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CDL Training in New York

New York ranks as the third-highest for top paying states for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. And with nearly 60,000 people employed statewide in the industry, it’s no big surprise that it’s a great place to start a career. 

To begin your career, you’ll need to look into CDL training in New York. We’ve put together everything you need to know to get started.

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How Does CDL Training in New York Work?

CDL training in New York is a fairly simple process that you can often complete in about 4 weeks. Instruction includes classroom time, in-truck demonstrations generally in smaller groups and time behind the wheel to complete the requirements to earn a CDL. 

Before you get started in earning your license, learn the state’s requirements for CDL holders.

  1. Hold a valid New York state driver’s license.
  2. Apply for a commercial learner’s permit (CPL)
  3. Pay the $10 CPL fee and the $40 fee to take the skills test
  4. Complete a medical examination with an FMCSA certified medical examiner

To complete the medical exam satisfactorily you must meet the following requirements: 

  1. Show that you have a good vision of at least 20/40
  2. Distinguish colors to read road signs
  3. Good hearing skills
  4. Blood pressure of 160/100 or lower (even if you use a prescription to achieve this), 
  5. Controlled blood sugar of less than 200 without the need for insulin injections, 
  6. No use of schedule 1 drugs.

New York Trucking School Facts & Figures

You have many options when it comes to choosing a CDL driving school in New York. Here’s a look at the statistics to give you a better idea of what earning a CDL in New York is like.

Number of Schools

There are 70 NY commercial driving school options. Many are based in the southeast part of the state, but you’ll find schools throughout the state so that you can attend in a convenient location for you.

Number of Students per Class

Compared to other states, New York has fewer students per class at an average of 15 students per class. This should allow you the opportunity to have more dedicated time with your instructor to answer questions and prepare you for your career.

Tuition Rates

The average CDL school tuition rates of nearly $14,000 are higher in New York than in other states. However, there are several ways to offset these expenses through scholarships, grants, and tuition reimbursement from an employer. Look for employers that provide paid CDL training in New York for a more affordable way to start your career.

Average Loan Amount

On average, students take out a loan of about $6,500 to earn their CDL. However, with the right program and employer, you can avoid taking out a loan to complete your education.

Scholarship

There are many transportation and trucking scholarships available. On average, students get $6,700 in scholarship funds to help pay for CDL training. 

Job Placement

According to the Trucking Association of NY, 1 out of 28 jobs in the state is from the trucking industry. Job placement is very strong and there are approximately 60,000 truck drivers employed in New York at more than 37,000 trucking companies.

New York Trucking Employment Facts & Figures

Learn about the employment opportunities for trucking in New York and the salary you can expect to earn.

Employment 

As you consider the right career for you, here’s a look at the largest employers and the average salary that they pay their truck drivers in New York.

Biggest EmployerAverage SalaryCompany Size
XPO Logistics, Inc.$61,18040,000
Island Transportation$50,000200
Logistics Dynamics$54,889470
Alliance Shippers$61,250550
Bulkmatic Transport$63,240252

Salary

That national average salary for truck drivers is $48,710, so New York’s average salary of $55,280 is well above that national average. Here’s what you can expect from a New York truck driver’s salary.

Weekly: $1,105.60

Monthly: $4,606.67

Yearly: $55,280

Best CDL Training Programs in New York

Learn about the best CDL training programs in New York, the cost of the program, how long it will take to earn your CDL, and what your job prospects will look like once you’ve earned your license.

Sunny Truck Driving School

Sunny Truck Driving School

Sunny Truck Driving School offers an affordable option for earning your CDL. Plus, you can select how many lessons you want to pay for to make the training even more affordable. This type of flexibility is rare. 

Cost: $1,400 to $4,200

  • Class A training ranges from on how many hours you want for your lessons. 

Program Length: You can select how many hours you want to purchase for driver training and schedule those sessions accordingly. The training can take as long as you need it to or you can work toward your license quickly by scheduling many sessions per week.

Financial Assistance: Sunny Truck Driving School offers flexible payment plans to help make the training more affordable.

Tuition Reimbursement: Many trucking companies partner with schools offering tuition reimbursement if the student agrees to contract with them. Inquire with Sunny Truck Driving School to find out more. 

Class Size: 1:1 student to instructor ratio

Job Placement: The school offers a job board to help make its students aware of truck driving opportunities in their community.

Course Location: In-person only 

CDL Licenses: 

  • Class A
  • Class B
Stevens Truck School

Stevens Truck School

Enjoy rolling enrollment to start your trucking career at your convenience at Stevens Truck School. You’ll get the opportunity to earn your driving hours while on rural, urban, and highway roads so that you’re well-rounded and prepared for your trucking career. The equipment is fairly new, which should enable you to learn with confidence.

