Best CDL Trucking Schools in New Jersey – 2021 Round-up

| Last Updated: May 4, 2021

There is a huge shortage of truck drivers in the market, specifically in New Jersey, meaning that being a truck driver is highly valuable and is paid accordingly. Who wouldn’t want to learn a skill over a few weeks and earn upwards of $40,000 as a starting salary?

Furthermore, you’d not just be earning the big bucks; you’ll also be traveling across the country while getting paid for it. 

If that sounds like a win-win deal to you, we would suggest you continue reading.

Photo credit: ezwheelsdriving.com

How to Obtain a CDL License in New Jersey

To obtain a CDL license, there are several steps you have to go over. Let’s discuss these:

Review the Eligibility Criteria

The first step in your journey towards obtaining your CDL license is understanding the eligibility criteria to make sure you fit the standards. These standards are imposed by the Motor Vehicle Safety Act under federal law. 

Be sure to review all the CDL requirements, which may include license and permit requirements, medical and physical CDL requirements, and age restrictions. There’s also a different set of prerequisites, depending upon if you’re a New Jersey resident or not. 

Obtain CDL New Jersey Permit

You need to obtain a permit to move forward with the process of acquiring a CDL license, be it class A or B, etc. You can get this permit by successfully passing a series of written exams, which will also include a vision test. 

Add CDL Endorsements

You will also have to pass a series of written CDL endorsement tests if you wish to move forward with adding an endorsement to your NJ CDL. Make sure you thoroughly go through the requirements of whichever endorsement you choose, as some may also require a background check, like Hazardous Materials endorsement. 

Take the New Jersey CDL Skills Test

In order to pass your CDL skills test, you need to successfully attempt a two-part exam, which includes a knowledge test and a skill test. Once this test has been passed, the driver is ready to be issued a CDL license. 

CDL Variations Available in New Jersey

There are four different CDL licenses available in New Jersey. There are criteria for who can drive what type of vehicle, and it’s federally mandated. However, the procedure of organizing permissions and classifications of licenses is decided at a state level. 

Class A CDL

Any driver who wants to operate large vehicles, namely anything over 26,000 lbs, to tow heavy trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs, needs to obtain a Class A CDL license. 

Photo credit: jerseytractorcdl.com

Class B CDL

Drivers who intend to use vehicles weighing well over 26,000 lbs to tow light trailers weighing 10,000 lbs or lower need this class of license. 

Class C CDL

A Class C CDL license is for drivers who want to operate a smaller vehicle (equal or below 26,000 lbs), hazmat transportation, or passenger vehicles (16 people or more).

Class D

Class D is a standard license required by all drivers before they’re allowed to apply for a CDL. It covers non-commercial vehicles and does not include motorcycles. For motorcycles, a separate license is required. 

Review of the Best CDL Trucking Schools in New Jersey

Now that we’ve talked quite a bit about how to obtain a CDL license as well as the different variations, let’s have a look at some of the best CDL trucking schools you can opt for. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: Headquarters Office, 1518 Summit Avenue, Union City, NJ 07087

    Passaic Branch, 954 Main Avenue, Passaic, NJ 07055

    Woodbridge Area, 171 New Brunswick Avenue, Hopelawn, NJ 08861

    Elizabeth Area Branch, 230 Commerce Place, Elizabeth, NJ 07201

    Dover Office, 10 West Blackwell St., Dover NJ 07801

    South Amboy Branch, 101 Main St, South Amboy NJ, 08879
  • Website: https://ezwheelsdriving.com/
  • Average Tuition Cost: $6,615
  • Average Class Size: not available 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Certified by NJMVC (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission)

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By EZ Wheels Driving School

EZ Wheels Driving School offers a great lineup of teachers for the programs they teach. The course length for most of these range from two hours to six months. The certifications and additional endorsements that you can receive from EZ Wheels Driving are:

  • Class A CDL

This license is required in New Jersey to drive a tractor-trailer. It will also allow you to drive any other commercial-grade vehicle, provided you have the right extra endorsements. It generally requires three theory tests, instruction videos, and finally, driving lessons, after which you are eligible for the road tests.

