Best CDL Trucking Schools in Connecticut – 2021 Round-up

| Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Connecticut isn’t called the Provision State for nothing. It is one of the oldest states in the US. Located between New York and New Jersey, this state is still buzzing with trucking activities. You will notice commercial vehicles of all sizes zooming on the many roads, highways, and intersections of the state. 

The busy trucking industry has created a huge demand for truckers throughout the state. With decent wages and considerable benefits, trucking can prove to be a great career in Connecticut. Having a thirst for adventure is a huge plus too. 

This article will help you out if you’re a Connecticut resident aspiring to join the booming trucking industry. Below, we’ve reviewed the best CDL Trucking Schools in Connecticut. After long and tedious research, we have handpicked the best ones to point you in the right direction.

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CDL Requirements in Connecticut

Commercial Driving License (CDL) is granted by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles office. While the procedure of obtaining a license itself is very simple, there is a lot of paperwork involved. Here are the CDL requirements in Connecticut.

Age

Age is the number one criteria for CDL in Connecticut. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age to apply for CDL. They should also have a clean driving record. 

Drivers who are younger than 21 years can only drive within the state. Those who are older than 21 years can go out of the state lines for intra-state deliveries. They can also carry HAZMAT materials. 

License and Permits

Applicants must also have a driving Class D license for a minimum of two years to apply for their CDL. They also need to self-certify themselves with the DMV. An online self-certification form is available on the DMV website. You must fill and submit a print out with your application. 

Although formal CDL education is not mandatory, it is strongly advised because the testing procedure is difficult. Also, the laws and regulations for truck drivers in Connecticut are quite strict. 

You also have to submit a physical examination certificate. It should not be older than two years. This can be a DOT Medical Examiner’s Physical Examination Form.

Your valid social security card (non-laminated) or recent W-2 form are also required to prove that you are a Connecticut resident. 

Skills and Tests

Connecticut DMV administers licenses only after the applicants clear a written and skill exam. The written test is designed to test your general knowledge, while the skill test involves driving the chosen class vehicle to exhibit your mastery. 

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CDL Variations Available in Connecticut

Connecticut is a great place to start your trucking career. Being a part of the Tri-State Area, the opportunities for truck drivers here are endless. Although you don’t need a degree to become one, you do need your Commercial Driving License (CDL) to drive commercial vehicles. Let’s have a look at different CDL variations available in Connecticut. 

Class A

The CDL Class A applies to combination vehicles. The combined weight of both the towing and towed vehicle should be 26,000 pounds or more. This means that with this license, drivers can tow vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. A Class A CDL holder can operate all the vehicles categorized in Class B, C, and D. 

Class B

The CDL Class B includes both single and combination vehicles. The single-vehicle should weigh 26,000 pounds or more. But the weight of the trailer or towed vehicle should not exceed 10,000 pounds. Class B CDL holders can operate all the vehicles included in Class C and D. 

Class C

All the vehicles that do not fall in the categories of Class A and B are included in Class C CDL. This includes a single-vehicle, combination vehicle, or a vehicle transporting 16 or more passengers. It also applies to vehicles that are regulated by the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. It includes all the vehicles weighing under 26,000 pounds. 

Class D

Class D is the regular driving license. But you should know that if you wish to drive vehicles in any of the above categories, you need to have this license for at least two years before you can apply. 

The state government of Connecticut stands in line with the Federal government and industry advice. All the applicants for CDL must pass tests before the license is granted. These tests include a driving test in the chosen class vehicle. 

Review of the Best CDL Trucking Schools in Connecticut

Connecticut is the Provisions State. This means there are endless opportunities for trucking aspirants to start their careers.

The first step is to enroll in a trucking school. Choosing the right school for yourself is a tough task. But, don’t worry; we have simplified the matters for you. Here is a detailed account of some of the best trucking schools in Connecticut. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: Seymour and Meridian
  • Website: https://www.allstatetraining.com/
  • Average Tuition Cost: $4,900
  • Average Class Size: 1 student 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) 
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 1:1

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Allstate Commercial Driver Training School

This trucking school offers both CDL and fork-lift training. Here is a list of the different programs they have in each category. 

  • CDL Class A Tractor-Trailer on a 10-speed Manual Transmission – 110 hours

This comprehensive program trains applicants to operate a manual or an automatic transmission vehicle classified in CDL Class A and CDL Class B except for passenger vehicles. 

