you might qualify.

Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2028. As the demand for goods increases, more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.

National 2021 median pay: $48,310 per year or $23.23 per hour

National job growth projections by 2031: 4%*

*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022

How to Apply

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