Becoming a CDL truck driver in Maryland is a road leading to a propitious career that provides an excellent salary, advancement opportunities, and a healthy work environment. Furthermore, the idea of doing your job all while having to explore the beautiful towns and natural wonders throughout is hard to let go of.
So, what’s stopping you from entering into the trucking profession, the demand of which is only ever-increasing? The only thing standing in your way is a commercial driver’s license.
If that’s the case, just keep reading, and we’ll tell you all there is to know about how to attain a CDL as well as the driving schools that can give you the best training for it.
How to Get Your CDL in Maryland
To get your CDL in the state of Maryland, here’s what you need to do:
Review The Requirements:
The first step towards getting your commercial driver’s license is to carefully go over the minimum requirements and eligibility criteria. Common requirements include:
- Should be 18 years of age
- Possess a valid Maryland driver’s license
- Prove your age, identity, etc., if you’re not a resident.
Furthermore, there are some physical requirements to prove that you’re fit to drive a CMV. This may include a doctor’s reference, medical examiner’s certificate, and self-certification.
Testing For Maryland CDL:
To qualify for getting a CDL, you first need to pass your commercial driver’s permit. You can do so by visiting your local MVA. You will need proper identification documents, a non-commercial MD driver’s license, vision test, and medical paperwork.
Then, you need to submit a driving record check and pass the routine exam for the particular CDL you’re interested in. You’ll also need to pass the test or any endorsements if you want to add them to your CDL. Lastly, pay the fee.
After you’ve achieved your CLP, you will have to wait 14 days before your CDL exam. After that, you can schedule your CDL exam. Make sure to bring your CLP, medical documents, and CDL fee, which is $50. Also, make sure to schedule the exam in the same type of vehicle for your test that you intend to drive to avoid any limitations on your CDL.
CDL Variations Available in Maryland
After you’ve gone over the requirement, eligibility criteria, and the process of getting a CDL in Maryland, the next step is to learn about the different variations of CDL you can opt for. Let’s have a look:
Class A CDL
Class A CDL permits drivers to operate any kind of vehicle that weighs 26,001 lbs (GVWR) or more with a towed vehicle weighing over 10,000 lbs (GVWR).
Class B CDL
Drivers have the permission to operate any vehicle weighing 26,001 lbs or more with a towed vehicle weighing less than 10,000 lbs (GVWR).
Class C CDL
Class C CDL grants permission to operate any vehicle or a combination of vehicles that do not fit under Class A and Class B criteria. It is designed to carry 16 passengers or transport materials classified as hazardous according to the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.
Review of the Best CDL Trucking Schools in Maryland
Let’s jump right into some of the best schools located in Maryland that will prepare you regarding all there is to know about truck driving. They’ll also aid you in taking the CDL test.
- Address: 1401 University Blvd E g27, Hyattsville, MD 20783
- Average Tuition Cost: $2000-$4,700 (median: $4,200)
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: All programs are certified by MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration)
- Website: https://www.alexcdl.net/en/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Alex CDL Training
Alex CDL Training offers the best driving training as well as higher job opportunities for individuals who want to drive trucks or school buses. The school offers training in six qualifications as follows,
- CDL Class A (Manual): for drivers who want to operate any vehicle (over 26,000 lbs) with a semi-trailer or trailer (over 10,000).
- CDL Class B (Manual): for drivers who want to operate any vehicle (over 26,000 lbs) with a trailer (less than 10,000 lbs).
- School Bus Endorsement Certification: for drivers who want to operate a bus with 16 passengers or more.
- Hazmat Endorsement: allows commercial drivers to transport materials that have been termed ‘hazardous’ as per governmental regulations.
- Tanker Endorsement Certification: allows commercial drivers to transport bulk liquids by certifying that the individual has advanced training to handle hauling liquids.
- Passenger Vehicles: required if the commercial driver is transporting passengers.
All programs have a time duration of 2.5 weeks to three months, depending upon the type of course.
The program makes sure that the trainees learn all the essentials of driving a truck or school bus while ensuring safety and efficiency. The Motor Vehicle Administration supports all the programs, and they also guarantee help in terms of getting a job at the end of the course.
The course further ensures flexible class hours and highly skilled and professional teachers. Apart from these, the positive environment and good career preparation are other notable benefits.
- Location: Baltimore, All-State Career, Baltimore Campus
- Website: https://www.allstatecareer.edu/programs/commercial-driving.html
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By All State Career
Certifications and endorsements offered by All State Career include:
- Advanced Tractor Trailer Driving: trains aspiring drivers by imparting the necessary skills needed to pursue a career as a regional, local, or OTR driver.
- Class A CDL
- Class B CDL
- Commercial Truck Driver Training: gives all the knowledge and skills needed to become a commercial truck driver.
All State Career is a phenomenal school if you’re considering attending a semi-truck driving school. After passing one of the offered CDL programs, you’ll receive a diploma and will be capable of operating a tractor-trailer with a GW (gross weight) of 80,000 lbs. You’ll also be certified to drive a vehicle with a trailer (over 10,000 lbs) and a straight vehicle weighing over 26,000 lbs.
