Some people like driving, others like driving specific vehicles, like trucks, while others just like repairing vehicles.
If you belong to either group of people, you could consider getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or becoming a mechanic.
Article Table of Contents
When do you need a CDL in Arizona?
Driving any commercial vehicle means you need a CDL, according to the federal law.
If you’ll be driving any of the following vehicles, you’ll need the CDL.
- Only 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.
Class D is only for driving personal cars.
Some of these classes may need extra qualifications, called endorsements.
Before training for your CDL you must meet some requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old if you’ll work intrastate OR
- Be at least 21 years old if you’ll work interstate
- Prove you have the right to work in the USA
- Be a resident of the State of Arizona
- Pass a background check
- Pass some medical examinations
The 21 age requirement also applies to:
- Transporting hazardous materials that require placarding or
- Operating vehicles with double or triple trailers
Some of the classes will need extra endorsements, like for the transport of hazardous materials.
Getting Your License
To get the CDL you need to attend a school and then pass an exam when the training ends.
There are many schools in Arizona offering training for CDL and some of them even offer scholarships, so check those out to see if you qualify.
If you don’t know which school to choose, consider its location, tuition, and even the size of the class.
You’ll want a class as small as possible so that you can ask the instructor more questions than you’d be able to in a large class.
|AIT Truck Driver Training||440 S. 54th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85043|
|Arizona CDL||1313 N. 25th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009|
|Glendale Community College Tractor Trailer Driving||6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302|
|HDS Truck Driving Institute||6251 S Wilmot Rd, Tucson, AZ 85756|
|Mesa Community College||1833 West Southern, Mesa, AZ 85202|
|Phoenix Truck Driving Institute||2621 S. 51st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85043|
|Pima Community College CTD Career Training||4905 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85709|
|Southwest Truck Driver Training||842 S 59th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85043|
|Southwest Truck Driver Training||1230 W Glenn St, Tucson, AZ 85705|
|Swift Driving Academy||2200 W 75th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85043|
|Yavapai College - Career and Technical Education Center||220 Ruger Rd., Ste 1, Prescott, AZ 86301|
|Yuma Truck Driving School||3180 E 32nd Street, Yuma, AZ 85365|
Any of those schools will teach you everything you know to pass the CDL exam.
The exam has 2 parts:
- a practical one, to show your skills
- a written one, to show your knowledge.
There are fees to pay when taking these exams, as follows:
- For the skills test, the fees are:
- Class A or B vehicle: $25
- Class C vehicle: $12.50
- Passenger or school bus endorsement: $5 (it is added to an existing CDL)
- Your license needs to be renewed, and the fees are:
- Class A or B: $15
- Class C: $10
- HME: $10 (pass a knowledge test too)
Commercial drivers in Arizona earn on average about $43,724 per year, while those in the top 10% earn about $50,673 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: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Arizona
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ||850||$49,520||$23.81||$63,710||$35,160|
|Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ||300||$46,660||$22.43||$64,140||$32,850|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Once you complete the training, you’re eligible to start working, and in fact, it is easy to find a job as either a truck or school bus driver, or even as a mechanic.