Best CDL Trucking Schools in Ohio – 2021 Round-up

| Last Updated: November 23, 2021

Do you dream about finding yourself behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer? If you’re ready to haul inventory across the state of Ohio on open roads, it’s time to get a CDL.

Getting enrolled at a reputable trucking school is not only the fastest but an easy way to get your CDL.

In this guide, we’ll help you find some of the best trucking schools in Ohio that you can join.

How to Get a CDL in Ohio

Like any other state, Ohio has its own rules and regulations for acquiring a Commercial Driver’s License. But before you get your CDL, certain requirements must be fulfilled. These include:

  • Must be 18 years of age for intrastate driving and 21 years for out-of-state driving

  • Should have a valid Ohio State driver license

  • Provide your social security number for identification

  • Pass the written knowledge and vision test

  • Submit the fee to obtain your CDL or permit

Once you have fulfilled all of the basic requirements, you will be required to enroll in a CDL training program. You can do that by attending a trucking school that offers CDL training. This training program would help you prepare for the written knowledge-based test. It would also ensure you obtain the essential skills for driving a commercial vehicle.

The following is the process to apply for an Ohio CDL.

  • You must verify that you meet all the requirements for the CDL you wish to obtain and then apply for a CLP. The CLP is only valid for six months.

  • Schedule for a CDL test. This two-hour test is divided into a written portion, pre-trip inspection, and road skill test.

  • Once you pass the examination, pay the CDL fee to the BMV, and get your CDL. 
  • CDL Variations Available in Ohio

    You can apply for different types of CDL while operating as a truck driver in Ohio. The type you acquire defines the specific class of vehicles that you can drive. Here are some CDL variations available in Ohio.

    Class A CDL

    If you wish to drive Class A vehicles, you’d need to obtain a Class A CDL. Vehicles having a Gross Weight Combination Rating (GCWR) of 26000 pounds or more are specified as Class A vehicles. It is also necessary that the towed vehicle weighs above 10,000 pounds. Once you acquire a Class A CDL, you can legally drive flatbeds, tractor-trailers, and tankers.

    Class B CDL

    Single vehicles with a GCWR of 26000 pounds or more are classified under the Class B category. The towed vehicle must not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds. 

    Class C CDL

    Class C vehicles are those that don’t fit in either of the above two categories. Instead, they are mostly used to haul dangerous materials or 16 or more passengers. You’d need a Class C CDL if you want to operate a Class C vehicle.

    Class D CDL

    The state of Ohio also issues a Class D CDL. This class is classified as a regular or passenger car driver’s license.

    Review of the Best CDL Trucking Schools in Ohio

    Finding a quality CDL trucking school in Ohio can be quite challenging, especially with so many options available. To help you find a top-rated trucking school in Ohio, we have listed some of the best options you can consider. These trucking schools are listed based on their competency, quality of education, and high reputation.

    • Locations: 1156 Medina Rd, Medina, OH 44256
    • Website:
    • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools, Ohio Department of Public Safety

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Hamrick School

    Hamrick School is known for its CDL training programs all over the country. The school is determined to provide extensive knowledge to enrolled students about truck driving to prepare them for entry-level vacancies in the trucking industry. The institute's Class A CDL training program is divided into Advanced Truck Driver and Master Truck Driver training programs.

    The Advanced Truck Driver is a 244-hour training program designed for people who have no prior tractor-trailer driving experience. It consists of an 80-hour classroom, 76-hour site, 48-hour city and highway driving, and 40 hours of CDL skills exam preparation. Meanwhile, the Master Truck Driver training program consists of 600 hours of training, which spans from 15 to 22 weeks.

    Program Details

    Hamrick School offers a handful of opportunities for students to start their trucking careers. The school equips students with comprehensive knowledge and skills through advising, tutoring, and providing library resources. Moreover, the school promises financial aid and housing facilities for students who qualify for these amenities.

    Additionally, you can benefit from the institute’s job placement assistance program designed to provide you with employment opportunities. Hamrick School’s Career Service Department not only assists you in your job search but also ensures thorough guidance until your employment. 

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Big Rig Truck Driving School

    Established in 1995, Big Rig Truck Driving School has trained millions of students from all over the country for entry-level truck driving jobs. It offers a great opportunity for enrolled students who want to pursue their career as a professional truck driver. The school is committed to instilling a positive attitude, self-confidence, and self-esteem in its students by providing practical and theoretical training.

    Big Rig Truck Driving School offers Class A CDL training programs to students. This is a three-to-four-week training session in which students acquire academic as well as real-world truck-driving knowledge and skill. Every student receives 40 hours of in-class and 40 hours of behind-the-wheel instructions. 

    Program Details

    Class A CDL training program at Big Rig Truck Driving School is a comprehensive course that trains students in all aspects. Whether it's hands-on training or bookish knowledge, you are provided with everything you’d need during your employment. A great learning environment, dedicated labs, and independent study are some of the perks offered by this institute.

    Besides, you can benefit from the school’s job placement assistance program. A team of highly qualified instructors works closely with each student to help them find their dream job. The institute also holds job fairs where recruiters from different trucking companies give presentations and offer job opportunities to competent students.

