Best CDL Trucking Schools in Delaware – 2021 Guide to the Best Options

| Last Updated: May 16, 2021

Delaware is among the gold mines for those looking to excel in a career as professional truck drivers in the U.S. The city hosts some of the best truck driving schools and established trucking companies. 

Most Delaware trucking companies have partnered with various truck-driving schools to give their students adequate exposure and first-hand experience into the trucking world.

The state also has some of the best paying cities that will offer up to $70,000 annual salary to entry-level truck drivers. Let’s see what truck driving schools the state has where you can learn under the best instructors and with the best equipment.

Data on Trucking Schools in DE

  • Total Schools: 4

  • Number of Undergraduate Programs: 4

  • Number of Graduate Programs: 3

  • Average Acceptance Rate: 52%

  • Average Tuition Cost: $3,242

  • Average Loan Amount: $3,200

  • Average Scholarship Award: $4,011

  • Average Classroom Size: 15 students

  • Average Length of Program: 6-8 weeks

How to Obtain a CDL License in Delaware

The high demand and low supply of truck drivers in Delaware have made CDL License acquisition very easy. You’ll have to meet a few state requirements as listed below:

  • The minimum age is 18 years.

  • Drivers aged 21 and below are restricted to intrastate driving (operating commercial vehicles within Delaware only)

  • Meet all medical requirements by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

  • Undertake and pass medical tests on hearing, vision, blood pressure, consent to alcohol testing, take urinalysis test, declare any other prescription drug usage. 
  • Must undergo skill performance evaluation for CMV drivers operating in interstate commerce

  • Undertake a written exam that consists of 50 questions and must answer at least 40 questions correctly.

  • Pass Delaware CDL skill tests that comprise of on-road driving, basic control test, and pre-trip inspection.

  • Pay fees for commercial learner’s permit, commercial driver’s license, and endorsements apply.
  • CDL Variations Available in Delaware

    Delaware Commercial Driver’s Manual covers the CDL procedures, CDL requirements, basic knowledge for obtaining a CDL License, and all testing requirements.

    Delaware uses federal guidelines to classify CDL licenses as below.

    CDL Class A License

    The Class A license is essential when the combined vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is above 26,000 pounds, and the towed vehicle has a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds.

    CDL Class B License

    The Class B license is needed when the vehicle’s GVWR is over 26,000 but only tows vehicles with GVWR of 10,000 pounds and below.

    CDL Class C License

    A class C license is a requirement for vehicles below 26,000 pounds. The vehicles serve to transport 16 or more people, together with the driver. They also carry placard loads designed for carrying dangerous goods and other hazardous materials (HAZMAT).

    CDL Endorsements

    H-Hazardous material

    N-Tank Vehicle

    P-Passenger Class A, B and C

    T-Doubles and Triples

    X-Tank and Hazmat

    S-School Bus

    Review of the Best CDL Trucking Schools in Delaware

    With an overview of how you can obtain a CDL Permit in Delaware, let’s now review some of the best CDL Trucking schools you can attend to kick-start a career in professional truck driving in the state.

    • Locations: New Castle
    • Website: www.americandrivertraining.com
    • Average Tuition Cost: $5,000
    • Average Class Size: 20 students
    • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI)
    • Student:Teacher Ratio: For road training, 4:1 student-to-truck ratio, yard training is 5:1 student-to-truck ratio

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By American Driver Training Academy

    At American Driver Training Institute, you’ll earn a CDL Class A License within four weeks. Accreditation is by a trusted body - Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI).

    The school also offers lifetime job placement services to its students. 

    American Driver Training Academy has also partnered with over 100 nationally recognized trucking companies. These companies have recruitment relationships with the school to absorb all the students who excel in CDL programs.

    The school has an unparalleled employment rate of up to 97% of students who excel in CDP training programs.

    Program Details

    A CDL training program takes four weeks and is available in different states in the country. American Driver Training Academy offers long behind-the-wheel hours of up to 44 hours.

    During the CDL A test, the student is accompanied by a personal instructor as you drive one of the company’s trucks. There is guaranteed financing for all students on CDL training. The Military GI Bill may also qualify some veterans for living expenses and tuition reimbursement.

    There are also company-sponsored CDL training programs that have always ended up being free.