The course material is geared towards imparting useful skills and technical knowledge among aspiring drivers. Trainers will go through advanced road skill development courses as well as in-depth classroom sessions. It’s a remarkable training program for individuals wanting to enter the trucking industry as entry-level truck drivers.
- Address: 3426 S Hanover St Unit A, Baltimore, MD 21225
- Average Tuition Cost: $2,000-$3,000 (median: $2,500)
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/CFItraining/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By CFI Truck Driving School
CFI Truck Driving School offers programs and courses for individuals wanting to get their CDL. Generally, the certifications take between two weeks and one year to complete, depending on the certification. The average time to complete generally takes six weeks. The program offered at CFI include:
- CDL Class A: If you’re interested in driving a trailer or semi-trailers like a tractor-trailer or flatbed trailer, this is the perfect program for you. They will provide all the necessary study material for in-class theoretical preparation and provide one-on-one personalized driving lessons. An experienced instructor would accompany the student when they go to take the MVA test as well.
This truck driving school is known for its incredibly encouraging and caring environment. They have great teachers with over 30 years of experience who provide in-depth, hands-on training. By the time you’re done with your program, you will be ready to face almost any kind of trucking situation.
They have flexible class hours, and the programs are very affordable for most people, with further financing available for easy payment plans. CFI boasts a decent fleet with much of the latest equipment available to make your learning as practical and accurate as possible. They are also known to help you with job placement assistance at every step of your trucking journey.
- Locations: La Plata Campus
Prince Frederick Campus
Regional Hughesville Campus
- Average Tuition Cost: $3,860
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Earned certification by Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI)
- Student-Teacher Ratio: small
- Website: https://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/career-development/transportation/CDL-Class-A
Certifications and Endorsements Offered by College of Southern Maryland
College of Southern Maryland offers Class A commercial driver's license training multiple times during the year. The school offers separate class programs for weekdays and weekends, so individuals can choose according to their availability and schedules. Weekday programs have a duration of about eight weeks, while weekend programs last for about 14 weeks.
The class A truck driver training program here is aimed to provide students with all the necessary skills required by transportation companies in Maryland and elsewhere. The school puts a strong emphasis on safety, a small faculty-student ratio, and good-quality equipment.
Opting for the course will enable individuals to reap the benefits of classroom instructions as well as practical experience on the road. They will be prepared for vehicle inspections, safety, driver courtesy, basic controls, shifting, backing, docking, and coupling & uncoupling. Students will further learn about trip planning, meeting DOT compliances, HAZMAT, and accident reporting. The workforce training certificate consists of the following classes:
- Preparation Classroom
- Safe Vehicle Operation
- Basic Vehicle Skills
- Advanced Skills and Road Development
- Simulated Road Hazards Development Training
- Address: 1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, MD 21157
- Average Tuition Cost:
- CDL-A - $3,642 (plus applicable fees)*
- CDL-B Hospitality - $1,758 (plus applicable fees)*
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1
- Website: https://www.carrollcc.edu/CECertificates/Certificate---Truck-Driver---CDL-A-B/
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Carroll Community College
Carroll Community College offers certification for CDL and courses designed to provide you the knowledge and skills to become a great truck driver. The college offers the following programs:
- CDL Class A: This program will require 240 hours to complete. You can get a CDL class A if you want to operate a tractor-trailer or any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds. After completion, you will be able to take your MVA tests and get your CDL.
- CDL Class B: This program will require 65 hours for completion and will enable you to drive any light truck, delivery, vans, or bus. However, to drive a bus (office or school), you will require a passenger endorsement.
- Endorsements: CDL Class A (Combinations, Air Brakes, and General Knowledge) and CDL Class B Hospitality (General Knowledge, Passenger, and Air Brakes)
Since Carroll is a community college, you will be able to enjoy campus life here. You will get to meet a diverse group of people from different educational backgrounds as well. From studying in-class, inspection, maintenance to behind-the-wheel driving lessons, and taking the road test, you will get it all at Carroll Community College.
The college offers a great program to help you directly tackle any situation in your trucking career. It provides a great set of experienced and skilled instructors who will guide you through not only the preparation and tests but also your future career. Lastly, you will get access to the latest equipment and industry-standard vehicles to learn.
- Address: Chesapeake College, 1000 College Cir, Wye Mills, MD 21679
- Average Tuition Cost: $25 - $12,000 (Median: $2,000)
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 17:1
- Website: https://www.chesapeake.edu/continuing-education/occupational-training-transportation
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Chesapeake College
Chesapeake College offers courses that span from six to 14 weeks, depending on the certification and format you opt for. The following certificates are currently offered at the college:
- CDL Class A: If you want to operate a tractor-trailer locally, regionally, or across the country, this is the perfect place for you. After receiving training, you will be tested for endorsements for doubles & triples, passenger, tankers, and school buses as well. It will require around 230 hours to complete the entire program.