  • Class B CDL

The Class B CDL is required if you wish to drive a straight truck or a bus. Furthermore, it will allow you to drive any Class C vehicle, provided you have the right extra endorsements. If you wish to drive a bus, it is not only required but also recommended that you pass the requirements for the passenger endorsement. Generally, this CDL requires two theory tests and instructional videos. 

  • Class C CDL

It is required for a vehicle meant to carry 8-15 passengers, such as a small bus, limo, or van. This requires passing two theory tests and meeting the requirements for passenger CDL endorsements.

  • Additional CDL Endorsements

You can get your CDL endorsements for tank vehicles, hazardous materials, passengers, double & triple trailers at EZ Wheels Driving school.

Program Details

EZ Wheels Driving School programs are very positively reviewed for their amazing teachers, flexible class hours, and hands-on training. Their fleet includes eight tractor-trailers, seven automobiles, and four large buses that meet the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) requirements and the industry standards. 

The staff consists of 12 brilliant people with highly trained, patient, and friendly driving instructors. All of the instructors are fluent in Spanish and English, while two are fluent in Portuguese. This makes for quite a positive and diverse work environment. 

EZ Wheels Driving School provides an excellent job placement program as well, which tries to help you at every stage possible. They have an extensive list of amazing companies their alumnus works for.

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: 1275 Valley Brook Ave, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
  • Website: http://www.jerseytractorcdl.com/ 
  • Average Tuition Cost: $3,999
  • Average Class Size: not available 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: All instructors are New Jersey State licensed
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: not available 

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Jersey Tractor Trailer Training School

Jersey Tractor Trailer Training provides a range of high-end courses and programs to train you to become the best driver possible. The average length of a course can range from three hours to around five months. Following are the certification and additional endorsements you can receive from Jersey Tractor Trailer Training:

  • Premium CDL Class A

This is the flagship program that is offered for tractor-trailers. It includes two parts. The first part involves a theory test/Jersey Tractor Trailer Training. The second and third parts include the driving lesson and the actual road test, respectively. There is an option for a second road test at no charge if you need it. 

  • CDL Class A

CDL Class A is similar to Premium CDL Class A; the difference is that Part 2 (driving lesson) is 18 hours long instead of 30 hours. 

  • Automatic Transmission CDL Class A

The program includes all the relevant study material, such as the question pack, CDL manual, and practice CD. It includes unlimited hours of classroom preparation for theory tests, road-related tests, and all motor vehicle-related topics. After this, there are 14 hours of driving training in the newest model of Allison Automatic Transmission Freightliner Tractor. Lastly, you take the road test.

  • CDL Class B

CDL Class B includes all the relevant study material with unlimited hours of classroom preparation. Then after 14 hours of on-the-road driving training, you can opt for the road test. 

  • Automatic Transmission CDL Class B

This program follows the same pattern as the Automatic Transmission CDL Class A. The difference is that it includes 12 hours of personal driving lessons.

  • CDL Refresher

CDL refresher is a fairly quicker program geared towards individuals with Class A CDL who haven’t driven in a while. This can be taken before a pre-employment test to freshen up your skills.

  • Free CDL Permit Class

You can opt for a free trial class to learn more about truck driving if you’re interested.

Program Details

Jersey Tractor Trailer Training has over eight trucks. They provide all the study material required for any and each program and provide one-on-one driving lessons. They have an excellent environment with great teachers, flexible class hours, and an in-depth, hands-on training approach. 

Moreover, they have one of the best job placement rates in New Jersey with an amazing lifetime assistance program. The school deals with over 300 companies that are in constant need of truck drivers due to their shortage. Lastly, they make it a priority to help women truck drivers achieve their full potential as more and more women are entering the market.