    • Locations: New Castle
    • Website: www.smithsolomon.com/training-programs
    • Average Tuition Cost: $4,300
    • Average Class Size: Communicated during orientation 
    • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Delaware State Division of Motor Vehicles and Delaware Department of Education
    • Student:Teacher Ratio: Classroom sessions vary (day/night and weekends), 1:1 over-the-road training

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Smith & Solomon Commercial Driver Training

    Smith & Solomon Commercial Driver Training has strong relationships with several corporations. The school offers unlimited and comprehensive job placement programs to all its students if they qualify. 

    With more than 140 training equipment for both over-the-road and classroom training, you can expect to complete a CDL Class A training program within 160 hours.

    The school offers Hazmat Endorsement and other corporate services that include:

    • Driver Placement/Recruitment

    • Mountain Driving

    • Tanker Safety and Awareness

    • Incident Reduction Program

    • Cargo Securement

    • Winter Driver Training

    • Refresher Courses

    • Pre-hire/New-hire evaluations

    Other additional resources include:

    •  Doubles and Triples Endorsement 

    • Entry-level Certification Tanker Endorsement      
       
    • Trip planning and map reading

    • DOT Rule and regulations

    • Logbook training

    Program Details

    Smith & Solomon Commercial Driver Training offers CDL certifications in:

    CDL A Tractor trailer training that takes approximately 160 hours to complete. It is the most popular course that prepares students for CDL Class A License. An entry-level driver can drive all classes.

    CDL B-Straight Truck Training will take up to 120 hours before graduation.  Here students learn how to operate straight trucks, box trucks, and/or dump trucks.

    CDL B-Passenger Endorsement prepares the student to take on bus driving after passing the permit test. The student will learn basic skills in vehicle operation and inspection.

    • Locations: Georgetown
    • Website: www.dccc.edu/continuing-education/training/cdl
    • Average Tuition Cost: $3,900
    • Average Class Size: Communicated during orientation
    • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Middle State Commission on Higher Education, Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI)
    • Student:Teacher Ratio: 6:1 for range driving and 3:1 for over-the-road driving

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Delaware Technical Community College

    Delaware Technical Community College has some of the most affordable tuition fees and offers financial aid and grants for students who qualify. The staff at the school works closely with the student to determine the available financial aid programs available. 

    The school also partners with other companies with in-house training that helps entry-level students get more training and first-hand experience in the trucking industry.

    Program Details

    Delaware Technical Community College CDL training program takes four weeks and entails the following:

    • Week 1: 40 Hours Classroom

    • Week 2: 40 Hours Range/Pre-trip

    • Week 3: 40 Hours Range/Road

    • Week 4: 42 Hours Range/Road – testing (2 hours)

    The skills taught in this CDL A training program include:

    • Vehicle maintenance

    • Night driving

    • Pre-and post-trip inspections

    • Vehicle communications

    • Space management

    • Shifting/operating transmissions

    • Backing up and docking

    The school offers a private program offered in both full-time and part-time learning. The school has some of the best certified and accreditation bodies and offers job placement opportunities for all its students that excel. 

    About 95% of students graduate from the CDL Class A training program, and between 2013-2014 job placement rate was between 95-100%.

    • Locations: Newark
    • Website: http://www.dawncareerinstitute.edu
    • Average Tuition Cost: $4,900
    • Average Class Size: Communicated during orientation
    • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
    • Student:Teacher Ratio: Classroom sessions vary (day/night and weekends), 1:1 over-the-road training

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Dawn Career Institute

    Dawn Career Institute in Delaware offers a CDL training program with free CDL practice tests that you can take online. Some of these CDL Practice tests include:

    • CDL General Knowledge Test

    • Air Brakes Endorsement Tests

    • Tanker Endorsement Tests

    • HAZMAT Endorsement Test

    • Combination Vehicles Endorsement Tests

    • School Bus Endorsement Tests

    • Doubles and Triples Endorsement Tests

    Above listed practice tests have been designed to supplement the CDL classes and improve employability chances for the students. 

    Other study materials also included are:

    Program Details

    Dawn Career Institute offers both traditional campus-based and online learning. The school provides Class A CDL training for heavy trucks and tractor-trailer driving that students can complete within four weeks. 

    Programs are flexible to fit on morning and evening classes but with mandatory in-person over-the-road training.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trucking School in Delaware

    There are certain considerations for choosing a trucking school.

    Cost of CDL Training

    Weighing the training cost is essential but should not be taken as the primary consideration. 

    Most trucking schools in Delaware have around a $500 cost difference depending on the proximity. Seek clarification on schools with over $1000 difference offering the same course. 

    It might be true that such schools may be well established and with quality instructors and excellent training equipment. If that is the case, then it should be worth considering.