  • CDL Class B Straight Truck on a 6-speed Manual Transmission – 52 hours

Highly suitable for people who are used to driving standard shift transmission, the instructors in this course train their students for driving both manual and automatic CDL Class B vehicles, excluding passenger buses. 

  • CDL Class B with Passenger Endorsement on an Automatic Transmission – 44 hours

Great for people who wish to drive passenger buses, this program trains drivers in operating any automatic CDL Class B vehicle, including passenger buses. It does not include Class A articulated busses. However, you can train for Class A with Passenger Endorsement for an additional fee. 

  • CDL Class A Tractor-Trailer on an Automatic Transmission – 55 hours

Similar to the first program, this training program teaches you to operate any automatic transmission CDL Class A and CDL Class B except passenger vehicles. Your license will have an “E” Automatic restriction. 

After each of these programs, students are awarded a certificate of completion. 

Program Details

The school has two training facilities at Seymour and Meridian. The Seymour facility is a 4000 square foot mock warehouse. Here, students attend one-on-one sessions with the instructor. They train you on similar equipment that you will use in the future. The DMV testing is also conducted in the facility on the equipment that you are used to.

Classes are conducted on a flexible schedule. You can attend them seven days a week in the daytime, evening, or weekends. Their training cycle is quite short; most of the students complete their training in as little as six weeks. 

The school offers financial aid for students who need it. They also provide job-placement assistance to all their graduates. There are biannual on-site career fairs that different operators attend to help their students get successful jobs. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: Colchester, CT
  • Website: https://affordablecdltraining.com/
  • Average Tuition Cost: $3800
  • Average Class Size: 1 student (road training) 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Connecticut Commissioner of Higher Education 
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 1:1 (road training) 

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Affordable CDL

Affordable CDL is one of the best CDL trucking schools operating in Connecticut. They offer several CDL Class A training programs. Let’s have a look. 

  • Day Class A – 360 hours

The Day Class A program conducted here trains students into becoming professional CDL Class A drivers. It includes classroom instruction, road training, and skills training conducted during the daytime. After completing this program, students are granted a certificate of completion. 

  • Day Fast Track Class A - 130 hours

This is an accelerated program designed to train Class B drivers to upgrade to a CDL Class A license. With just 64 hours of road training, this school produces safe drivers who are highly sought-after. They get a certificate of completion afterward. 

  • Evening Class A – 360 hours

Similar to the Day Class A program, the evening Class A program offers evening classes. Students who cannot attend daytime instruction can enroll in an evening program to train for their CDL Class A. They also award certificates of completion at the end of this program. 

  • Evening Fast Track Class A - 130 hours

The Evening Fast Track Class A also trains CDL Class B holders to earn their CDL Class A. Classes and training are conducted in the evening to facilitate students who cannot come during the day. Applicants get a certificate of completion after completing the course. 

Program Details

Affordable CDL is one of the best trucking schools operating in Connecticut. They offer comprehensive CDL Class A training programs that include classroom instruction, road training, and skill training. The timings are flexible; classes commence during both day and night so learners can apply with ease.

Some of the noteworthy aspects of the programs include hands-on training with one-on-one instruction, classroom instruction about driver wellness, hours of service compliance, trip planning, whistleblower practice, DOT rules and regulations, and zir braking system, amongst other things. 

Additional skills that they teach include pre-safety trip inspection, shift training, trailer coupling/uncoupling, backing maneuvers, and road training. The pieces of equipment they use for training are heavy-duty tractors and trailers and a driving simulator. Affordable CDL is the first school to have a tractor-trailer simulator on the East Coast. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. 
  • Website: https://nettts.com/training-programs/cdl/
  • Average Tuition Cost: $10,785
  • Average Class Size: 9 students 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 9:1

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By New England Tractor Trailer Training School

New England Tractor Trailer Training School has multiple locations operating throughout Connecticut. At each location, they conduct both theory and practical lessons to help students become professional commercial drivers. 

  • Class A CDL Training Program – 540 hours

This program is available across all locations of New England Tractor Trailer Training School. The instructors here are all experienced drivers of the trucking industry. They begin with safe driving and provide hands-on behind-the-wheel training. All students get an ample amount of road training, after which the school also acts as your test sponsor, which means you can take your test on their vehicle. 

  • Class B CDL Training Program – 160 hours

The Class B CDL Training Program trains individuals to operate single and combination vehicles that fall in the Class B category. Students passing out from this course can confidently drive straight trucks, large buses, box trucks, dump trucks, etc. 