- CDL Class B: This program is designed if you are interested in operating light trucks, delivery vans, dump trucks, and/or straight trucks, etc. You can also drive school buses; however, that requires an additional passenger endorsement.
Here, you will get to enjoy college life and meet a diverse group of individuals from different educational backgrounds and career ambitions. Apart from that, the college has experienced and skilled instructors who will teach and prepare you for your entire trucking journey.
You will learn not only how to operate and inspect a truck but also about road safety, precautions, and traffic patterns. The fleet consists of four driving tractors and trailers. Their maintenance is a regular occurrence, and the equipment is updated every four to five years. This means you will have the latest and greatest equipment at your disposal to learn the best skills from. They also provide job placement assistance after you get your CDL.
- Address: 6901 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD, 21244
- Average Tuition Cost: $3,500-$18,000 (Median: $5,500)
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations:
- Accredited by ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges)
- Approved and licensed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and Maryland State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Website: https://www.natradeschools.edu/commercial-truck-driving
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By North American Trade Schools
North American Trade School provides you with all the knowledge and skills you need to have as a great truck driver. They offer programs and help you as you enter the trucking career and lifestyle. The trade program is designed to be completed in ten weeks, generally.
- CDL Class A: This course will help you prepare and take your road test. It provides you with the essential study material, classroom learning, introduction to logistics (route sheets, logbooks, etc.), and maneuvering practices. You will also learn proper lane control, shifting techniques, and how to demonstrate all your competencies properly to get your CDL.
This is a great program where you will be learning everything you need to get an incredible entry-level trucking job. Graduated students have spoken about how positive the environment at NATS is. This is mainly due to the incredibly friendly and caring instructors. They have years upon years of experience and are very skilled. They provide everything a truck driver needs to know both in the classrooms and behind-the-wheel personalized driving lessons.
NATS also has a very flexible class schedule, so you can easily learn even if you have a busy schedule. Lastly, they provide great job placement assistance at every step of your trucking career.
Why Start a Trucking Career in Maryland?
Starting a trucking career in Maryland can be a very good idea if you’re someone who’s torn between what path to choose for a profession. You’ll be able to enjoy plenty of unique benefits, too!
If you end up becoming a truck driver in Maryland, you’ll enjoy an excellent competitive pay that’s hard to beat. According to statistics, the average base salary of a truck driver is around $51,506 per year.
On top of the great salary, you’ll be able to enjoy a myriad of benefits. Some of the most common ones include employee stock ownership plans, paid time off, referral programs, fuel discounts, and 401(k)s. Furthermore, you’ll be able to travel across the country and even within the state of Maryland, which is quite breathtaking considering the waterways and coastlines.
Apart from the excellent pay and benefits, you’ll be able to enjoy superb job security. This is because the demand for truck drivers is continuing to grow at a rapid rate in a lot of different states, one of them being Maryland.
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of truck drivers is projected to grow 21% in the coming years. So, after extensive training, you can be sure that there’ll be a lot of places for you to pursue your truck driving aspirations.
Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in Maryland
The job outlook in terms of truck driving as a career is quite promising. This is because the US reported a shortage of truck drivers during 2019. The figure was a whopping 60,000 drivers. Furthermore, this predicted number is expected to increase over the next coming years. According to the BLS, there’ll be a 21% increase in the employment opportunities for truck drivers following 2020. This information is enough to guarantee a propitious truck driving career in Maryland, all while offering excellent competitive pay as well as added benefits.
Entry-Level: Entry-level truck drivers can earn around $32,000 per annum during their initial service.
Mid-Level: Mid-level truck drivers earn around $78,000 per year.
Master-Level: Master-level truck drivers manage to make approximately $84,000 annually.
Starting a truck driving career in Maryland is a smart idea, considering the attractive salary package, added benefits, compensation, and high demand. Fortunately, tapping into this profession is not that difficult.
All you have to do is refer to our formulated guide of some of the best driving schools in Maryland, and you should be good to go! This is because all mentioned schools offer excellent training programs that will provide in-class and on-the-road training and endorsements for access to extra permissions.
We hope this article proved useful and after going through it, you’ll be able to come to a well-informed decision regarding your future career. Good luck!
People Also Ask
Before you go, we advise you to take a little more time out to check the following Q/A guide. We’re optimistic it’ll provide you with greater clarity and help you choose a CDL trucking school easily.
Do Trucking Companies In Maryland Pay You To Get Your CDL?
Yes, some trucking companies in Maryland understand that not all individuals can afford tuition fees. So, they provide grants and scholarships to aspiring drivers where they’re able to get paid while they train. Furthermore, with the aid of government funding programs, truck driver trainees can get aid to cover part of their CDL training costs.
Can You Get Financial Aid For Trucking School In Maryland?
Yes, most truck driving schools in Maryland are eligible for federal financial aid. So, you’ll be able to enjoy a federal student grant or loan that will help you cover the cost of the training program.
How Long Is CDL License Good For In Maryland?
CDL licenses in Maryland are valid for a maximum of five years.