CDL Schools in California (Top Programs Listed)

CDL Schools in California

If you were considering becoming a truck driver in California, read this guide first to discover if you meet the requirements, and what you need to do to become a commercial driver.

Meeting the Criteria

Californian truck drivers need a special license, and at times even some endorsements, in order to do their job.

To get the license you first have to make sure you:

  • Are at least 21 years old – for double or triple trailers, to transport hazardous materials, or drive out of state
    • You can be at least 18 if you won’t be driving under the above conditions.
  • Are an American citizen, or prove you can work in America
  • Pass the background check, both criminal and of your driving record
    • Your driving records must be top-notch
  • Are drug-free
  • Are in good physical condition, as you will be required to lift and carry heavy items

Once you meet all those requirements, it’s time to see which license you need, start training, and pass the license exam.

It’s possible to be asked to have at least 1 year of driving experience, so keep this in mind as well, before you enroll.

Which License?

Depending on the truck’s weight and what you’re supposed to haul, you can get one of these 3 licenses:

  • Class A: for combination vehicles of more than 26,000 pounds and pulling a trailer of over 10,000 pounds
  • Class B: for single or combination vehicles; the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds and the pulled trailer under 10,000 pounds
  • Class C: for single or combination vehicles that can’t be described as above; for buses of over 16 people; or when transporting of hazardous materials
  • Class D: for personal cars.

The licenses allow the holder to drive vehicles in the classes under his class, but not the ones above his class.

You can add extra endorsements to the first 3 classes, to allow you to drive under a variety of situations.

Which School?

There are dozens of driving schools in California, and this can make choosing one a bit more difficult.

The most successful have branches in more cities and they make a great choice.

Others may offer programs for small groups, and if you feel intimidated by driving a truck, these ones could be the right choice for you.

While the tuition is also important, do remember that it’s possible to get a scholarship, so make sure to ask about this and see if you qualify.

Some of the schools offer programs at the end of which you’ll earn a degree, and some even offer extra classes for extra certifications.

These are the specialties of some of the courses:

  • smoke inspection
  • truck mechanic
  • air quality
School Name Address
101 School of Trucking 3897 Market St. Ventura, CA 93003
A-1 Truck Driving School 2977 Baumberg Ave Hayward CA 94545
AB Truck Driving School 1346 E Taylor St, San Jose, CA 95133
Academy of Truck Driving 2585 Buna St, Bldg. 99, Oakland CA 94607 (at Port of Oakland)
Academy of Truck Driving/Advance Bus & Truck Driving School 315 West Fyffe Ave Ste 162 (Port of Stockton)
Advanced Career Institute - Visalia 1728 N. Kelsey Street | Visalia, CA 93291
Advanced Career Institute - Fresno 2953 S. East Avenue | Fresno, CA 93725
Advanced Career Institute - Merced 1741 Ashby Road, Suite B | Merced, CA 95348
Advanced School of Driving 13946 Jurupa Avenue, Fontana, CA 92337
Akal Truck & Bus Driving School 2010 S Union Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307
Alliance School of Trucking 9410 Jordan Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311
America Truck Driving School 2210 N. Main St, Ste B, Santa Ana, CA 92706
America Truck Driving School 420 W. Second Ave. Escondido, CA 92025
America Truck Driving School 12701 Magnolia Ave Riverside, CA 92503
America Truck Driving School 1104 E. 148th St. Compton, CA 90220
Anthony Soto Employment Training Centers 1015 Center Drive, Suite B, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Aztlan Truck Driving School 400 E. Manchester, Los Angeles, CA 90003
Best Bay Area Truck Driving School 3150 Kenneth St, Santa Clara, CA 95054
California Career School 1100 Technology Circle, Anaheim, CA 92805
California Career School 1280 Rancho del Oro Oceanside, CA 92056
California Career School 3963 Bullion Mountain Rd, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
California Truck Driving Academy 921 N. Poinsettia Street, Unit A, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Camino Real Career School 13674 East Valley Boulevard, La Puente, CA 91746
Center for Employment Training (CET) 1099 N. Pepper Avenue Colton, CA 92324
Center for Employment Training (CET) 294 South 3rd Street El Centro, CA 92243
Center for Employment Training (CET) 761 South C Street Oxnard, CA 93030
Center for Employment Training (CET) 509 W Morrison Avenue Santa Maria, CA 93458
Center for Employment Training (CET) 930 Los Coches Drive Soledad, CA 93960
Central Storage Driving School 8520 E Panama Lane, Bakersfield, CA 93307-9400
Coastal Trucking Institute 11 W. Laurel Dr #251, Salinas, CA 93906
Commercial Drivers Learning Center 1787 Tribute Rd Ste L, Sacramento, CA 95815
Dolphin Trucking School Main Office: 4820 S.Eastern Ave. Unit O Commerce, CA 90040 Training Address: 5600 Rickenbacker Rd., Building 2AB, Bell, CA 90201
Dootson Truck Driving School 11625 Clark Street, Arcadia, CA 91006
Dynasty Truck & Bus Driving School 1810 S. Reservoir Street, Pomona, CA 91766
Edison Truck & Bus Driving School 2024 N Durfee Ave El Monte CA 91733
El Monte Truck Driving 15545 Arrow Hwy, Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Five Rivers Truck School 2224 South Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
Golden State Truck School 3058 N. Beachwood Dr Merced, CA 95348
Green Valley Truck School 400 12th St Ste 16, Modesto CA 95354
GSF Driving & Truck Training School 731 East Slauson Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90011
GSF Driving & Truck Training School 1515 Evergreen Street Los Angeles, CA 90023
GSF Driving & Truck Training School 16205-16211 Filbert St, Sylmar, CA 91342
Hi-Desert Trucking School 42739 5th St. East, Lancaster, CA 93535
Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program 687 W State Street, El Centro, CA 92243-2943
International Truck School 1658 S.Airport Way, Stockton, CA 95206
JGC Truck Driving Training 3167 Santa Rosa Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Jiffy's CDL Truck Rental 875 Hartnell Ave, Redding, California 96002
Las Americas Truck Driving School 1304 Mildred Ave, Ontario, CA 91761
Maatson Trucking School 4475 DuPont Court – Suite 4 Ventura, CA 93003
Major Express Trucking School 3342 N Weber Ave, Fresno, CA 93722
Mission Hill Truck School 521 Bystrum Rd, Modesto, CA 95351
Momax Truck Driving School 302 W 19th St. National City, CA 91950
MTS Training 140 Yolano Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589
National Truck Driving School 2344-B Industrial Pkwy West Hayward, CA 94545
NorCal Truck Driving School 20010 Viking Way, Ste A, Redding, CA 96003
Northern California Teamsters Apprentice Training and Education Trust (NCTAT) 14738 Cantova Way Rancho Murieta, CA 95683
Pilot Trucking School 10375 Beech Ave. Suite B Fontana, CA 92337
Premier Truck Driving Schools 10691 Poplar Ave, Fontana, CA 92337
Professional Trucking School 1775 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813
Proteus, Inc. 1830 N. Dinuba Blvd. Visalia, CA 93291
Proteus, Inc. 3454 E. Date Ave Fresno CA 93725
Roadmaster Drivers School of Fontana, CA 10251 Calabash Ave, Fontana, CA 92335
Royal Truck Driving School 3726 South Highway 99, Stockton, CA 95215
Safeway Truck & Bus Driving School 7844 Cox Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307
San Jose Trucking School 658 N King Rd, San Jose, CA 95133
Skyway Trucking School 16934 Smoketree St Hesperia CA 92345
TDA Educational Systems 3079 Kilgore Rd, Suite C, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
TDA Educational Systems 1250 Market Street, Suite A, Yuba City, CA 95991​
TDA Educational Systems 1012 11th St, Suite LL4, Modesto, CA 95354
TDA Educational Systems 10557 Juniper Avenue, Suite M, Fontana 92337
TGA Truck Driving School 1115 South Taylor Ave Montebello, CA 90640
Toro School of Truck Driving 9631 Alondra Bvd Bellflower CA 90706
Toro School of Truck Driving 2209 E. Chapman Ave Fullerton, CA 92831
Toro School of Truck Driving 321 W. 135th St Los Angeles, CA 90061
Truck Driver Institute 1150 Main St, Watsonville, CA 95076
Truck Nation 4800 Elm St, Salida, CA 95368
Truck Nation 2055 E North Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
Union Truck School 2201 South Union Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307
United Truck Driving School 4525 E. Commerce Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
United Truck Driving School 2425 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108
United Truck Driving School 1737 Atlanta Ave. H-7, Riverside, CA 92507
Universal Truck Driving School 1600 S. Hill St #A, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Universal Truck Driving School 2209 W. Arrow Rte #A, Upland, CA 91786
Western Pacific Truck School 1002 N Broadway Ave. Stockton CA 95205
Western Pacific Truck School 2200 Lapham Drive Modesto CA 95358
Western Pacific Truck School 8180 Industrial Parkway Sacramento CA 95826
Western Truck School 3990 Industrial Blvd. West Sacramento, CA 95691
Western Truck School 5800 State Rd. #7, Bakersfield, CA 93308
Western Truck School 11902 Campo Rd Spring Valley CA 91978
West Hills Community College District 9900 Cody St, Coalinga, CA 93210