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Mast Trucking

    Mast Trucking is considered one of the most prestigious trucking schools operating in the United States. Founded in 1969, the institute has been serving the nation by producing professional truck drivers for entry-level employment in the trucking business. The school excels in offering CDL training programs to enrolled students that equip them with trucking knowledge and hands-on experience.

    CDL training program at Mast Training constitutes several weeks of training that includes both in-class and in-vehicle training. Highly professional instructors with years of practical and teaching experience teach you everything you need to know as a commercial truck driver.

    Program Details

    The truck driving program at Mast Trucking is designed to help you acquire your CDL paired while getting professional truck-driving skills and knowledge. You’ll be thoroughly prepared to pass the CDL examination and taught about vehicle maintenance, pre-trip inspection, and other compulsory driving skills.

    As a renowned trucking school in Ohio, Mast Trucking also guarantees employment opportunities for graduates. The paid training program offers you a chance to earn while being trained by veteran drivers. Once your training is complete, the institute offers job placement assistance through job fairs held at the campus. 

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Great Lakes Truck Driving School

    Great Lakes Truck Driving School offers a wide range of training programs to students. The truck-driving programs comprise CDL Skills Training Program, CDL Class A training program, and Premier Driver Development Program. All these programs are devised to fully prepare you for entry-level employment in the trucking industry.

    Class A CDL is a ten-week training program particularly designed for inexperienced drivers. This 360-hour training includes heavy equipment operation, classroom instruction, driving range, and road training. Meanwhile, the CDL Skills is a 200-hour training program that lasts five weeks, while the Premier Driver Development is a comprehensive 600-hour training.

    Program Details

    Great Lakes Truck Driving School offers many facilities for students. The school provides amenities like financial aid, a healthy learning environment, dedicated staff, and classrooms for ideal training. You can also choose from flexible training schedules to meet your busy routine.

    Also, the institute ensures the career success of students by offering job placement assistance. Having connections with more than 1000 employers on a national scale, Great Lakes guarantees multiple employment opportunities for graduates. Plus, the varied training mix at this school rewards you with pre-hire offers and peace of mind.

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Trainco Truck Driving School

    Trainco is a prestigious trucking school that promises quality CDL training to inexperienced drivers. The school is quite famous for its short-duration truck driving program that equips you with essential trucking skills and knowledge. The primary focus of this trucking school is to ensure that you get employed while ensuring road safety.

    A team of experienced and qualified instructors equips you with theoretical trucking knowledge and hands-on driving skills. In just as little as two weeks of day classes, you’d be ready as a commercial truck driver. Meanwhile, the night classes only last for five weeks. 

    Program Details

    For over 20 years, Trainco has been training its students to enter the trucking industry with professional truck-driving skills and knowledge. Since its establishment in 1996, the school has produced over 10,000 graduates with a high 90% placement rate. Other than professional and supportive instructors, students benefit from great classroom facilities, a variety of vehicles, and ample room for practicing skills. 

    Besides, the institute guarantees job placement assistance for graduates throughout their careers. While working with Pro Drivers Source, the school promises to connect licensed truck drivers to employers. The recruitment service is free for Trainco graduates.

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By 160 Driving Academy

    160 Driving Academy offers you a great opportunity to become a professional truck driver with its thorough truck-driving training programs. These well-planned training programs equip you with both abstract and applied knowledge and skills required in the trucking business. The school offers three different training programs, including CDL Class A, CDL Refresher Course, and CDL Test Preparation.

    Class A CDL is a 160-hour training program that consists of 40 hours of classroom and 120 hours of behind-the-wheel training. Besides, you can also enroll in the CDL Refresher Course and CDL Test Preparation, which is 160 hours each.

    Program Details

    Being a part of 160 Driving Academy as a student teaches you how to survive in the real world. Apart from trucking skills and knowledge, the school provides financial aid to those who qualify. You are also provided and familiarized with the equipment and tools you will come across during your employment.

    After the completion of the training program, the institute makes continuous efforts to help graduates acquire entry-level jobs in trucking companies. The school not only connects students to local and interstate employers but also provides career services until you’re employed.

    • Locations: 5450 Salem Avenue Dayton, OH 45426
                             5095 Waterford Drive, Lorain, OH 44055
                             5202 Timber Commons Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870
    • Website:
    • Average Class Size: small
    • Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Council on Occupational Education, Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP), Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio State Approving Agency, Ohio Department of Public Safety

    Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Ohio Business College

    Ohio Business College is a reputable educational institute well-known for its truck-driving training programs. These brief training programs are full-fledged courses that prepare you as a professional truck driver for driving in the US. Currently, the school offers a Class A CDL training program to enrolled students who want to become a commercial truck driver.

    At this institute, obtaining a Class A CDL requires four weeks of training, which includes classroom and behind-the-wheel training. Instructors with real-world experience provide you with textbook knowledge and skills required to safely drive a tractor-trailer. 

    Program Details

    Founded in 1903, Ohio Business College is the ultimate institute for anyone who’d like to achieve success during their trucking career. The trucking school provides a handful of facilities such as a favorable learning environment, qualified staff, and adequate opportunities for students to pursue their dreams.