    Conduct a thorough check on schools charging too low as they may be schools trying to attract more students at discounted rates but with poor-quality training.

    School Location

    Driving an extra 20 miles to attend a good trucking school should not be something to put much thought on. Remember, you’ll be driving all over the country for the rest of your career almost every day.

    Ensure that your CDL will transfer easily to Delaware if you decide to take your CDL training outside the state. Different states have different standards, and some may require that you take a written CDL and road test afresh.

    Time Behind the Wheel

    Another crucial aspect to look out for is the time spent over-the-road behind the wheel driving and should be among the most important considerations. The time should not include observation time, pre-trip inspections, or simulator time.

    Truck driving schools find time behind the wheel so expensive. The high cost will therefore impact the fee charged, which will, in turn, affect your CDL training quality. Pay close attention to the behind-the-wheel time factor.

    Other important factors also worth giving attention to include the instructor-to-student ratio, job placement opportunities, and quality of the instructors.

    What Makes Delaware a Great Place to Start a Trucking Career?

    Delaware has several good reasons for being among the country’s best states to start a trucking career. Here are some of the top reasons.

    High Unmet Truck Driver Demand

    Delaware is a hub of trucking companies in the country. The state suffers more truck driver shortage than most other states. 

    Most truck drivers working in Delaware come from other states. The chances of being employed almost immediately after getting a CDL Permit in Delaware are thus very high.

    Great Pay and Benefits

    Trucking companies in Delaware are in great need of truck drivers. They are willing to offer excellent benefits and pay high salaries for the available few. 

    In the past, truck driving often ranked among the nation’s low-paying jobs. Today it ranks above the average of the annual median salary across the country.

    Houses Some of the Biggest Firms 

    Delaware has many trucking companies, some as old as over eight decades. These companies are big, developed, and offer lots of career opportunities. Most of these companies are nationally recognized.

    So, studying in Delaware means you surround yourself with some of the best players in the trucking industry on a national map.

    Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in Delaware

    The trucking industry in Delaware is very old and houses some of the biggest and oldest companies. The state also hires an enormous number of employees who enjoy many growth opportunities and diverse career options.

    Delaware has witnessed a steady job growth for truck drivers in the past five to six years. Initially, more drivers gave up on this career due to low salaries. 

    The rise in drivers’ shortage caused an alarm, and today, an entry-level truck driver with up to one year of experience can expect a starting annual pay of  $57,193.

    You can expect to earn up to $60,000 annually in Delaware as an entry-level driver, even with little experience.

    Mid-level drivers with experience of more than five years will earn around $65,034 annually.

    Master-level with over ten years of experience will earn approximately $68,777 per year.

    On top of the salary, you also get to enjoy other benefits that include:

    • Referral bonuses

    • Fuel discounts

    • Stock ownership plans

    • Paid time off

    • Disability insurance

    • Dental insurance
    • Paid toll fees

    • Vision insurance

    • Life insurance

    Generally, salary prospects and job outlook for truck drivers in Delaware are better and promising than before. High-paying cities like Newark, Middletown, and Newcastle pay an entry-level truck driver up to $70,000 annually.

    Conclusion 

    If you are looking to pursue a career in professional trucking, then studying in Delaware will double your chances of success as a professional truck driver. 

    You’ll benefit from some of the best colleges around the US that offer quality CDL Certifications with promising industry growth, improved salaries, and benefits.

    The compensation benefits combined with nationally recognized trucking companies show why starting a professional truck driving career is a worthy consideration in Delaware.

    People Also Ask

    With the growing desire to start professional trucking careers in Delaware, there is a need to answer some of the common questions people ask about the state’s trucking industry.

    How Long Does It Take To Complete CDL School?

    Delaware CDL Class A trailer tractor training will take between 4-16 weeks to complete. 4-16 weeks is the standard duration and should not go shorter, even for schools that offer accelerated learning programs. 

    You may take a little longer than for some schools offering endorsement programs or if you are studying part-time.

    How Many Questions Are On The CDL Permit Test In Delaware?

    The Delaware CDL test questions come from the State of Delaware Driver License Manual and contain 50 questions. To pass the test, the applicant must answer 40 questions correctly.

    Do Delaware Truck Driving Schools Help You Find a Job?

    Most trucking driving schools in Delaware have made job placement opportunities a critical program. Most of these schools have connections with trucking companies that hire entry-level truck drivers. The school gives students who excel such opportunities.



    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.