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: 114 North Washington Ave, Dunellen, NJ 08812, United States
  • Website: https://jrcdltruckdrivingschool.com/  
  • Average Tuition Cost: $1,800-$3,500
  • Average Class Size: not available 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Authorized by Motor Vehicle Commission
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: not available

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By JR CDL Truck Driving School

The JR CDL Truck Driving School has many courses and programs that can last anywhere from a few hours to six months. The programs include the following:

  • Class A CDL (Manual)

The manual CDL A program is specifically designed for driving tractor-trailers. It includes personalized driving training for a better and quicker learning experience.

  • Class A CDL (Automatic)

This program is specially designed for individuals who do not need to drive a manual transmission tractor.  

  • Class B CDL (Manual)

If you are interested in driving a cement mixer truck, dump truck, or garbage truck, then this program is for you. 

  • Class B CDL (Automatic)

The Class B CDL is for individuals who will not be driving manual transmission trucks.

  • Bus

The bus program caters to people who want to drive buses, such as school buses, office transportation, public transportation, etc.

Program Details

This institute is known for its great environment due to the amazing instructors and flexible class hours. JR CDL Truck Driving School has a decent fleet with both manual and automatic Class A and B vehicles. It also features one-on-one wheel driving training, which gives a much better learning experience compared to group lessons. The lessons are known to be simple and easy to grasp quickly. 

Furthermore, JR CDL Truck Driving School is known for providing extensive assistance not only when learning but afterward as well for job placement. It is also quite affordable compared to other schools, according to many. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: 200 E Edgar Rd, Linden, NJ 07036, United States
  • Website: https://www.cdldrivingacademy.com/ 
  • Average Tuition Cost: $3000-$7000
  • Average Class Size: not available 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: State approved CDL trainers
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: not available 

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Driving Academy

Driving Academy offers driving lessons on any four-wheeler, which may include:

  • CDL A (Tractor Trailer)

This is required for combination vehicles weighing over 26,000 lbs and trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs. 

  • CDL B (Box)

The CDL B program is for vehicles weighing over 26,000 lbs with no trailer or with a trailer that weighs under 10,000 lbs. 

  • CDL B + P (Bus)

The CDL B + P is for vehicles that weigh over 26,000 lbs and carry 16 passengers or more. 

  • CDL D

This is an auto-license required by a driver to operate any vehicle and also a combination of vehicles. 

Program Details

The school is best known for providing state-approved and highly affordable classroom and behind-the-wheel lessons to first-time, teenage drivers and new adult learners. The program includes some different courses ranging from half courses to full courses, guaranteed training courses, hourly training courses, and road test rental and scheduling. 

Furthermore, the school offers customized training packages so you can enjoy flexible hours while also ensuring cost-efficiency. The program also includes a driving simulation lab, full classroom lessons, and yard training supervised by professional faculty for safe and reliable driving lessons. 

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: 1701 Lower Rd., Linden, NJ 07036
  • Website: https://smithsolomon.com/ 
  • Average Tuition Cost: $200-$7,000
  • Average Class Size: not available 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: not available 
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: not available 

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Smith & Solomon Commercial Driver Training

Being one of the best driving schools in New Jersey, Smith & Solomon offers many different courses. These programs can last anywhere from an hour to eight months generally. These may include the following:

  • CDL A (Tractor Trailer Training)

This course is the most popular as it opens up doors to most jobs. In this, you will be learning everything you need to pass the test to get your CDL. You will also learn to inspect and maneuver trucks in controlled settings, along with all the safety precautions. Lastly, you will be getting personalized training on the road with experienced trainers. This generally takes 160 hours to complete.

  • CDL B (Straight Truck Training)

Straight truck training is designed for operating dump trucks, box trucks, and straight trucks. After you are done with the theory tests, you will move on to driving lessons in real traffic for real-life practical experience. This will prepare you for your road test in about 120 hours.

  • CDL B (With Passenger Endorsement)

With the passenger endorsement, you will be able to drive a bus as well.