    Also, the institute promises job placement assistance to graduates. The vast alumni network of this trucking school ensures you are employed as soon as you graduate. Meanwhile, the Career Services team at Ohio Business College stays in touch with students to help them find employment.

    Why Start a Trucking Career in Ohio?

    Ohio is a great place to start a trucking career. It is among those states that offer handsome rewards for your trucking services. These rewards are provided as high salary packages and incentive systems that attract truck drivers from all over the country. If you’re an ambitious individual and pursuing a trucking career, Ohio might be an ideal place to work.

    The following are some aspects that make Ohio a special place for truck drivers.

    Multiple Job Opportunities

    There is a high demand for professional truck drivers in Ohio. This is particularly because of the extensive network of trucking businesses operating in the area. The state is also home to a plethora of businesses that require timely transportation services. Since truck drivers are the heartbeat of these companies, there’s a high probability of getting hired in a prestigious trucking company.

    Quality Education

    Ohio houses some of the best educational institutes in the United States that have a good reputation as trucking schools. These institutes excel in imparting quality education and training to students who wish to work as a truck driver. Consequently, becoming a part of a top-rated trucking school can almost guarantee a successful trucking career.

    Attractive Reward System

    The increasing network of trucking businesses in Ohio has led to an exponential increase in demand for professional truck drivers. Trucking companies offer handsome salary packages and great incentives to retain their team of professional truck drivers. If you’re an experienced truck driver, you are almost certain that you’ll be valued in Ohio.

    Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in Ohio

    Truck drivers are quite highly demanded in Ohio. The use of modern equipment and machinery has resulted in huge demand for competent individuals, including truck drivers. As new businesses are being established, the demand for reliable trucking services is constantly on the rise.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the upcoming decade would be a defining moment in the history of the United States. It is projected that the employment opportunities for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers would increase to about 30,600. This is great news for individuals adopting truck driving as their profession. 

    Moreover, the increasing demand for truck drivers has led to an increase in average salaries. To put it in perspective, the average salary of a truck driver working in Ohio is an astounding $58,931 annually.

    Below are some detailed statistics of salary packages offered to truck drivers in Ohio based on their level of expertise.


    As a truck driver, Ohio is a promising state that offers great salary packages. With under one year of experience, you can earn about $55,334 annually.


    For truck drivers with more than five years of experience, the salary package offered in Ohio is a whopping $62,920 per year.


    Master-level truck drivers with ten years of experience are the highest paid in Ohio, with salary packages ranging up to $66,542 yearly.


    Your future career heavily depends on the trucking school you attended or wish to attend. Although there are a whole lot of trucking schools operating in Ohio, not all of them are worth considering. To ensure you get employed at a reputable trucking company, attending a renowned trucking school can be a huge plus. This article lists some of the best trucking schools in Ohio that you can join for a bright future. Your task is to now pick one carefully!

    Recap - Best CDL Trucking Schools in Ohio

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

    1.  Hamrick School
    2.  Big Rig Truck Driving School
    3.  Mast Trucking

    People Also Ask

    A lot of people might still be left with a bunch of questions that need to be addressed. These questions might be regarding CDL training and how long it can take before completion. To ensure there are no ambiguities, we have listed some commonly asked questions.

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

    Several trucking companies in Ohio pay you to obtain a CDL. However, this opportunity is only limited to inexperienced or new truck drivers who don’t have any prior driving experience. For instance, Roehl Transport not only helps you acquire a CDL but also pays you for it.

    Can You Get Financial Aid For Trucking School in Ohio?

    There are quite a few trucking schools in Ohio that promise financial aid for students who qualify. Students who need financial assistance can apply for such facilities that include tuition reimbursement, partial scholarships, and even 100% discounts. Such schools include 160 Driving Academy and Ohio Business College.

    How Hard Is It To Get a CDL In Ohio?

    Ohio is among those few states that have fewer restrictions when it comes to obtaining a CDL. Once you have fulfilled all the requirements and eligibility criteria, it’s just a matter of time before you get your CDL. However, the easiest way is to get enrolled in a CDL training program at a reputable trucking school.

    How Long Does It Take To Get a CDL in Ohio?

    Getting your CDL can be a long and tiring process. However, getting enrolled in a CDL training program at a trucking school can get you your CDL. The duration of the CDL training may vary for different institutes. On average, it takes about five to nine weeks to get your Ohio CDL.

    When Do You Need a CDL In Ohio?

    Acquiring CDL in Ohio is a must if you operate in interstate, intrastate or foreign commerce as a truck driver. A CDL is also required to operate certain classes of vehicles as per the state’s law. Depending on the type of vehicle you wish to operate, you’d have to apply for that particular class of CDL.

    How Much Does It Cost To Get a CDL In Ohio?

    Getting your Ohio CDL as a truck driver is necessary if you want to drive commercial trucks. However, you’d have to pay a certain amount of money before you can get your CDL. Acquiring a CDL by enrolling in a CDL training program at a trucking school might cost about $2500 to $10,000.

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