You’ll have to pass a driving test and a knowledge exam as well.

The exam is not free, and getting the license costs $70.

You’ll have to pay $40 to retake the exam if you fail the first time.

Renewing the license costs $41.


The median salary in California for these drivers is $49,400 per year, while those in the top 10% make around $57,250 per year.

The median salary in the United States for these drivers is $44,225 annually, while those in the top 10% make around $51,254 per year.

It’s worth noting that having more certifications can increase your yearly salary.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles $49,784
San Diego $47,550
San Jose $55,503
San Francisco $55,414
Fresno $44,314
Long Beach $49,311
Sacramento $47,803
Oakland $52,407
Santa Ana $49,355
Anaheim $49,422

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA5,840$50,790$24.42$65,670$33,380
Chico, CA560$49,800$23.94$66,660$35,580
El Centro, CA1,060$48,710$23.42$65,320$32,020
Fresno, CA7,310$50,370$24.22$68,090$33,490
Hanford-Corcoran, CA730$52,840$25.41$76,340$33,510
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA53,870$54,290$26.1$75,640$36,010
Madera, CA570$50,230$24.15$65,220$35,190
Merced, CA1,510$52,510$25.25$80,620$35,190
Modesto, CA3,330$52,440$25.21$69,470$34,390
Napa, CA550$57,730$27.76$75,000$38,480
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA2,430$52,640$25.31$72,530$36,270
Redding, CA960$51,030$24.53$66,770$35,980
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA37,210$54,160$26.04$76,720$34,230
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA9,970$54,590$26.24$73,210$37,550
Salinas, CA2,250$51,060$24.55$72,080$35,380
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA9,240$53,720$25.83$75,910$35,440
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA15,570$64,120$30.83$92,440$41,240
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA4,630$62,380$29.99$80,200$41,670
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA640$52,890$25.43$71,230$36,780
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA580$51,760$24.88$68,890$34,300
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA1,530$53,500$25.72$76,610$34,950
Santa Rosa, CA1,610$57,520$27.66$74,330$38,020
Stockton-Lodi, CA8,680$54,790$26.34$76,030$35,250
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA2,090$55,010$26.45$75,280$35,870
Visalia-Porterville, CA2,920$48,890$23.5$70,260$29,310
Yuba City, CA1,500$55,260$26.57$68,330$36,810
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, OCC Code 53-3032, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

There are many different settings in which you can find a job once you get your CDL in California.

USA CDL Schools by State

One Comment
  1. Avatar for Marie Toussaint Marie Toussaint

    I have a client that is interested in taking the CDL classes which he resides in Sacramento, CA. Please advise if you can assist.

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