  • Commercial Heavy Straight Truck Training (CDLB 80) – 80 hours 

This program has a special focus on the safe operation and maintenance of vehicles. Knowledge is imported via both classroom instruction and hands-on road training. Students completing this program can easily work with box trucks, straight trucks, and dump trucks. 

  • Passenger Endorsement (P) Training – 30 hours 

You can apply for this program at select training locations. Passenger Endorsement (P) training is offered, additionally when it is available. It requires extra training to handle passenger vehicles safely. 

Program Details

Of all the schools we have reviewed so far, New England Tractor Trailer Training School has some of the most inclusive CDL training programs. They offer to train new students to take their CDL tests. Regardless of what category they plan to apply for, the instructions provided here are very clear. They help gain confidence and allow drivers to operate their respective vehicles efficiently. 

The school is very dedicated to its students. They not only educate and train but also act as their sponsor for CDL testing. Once the students have cleared the test and are granted their CDL, the school also steps in to help with job placement, making it a worthy option to consider. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: Cromwell and Online 
  • Website: http://entechtraining.org/cdl-training/
  • Average Tuition Cost: $17,300
  • Average Class Size: 1 student
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA) and Connecticut Office of Higher Education (COHE) 
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 1:1

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Entech Advanced Energy Training

Entech Advanced Energy Training School offers instruction, both on-site and online. It offers comprehensive courses in HVAC-R and CDL. Let's have a look at their CDL programs. 

  • CDL Class B Training Program - 3 to 5 weeks

This program utilizes both classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training. It exclusively focuses on teaching operations of Class B vehicles. It lasts from three to five weeks, and students get a certificate of completion once they have completed the program. 

Program Details

The CDL training program that Entech Advanced Energy Training offers is inclusive. It includes hands-on learning while driving a heavy-duty truck on the road in the presence of an instructor. This serves as a confidence booster so students can, later on, manage the vehicle on their own. 

The classroom instructions offered in the program include preparation for the written CDL test. The skill training involves preparing for the CDL road test and CDL skills test. 

The school has an overall positive environment with highly qualified and professional teachers. They are dedicated to making their students learn, and they go out of their way to achieve that. The school also offers financial assistance and job placement facilities. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: Waterford
  • Website: https://www.160drivingacademy.com/
  • Average Tuition Cost: $3000
  • Average Class Size: 1 student
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: State of Connecticut
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 1:1

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By 160 Driving Academy

160 Driving Academy is one of the renowned trucking schools in the state of Connecticut. It offers both class A and B CDL training programs. Along with that, it provides additional certification programs. Let’s have a look at them.

  • CDL Training Program Class A Manual Transmission

This CDL training program revolves around operating Class A vehicles with manual transmission. Once the drivers expertly drive these vehicles, they can easily operate both manual and automatic Class A vehicles. 

  • CDL Training Program Class B Manual Transmission

Similar to the Class A program, the CDL Training Program Class B Manual Transmission also trains learners in manual operation. The pass-outs of this program can confidently operate Class B vehicles except for passenger buses.

  • HAZMAT Endorsement

This is an additional certification that trains learners in operating HAZMAT vehicles. Since it is a job that requires proper care and attention, it is highly regulated by the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Program Details

As far as manual commercial driving licenses are concerned, 160 Driving Academy provides its students with utmost confidence. The CDL training programs provide students with competent lessons and also offer them a driving license. Not only that, but this institute also has a hazmat endorsement program. 

In ten weeks, teachers ensure that when their student leaves the school, he can easily drive around. The one-to-one class ratio maintains the required attention. On the other hand, the exclusive HAZMAT endorsement works as a safety guard for drivers in cases of danger from hazardous materials. 

Why Start a Trucking Career in Connecticut?

Since its establishment, Connecticut has been a state of change. It is constantly progressing financially, industrially, and in terms of population growth. The trucking industry here is also flourishing, with more people joining the workforce each passing day. Here are several reasons why starting a trucking career in Connecticut is a good idea. 

Paid Training Programs 

In Connecticut, you will notice that a large number of trucking companies offer paid CDL training programs. This means that they pay you while you work towards obtaining your Commercial Driver License (CDL). Once your training is complete, they all hire you permanently to work for them. 

Good Pay

The wage truck drivers earn in Connecticut is very good. The average annual salary for an entry-level truck driver here is $33,490. Though it is lower than the national level, it is higher than any other career that doesn’t require a degree. 

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Job Security

A truck driving job in Connecticut comes with a sense of job security. Truck drivers are always in demand. You can rest assured that you won’t be replaced or fired easily. But you have to adhere to all the regulations. Otherwise, you risk getting fined heavily. 