Cost: $5,450

  • Pay by cash or check tuition is $5,300 and you can break that into two payments for affordability. 

Program Length: Courses last 8-10 weeks depending on how you enroll.

Financial Assistance: Divide your payments into two to make the course more affordable or pay with cash or check and you’ll save $150 on the course. Look into trucking grants and scholarships available based on your qualifications 

Tuition Reimbursement: Many trucking companies partner with schools offering tuition reimbursement if the student agrees to contract with them. Inquire with Stevens Truck School to find out more

Class Size: 1:1 student to instructor ratio

Job Placement: Stevens Truck School does not have job placement resources, but with ample opportunities in New York, you should not have trouble finding a job once you’ve completed the course and earned your license.

Course Location: In-person only 

CDL Licenses: 

  • Class A
  • Class B
SAGE

SAGE

SAGE is a leader in truck driver training and has locations across the country. A network of trucking company partners will make it easier to work with to find employment and potential tuition reimbursement programs.

Cost: 

  • Rome, NY, location: $5,415 
  • Vestal, NY location: $5,584 

Program Length: Programs last about 4-5 weeks depending on how quickly you complete your in-truck driving hours.

Financial Assistance: SAGE offers many resources for learning about financial assistance programs available to its students.

Tuition Reimbursement: Many trucking companies partner with schools offering tuition reimbursement if the student agrees to contract with them. Inquire with SAGE to find out more.

Class Size: 1:1 student to instructor ratio

Job Placement: SAGE has locations across the nation and is a leading truck driving program. Because of that, many students receive offers of employment from companies before even completing the program.

Course Location: In-person only 

CDL Licenses:

  • Class A
  • Class B

Commercial Driver Training

Commercial Driver Training

Commercial Driver Training offers an affordable way to earn your CDL. At just under $4,500, most people can afford the course even if they don’t qualify for financial assistance or can’t find an employer with tuition reimbursement programs. This school does not help with earning your learner’s permit, so you’ll need your CLP before starting the course.

Cost: $4,930 

Program tuition includes: 

  • 20 driving lessons, 1.5 hours long each
  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Road test vehicle rental
  • DMV road test fee 

The school also has an 8-week career training course that costs $7,500. 

Program Length: The full course lasts 8-12 weeks depending on whether you enroll full or part-time.

Financial Assistance: The school partners with TFC Tuition Financing to make the program more affordable and attainable for various income levels. The financing features low-interest rates and up to 24-month payment periods.

Tuition Reimbursement: Many trucking companies partner with schools offering tuition reimbursement if the student agrees to contract with them. Inquire with Commercial Driver Training to find out more.

Class Size: 5:1 student to instructor ratio

Job Placement: When you enroll in one of the school’s career courses, you’ll get job placement assistance. If you only select pieces and parts of what you want to learn, you won’t get this assistance. 

Course Location: In-person only 

CDL Licenses: 

  • Class A
  • Class B
CDL Pro Training

CDL Pro Training

If your main need is driving time to get your CDL, CDL Pro Training will be the most affordable option for fulfilling that requirement. The school will aid you in learning about pre-trip inspections, forward driving, backing up, parallel parking, alley docking, city driving, and more. All for the low price of $2,000.

Cost: $2,000 for unlimited training time until you take the test.

Program Length: The program length is self-paced and comes with unlimited instruction time with the tuition fee.

Financial Assistance: Given the low price, the school does not offer financial assistance programs as this training is more designed to help prepare you for the driving test. 

Tuition Reimbursement: Many trucking companies partner with schools offering tuition reimbursement if the student agrees to contract with them. Inquire with CDL Pro Training to find out more.

Class Size: 1:1 student to teacher ratio

Job Placement: The school does not offer job placement as it’s more designed to aid in getting experience behind the wheel to complete the CDL road test.

Course Location: In-person only 

CDL Licenses: Class A

Start Your New York Trucking Career Today!

Training to become a truck driver does not take as long as some other career training programs and the earning potential for truck drivers is impressive. Reach out to a few of the schools listed above to begin your New York trucking career. Subscribe to the FreightWaves e-newsletter for regular industry news and tips.

FAQs

How can I get my CDL license for free in NY?

Some employers will pay for you to earn your CDL license. However, it’s not entirely free as you’ll need to commit to driving for that company for several months or even years for them to invest in you.

Does NYS unemployment pay for CDL training?

NYS unemployment could pay for CDL training and remove the need to apply for jobs and actively look for work under the 599 Program. However, you’ll need to be enrolled at an eligible school. Be sure to discuss this with an unemployment counselor before beginning CDL training.

How much does CDL training cost in NY?

The cost for CDL training varies from school to school in NY. The range is from $2,000 to as much as $13,000. Review the school’s expenses and financial resources for students before enrolling.

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