  • Refresher Courses

This course is for drivers who have a CDL but have not been on the road in the last six months. 

Program Details

Smith & Solomon Commercial Driver Training boasts a fleet of over 140 equipment all used in the training and grooming of the most developed truck drivers. They have an excellent job placement program that aims to assist you at every turn. They have job placement partners like Werner, Covenant Transport, TMC Transportation, etc. 

The school makes it clear that they aren’t just teaching you but actively doing all they can to get you a career. They have sent their students as drivers for the biggest companies such as Amazon, Dow Jones, Verizon, etc. Smith & Solomon provide the perfect base for new drivers to enter the trucking market with all the necessary knowledge and skills. They have a great environment due to their comprehensive educational structure with amazing teachers and hands-on training.

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: Union City, 2811 Bergenline Ave, Union City, NJ

    Clifton, 1151 Main Ave, Clifton, NJ

    Fords, 279 New Brunswick Ave, Fords, NJ

    Elizabeth, 1114 Elizabeth Ave #6, Elizabeth, NJ

  • Website: https://www.idealdriving.com/ 
  • Average Tuition Cost: $1,929
  • Average Class Size: not available
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: not available
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: not available

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Ideal Driving School

Ideal Driving School is acclaimed as the number one driving school in New Jersey ever since its inception in 1987. It offers immaculately detailed instructions during all of their certifications, which include:

  • CDL Class A

This training course provides you with all the necessary knowledge and skills needed to pass the CDL state test. Once you pass, you’ll be officially authorized to operate tractor-trailers. 

  • CDL Class B

This course will prepare you with the necessary skills needed to pass the CDL test and become an official truck or bus driver.

  • Teen Driving Lessons

Teens who want to pass their New Jersey license exams can do so by joining this course. They’ll be exposed to certified and knowledgeable instructors who’ll make sure teens learn all they need to about driving. 

  • Adult Driving Lessons

Adult driving lessons prepare adults to pass the New Jersey license exams through instructions from certified professionals. 

  • Defense Driving

Defense driving showcases patient and skilled instructors that will teach aspiring drivers all there is to know about safety and best practices while also improving their already-established driving skills. 

  • Motorcycle Lessons

Certified motor instructors will teach individuals the basics of the best safety practices in terms of motorcycle riding while also imparting powerful skills. 

Program Details

At Ideal Driving School, you can be sure that you’ll obtain the best training needed to achieve the skills necessary for passing the CDL state test. You’ll be trained to pass both the road and written tests, after which you can head on to the road to pursue a lucrative career. 

You’ll get training in the classroom as well as hands-on experience behind the wheel to make sure you’re thoroughly tutored to operate commercial motor vehicles. Furthermore, you’ll be able to join any company as an entry-level tractor-trailer truck, school bus, or bus driver. The program includes five basic components. 

  • Classroom Training: Written-test preparation on the matter of general knowledge, air brakes and combination, hazardous materials, etc. 

  • Vehicle inspection: Imparting knowledge about engine compartment, sides and back of the vehicle, in-cab inspection, and air brake test. 

  • Behind-The-Wheel Road Training: Training for basic and advanced driving techniques, turning and shifting behind the wheel, parallel, alloy dock and offset parking, etc. 

  • Observations And Special: Behind-the-wheel training and skill focus.

  • Evaluation And Road Test Preparation: Involves an overall review of the driving techniques and general knowledge.

Trucking School Details

  • Locations: 448 Whitehead Road, Building 1, Trenton, NJ 08619
  • Website: https://www.160drivingacademy.com/ 
  • Average Tuition Cost: $5,000-$6,000
  • Average Class Size: not available 
  • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: not available 
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: not available 

Certifications and Endorsements Offered By 160 Driving Academy

160 Driving Academy has made it very easy and simple for people to get into truck driving and obtain their CDL certification. And in just four weeks, you can get in-depth, well-rounded training. The school provides the following:

  • CDL Training

The program is individualized to each student's needs, where they learn both in classrooms and also get behind-the-wheel training. You will receive a great structure on a day-to-to basis for the four-week course. This can be easily completed in four 40-hour weeks.

