CDL Schools in California (Top Programs Listed)

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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:

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  • 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 NameAddress
101 School of Trucking3897 Market St. Ventura, CA 93003
A-1 Truck Driving School2977 Baumberg Ave Hayward CA 94545
AB Truck Driving School1346 E Taylor St, San Jose, CA 95133
Academy of Truck Driving2585 Buna St, Bldg. 99, Oakland CA 94607 (at Port of Oakland)
Academy of Truck Driving/Advance Bus & Truck Driving School315 West Fyffe Ave Ste 162 (Port of Stockton)
Advanced Career Institute - Visalia1728 N. Kelsey Street | Visalia, CA 93291
Advanced Career Institute - Fresno2953 S. East Avenue | Fresno, CA 93725
Advanced Career Institute - Merced1741 Ashby Road, Suite B | Merced, CA 95348
Advanced School of Driving13946 Jurupa Avenue, Fontana, CA 92337
Akal Truck & Bus Driving School2010 S Union Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307
Alliance School of Trucking9410 Jordan Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311
America Truck Driving School2210 N. Main St, Ste B, Santa Ana, CA 92706
America Truck Driving School420 W. Second Ave. Escondido, CA 92025
America Truck Driving School12701 Magnolia Ave Riverside, CA 92503
America Truck Driving School1104 E. 148th St. Compton, CA 90220
Anthony Soto Employment Training Centers1015 Center Drive, Suite B, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Aztlan Truck Driving School400 E. Manchester, Los Angeles, CA 90003
Best Bay Area Truck Driving School3150 Kenneth St, Santa Clara, CA 95054
California Career School1100 Technology Circle, Anaheim, CA 92805
California Career School1280 Rancho del Oro Oceanside, CA 92056
California Career School3963 Bullion Mountain Rd, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
California Truck Driving Academy921 N. Poinsettia Street, Unit A, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Camino Real Career School13674 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 School8520 E Panama Lane, Bakersfield, CA 93307-9400
Coastal Trucking Institute11 W. Laurel Dr #251, Salinas, CA 93906
Commercial Drivers Learning Center1787 Tribute Rd Ste L, Sacramento, CA 95815
Dolphin Trucking SchoolMain Office: 4820 S.Eastern Ave. Unit O Commerce, CA 90040 Training Address: 5600 Rickenbacker Rd., Building 2AB, Bell, CA 90201
Dootson Truck Driving School11625 Clark Street, Arcadia, CA 91006
Dynasty Truck & Bus Driving School1810 S. Reservoir Street, Pomona, CA 91766
Edison Truck & Bus Driving School2024 N Durfee Ave El Monte CA 91733
El Monte Truck Driving15545 Arrow Hwy, Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Five Rivers Truck School2224 South Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
Golden State Truck School3058 N. Beachwood Dr Merced, CA 95348
Green Valley Truck School400 12th St Ste 16, Modesto CA 95354
GSF Driving & Truck Training School731 East Slauson Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90011
GSF Driving & Truck Training School1515 Evergreen Street Los Angeles, CA 90023
GSF Driving & Truck Training School16205-16211 Filbert St, Sylmar, CA 91342
Hi-Desert Trucking School42739 5th St. East, Lancaster, CA 93535
Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program687 W State Street, El Centro, CA 92243-2943
International Truck School1658 S.Airport Way, Stockton, CA 95206
JGC Truck Driving Training3167 Santa Rosa Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Jiffy's CDL Truck Rental875 Hartnell Ave, Redding, California 96002
Las Americas Truck Driving School1304 Mildred Ave, Ontario, CA 91761
Maatson Trucking School4475 DuPont Court – Suite 4 Ventura, CA 93003
Major Express Trucking School3342 N Weber Ave, Fresno, CA 93722
Mission Hill Truck School521 Bystrum Rd, Modesto, CA 95351
Momax Truck Driving School302 W 19th St. National City, CA 91950
MTS Training140 Yolano Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589
National Truck Driving School2344-B Industrial Pkwy West Hayward, CA 94545
NorCal Truck Driving School20010 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 School10375 Beech Ave. Suite B Fontana, CA 92337
Premier Truck Driving Schools10691 Poplar Ave, Fontana, CA 92337
Professional Trucking School1775 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, CA10251 Calabash Ave, Fontana, CA 92335
Royal Truck Driving School3726 South Highway 99, Stockton, CA 95215
Safeway Truck & Bus Driving School7844 Cox Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307
San Jose Trucking School658 N King Rd, San Jose, CA 95133
Skyway Trucking School16934 Smoketree St Hesperia CA 92345
TDA Educational Systems3079 Kilgore Rd, Suite C, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
TDA Educational Systems1250 Market Street, Suite A, Yuba City, CA 95991​
TDA Educational Systems1012 11th St, Suite LL4, Modesto, CA 95354
TDA Educational Systems10557 Juniper Avenue, Suite M, Fontana 92337
TGA Truck Driving School1115 South Taylor Ave Montebello, CA 90640
Toro School of Truck Driving9631 Alondra Bvd Bellflower CA 90706
Toro School of Truck Driving2209 E. Chapman Ave Fullerton, CA 92831
Toro School of Truck Driving321 W. 135th St Los Angeles, CA 90061
Truck Driver Institute1150 Main St, Watsonville, CA 95076
Truck Nation4800 Elm St, Salida, CA 95368
Truck Nation2055 E North Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
Union Truck School2201 South Union Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307
United Truck Driving School4525 E. Commerce Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
United Truck Driving School2425 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108
United Truck Driving School1737 Atlanta Ave. H-7, Riverside, CA 92507
Universal Truck Driving School1600 S. Hill St #A, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Universal Truck Driving School2209 W. Arrow Rte #A, Upland, CA 91786
Western Pacific Truck School1002 N Broadway Ave. Stockton CA 95205
Western Pacific Truck School2200 Lapham Drive Modesto CA 95358
Western Pacific Truck School8180 Industrial Parkway Sacramento CA 95826
Western Truck School3990 Industrial Blvd. West Sacramento, CA 95691
Western Truck School5800 State Rd. #7, Bakersfield, CA 93308
Western Truck School11902 Campo Rd Spring Valley CA 91978
West Hills Community College District9900 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.

Income

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:
$43K
$49K
$57K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. 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

Final Thoughts

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

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