Some people are better drivers than others, and if you’ve been told how good of a driver you are, you might consider starting a career as a commercial driver in Alabama.
Article Table of Contents
Before Getting Licensed
To start such a career you need to first know how to drive a truck, but there are a few other requirements you need to meet before that.
For instance, being over a certain age and passing a medical are the most common requirements.
Usually, the age requirement is:
- Minimum 18 to drive within the state
- Minimum 21 to drive outside of the state
You might also have to pass a background check if you’re going to work with Hazardous Materials (HazMat), for which you’ll need a separate endorsement.
For this purpose, you need to attend a school that issues commercial driving licenses, and you can check the list below for an institution near you.
Some of these schools even offer the possibility of getting a scholarship, for those who can’t afford to pay the tuition.
|Affordable Truck Driver Training LLC||170 Franklin Smith Road, Moulton, AL 35650|
|Alabama Benz Driving Academy||4300 Birmingham Highway, Montgomery, AL 36108|
|American Truck Driver Academy Inc||5018 US Hwy 80 W, Opelika, AL 36804|
|Bevill State Community College Truck Driving School||117 Main St., Sumiton, AL 35148|
|Bishop State Community College||925 Dauphin Island Pkwy, Mobile, AL 36605|
|Calhoun Community College Decatur Campus||PO Box 2216, Decatur, AL 35609|
|Central Alabama Community College||1675 Cherokee Rd, Alexander City, AL 35011|
|Central Alabama Community College||34091 US Hwy 280, Childersburg, AL 35044|
|Central Alabama Community College||1009 South Street East, Talladega, AL 35160|
|ESD School, LLC||2119 8th Avenue North, Bessemer, AL 35020|
|ESD School, LLC||116 Ipsco Street Northwest, Decatur, AL 35603|
|H Councill Trenholm State Technical College||P.O. Box 10048, Montgomery, AL 36108|
|LBW Community College MacArthur Campus||1708 North Main St, Opp, AL 36467|
|Marshall Technical School||12312 US Hwy 431, Guntersville, AL 35976|
|Premier Driving Academy – Theodore, AL||7601 Theodore Dawes Rd, Theodore, AL 36582|
|Reid State Technical College||PO Box 588, Evergreen, AL 36401|
|Shelton State Community College||9500 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405|
|Southern Union Community College Opelika Campus||1701 LaFayette Pkwy, Opelika, AL 36801|
|Trenholm State Technical College||1225 Air Base Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36108|
|Truck Driver Institute||4939 US Hwy 78 W, Oxford, AL 36203|
|Wallace State Community College-Hanceville||801 Main St NW, Hanceville, AL 35077|
Be aware that there are quite a few types of programs, and some of them teach diesel technology for the ASE certification.
Additionally, each program has a different duration but all of them are designed to help you pass the exam without which you can’t get the license.
The license exam is made of 2 parts, written and practical, as shown below.
Written exam subjects:
- General knowledge
- Combination vehicles
- Air Brakes
The practical exam is formed of:
- A pre-trip inspection test
- The basic control skills test
- On-road test, usually at a state testing location
It’s possible for some of the schools to allow the testing to take place at their location as soon as the program ends.
- For a combination of vehicles with a gross weight of over 26,001 pounds
- Can tow vehicles of over 10,000 pounds
- Covers vehicles from Class B, C, and D
- For a single vehicle of over 26,001 pounds
- For any vehicle towing another one under 10,000 pounds
- Covers vehicles from Class C and D
- For vehicles designed to carry at least 16 passengers (including the driver) OR
- For vehicles designed to transport Hazardous Materials
- These vehicles don’t meet the Class A or B criteria
- Covers vehicles from Class D too.
Truck drivers are still in high demand and O*Net foresees an increase in demand of:
- 20% for truck drivers
- 13% for diesel mechanics
Commercial drivers in Alabama earn on average about $41,439 per year, while those in the top 10% earn about $48,025 per year.
The median salary in the United States for these drivers is $44,225 while those in the top 10% make around $51,254 per year.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The work environment for both CDL or diesel technology certificate owners is the same.
These professionals are sought by both local and national trucking companies.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Truck Driver