  • CDL Class A

This program will let you take and ace the Class A CDL test, which will enable you to drive a truck weighing 26,001 pounds or more. This is the most popular and widely sought-after CDL since it has the most lucrative jobs.

  • CDL Refresher Course

This is for individuals who are taking their CDL test again or even for drivers who haven’t driven for a while. This will prepare you very well for an upcoming pre-employment test.

Program Details

We find this trucking school to be one of the best places to get your CDL training. It has a great environment with superb instructors and behind-the-wheel training. It’s a local school so commuting to and from classes would be easy. 

160 Driving School has a high graduation rate and a great job placement assistance program. Instructors care about every student's learning and future careers. And with company-sponsored CDL training, it could mean you learned from one of the best institutions without spending a dollar. Upon graduation, many companies hold the policy of reimbursing your tuition.

Why Start a Trucking Career in New Jersey?

Starting a truck driving career in New Jersey can open up your profession to an endless list of opportunities. Generally speaking, if you’re interested in a high paying job with reliable perks as well as ample opportunities for advancement, this is the way to go!

Great Starting Pay

Truck driving companies pay an attractive and generous salary to entry-level employees. This is quite uncommon in other industries that offer only meager salaries to entry-level positions. The trucking schools mentioned in this article guarantee a minimum annual salary of $40,000 after being granted a CDL license. The average salary can go up to $54,000 per annum.

Job Security

Truck driving jobs are always in demand, especially in New Jersey, where the transportation of goods and services is an everyday activity. Hence, choosing this path will ensure a high level of job security, provided you maintain a reliable job record with a safe driving record and good road conduct. 

Advancement Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for truck drivers in NJ to not only enjoy job security but also increase their income by earning multiple endorsements. For example, drivers who are trained in operating specialized cargo can earn up to $100,000 per annum. 

Photo credit: 160drivingacademy.com

Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in New Jersey

Truck driving careers in New Jersey are experiencing a significant upsurge, so those who are searching for a promising career can choose this profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career is poised to grow about six percent in the coming ten years or so. 

The BLS also states that employment of straight truck drivers, bus drivers, and tractor-trailer drivers is projected to increase. About 312,500 jobs are to be added from 2016 to 2026. 

With a good entry-level salary package, a myriad of opportunities for advancement, job security, and a variety of CDL licenses to explore; this career has a very propitious job outlook. Here’s a breakdown of the average annual salaries according to the experience:

Entry-Level: $43,439 

Mid-Level: $62,055 

Master-Level: $72,557

Conclusion 

We hope you found this article useful and it helped you in picking the right driving school. Remember to carefully analyze all the program details of each school to pick the best choice for your needs. But overall, we guarantee that all the options mentioned in our guide will open you up to a promising and fruitful truck driving career. Good luck! 

Recap - Best CDL Trucking Schools in New Jersey

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

  1.  EZ Wheels Driving School
  2.  Jersey Tractor Trailer Training
  3.  JR CDL Truck Driving School

People Also Ask

If you want to know more about the promising truck driving career you can have here in New Jersey, be sure to check out the common questions and answers below!

Do Trucking Companies in New Jersey Pay You to Get Your CDL?

Yes, there are some companies in New Jersey where you can get paid while you train. They essentially provide drivers with grants and scholarships if they can't afford to pay the tuition fee. With these CDL training programs, you can earn up to $500 per week during your training. 

Can You Get Financial Aid for Trucking School in New Jersey?

If you’re looking for financial aid to join a trucking school, you can opt for a paid CDL training program. If you end up being recruited in this program, you’ll be able to enjoy up to $10,000 worth of sign-on bonuses and local, regional, and OTR positions. You’ll also get benefit packages and bonus programs as well as priority home time.



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.