Flexibility

Trucking is a flexible career. You can work at odd hours or come home at night if you want. You can choose to be a regional, local driver, or long-distance driver. People who love fun and adventure will surely like working as a driver in Connecticut. 

Benefits 

Trucking companies offer a lot of benefits to their drivers. These include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance while you are in service. They also provide retirement programs. Drivers also get bonuses depending upon their work and service. Some companies operating here also offer referral bonuses. 

Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in Connecticut

Trucking is a flourishing industry across Connecticut. It might be the third smallest state, but it is one of the most densely populated states. That’s why the demand for goods is always growing, and the high demand means more jobs for truck drivers.

Freight companies across Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, and Stamford offer jobs to aspirants. Some are even willing to pay for CDL training. The wage they get during training is low, but it increases as they begin working full-time.

Photo credit: allstatetraining.com

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the opportunities for heavy truck and trailer drivers increased by 4.8 percent (May 2019) in Connecticut. The industry hired over 12,000 people to work, so the prospect is bright for new drivers

The average salary a truck driver makes here is $57,996 (November 2020) per year. Usually, the mean average salary falls somewhere between $51,216 and $66,500 annually. Here is a detailed list of annual wages according to experience level: 

Entry-Level: $33,490 

Mid-Level: $57,996 

Master-Level: $67,840

Although it is below the national level, the annual wage is certainly higher than other occupations. The job security is also there as there is always a shortage of truck drivers in Connecticut. Start your training today, and begin your journey towards a successful career.

Conclusion

Trucks are a vital part of the nation’s economy. The trucking industry in Connecticut is very strong. Ten percent of the total traffic on the state’s highways are trucks. So carrier companies are constantly hiring new drivers to drive these trucks. Being one of the most densely populated states, truckers are never short for jobs. So if you want to build a successful career for yourself, start today by enrolling in the best trucking schools in Connecticut, some of which we have mentioned above. 

Obtaining your CDL in Connecticut is not hard. Some companies even pay you for getting CDL training. The pay is good, your job is secure, and you get to visit places. However, you should know that the rules and regulations here are strict, and you will be fined heavily for misconduct.                                                                       

Recap - Best CDL Trucking Schools in Connecticut

Before you leave, here's a refresher on the best CDL trucking schools in Connecticut:

  1.  Allstate Commercial Driver Training School
  2.  Affordable CDL
  3.  New England Tractor Trailer Training School

People Also Ask

The trucking industry in Connecticut is booming. New openings and opportunities open for newcomers each year. You can contact any carrier, and they will have an opening. That’s why it is a great place to start your trucking career. The shortage of drivers is an opportunity to build a sound career for yourself. Doubtful? Here are some frequently asked questions to help clear your doubts. 

Do Trucking Companies in Connecticut Pay You to Get Your CDL?

Yes, many big carrier companies in Connecticut pay you to get your CDL. Although the wage you get during the training period is quite low, it is better than paying hefty tuition fees at a private trucking school. Paid CDL training is an excellent alternative to get the most bang for your buck.

Can You Get Financial Aid for Trucking School in Connecticut?

Yes, you can get financial aid for a trucking school in Connecticut. Some schools offer private scholarships and financial programs. Some schools on our list, like New England Tractor Trailer Training School, offer different payment plans and financial support. Since all the schools offer nearly the same program, you can also evaluate them on how financially supportive they are. 

Photo credit: nettts.com

How Much to Get a CDL in Connecticut?

The fee to get a new CDL in Connecticut is variable. It can cost you anywhere from $70 to $87.50. The CDL is issued for three and a half to five years and expires on the operator’s date of birth. It is always a good idea to have your CDL renewed before it expires as the paperwork can take time and fines for driving with an expired license are hefty. 

What Paperwork is Needed to Renew Your CDL License in Connecticut?

The first thing that you should know about CDL license renewal is that you have to go in person to your local Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. The paperwork you need includes:

  • CDL license renewal form

  • Current CDL license

  • A copy of the U.S. Department of Transportation Medical Exam Certificate of Connecticut’s Medical Exam Certificate

  • Printed proof of Self Certification (confirmation sheet available on the Department of Motor Vehicles website)


After spending years on the road, I had a lot of time to think about the hardships that came with the trucking industry. I realized there was an opportunity to lend a hand a create a resource for truckers by truckers. With the help of my tech-savvy son, I built Trucker Geek as a way to show people that becoming a driver doesn’t need to be a stressful headache.