Demand for truck drivers is steadily rising in the U.S. and worldwide, which means there’s no better time to pursue a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Here, we’ll take a look at some CDL schools in Oklahoma and answer questions you may have about this potential career path.
Trucking Schools in Oklahoma Data
Here’s what you can expect from a CDL trucking school in Oklahoma.
- Total Schools: Nine
- Number of Undergraduate Programs: 13
- Number of Graduate Programs: Four
- Average Acceptance Rate: 51%
- Average Tuition Cost: $11,882
- Average Loan Amount: $6,039
- Average Scholarship Award: $3,363
- Average Classroom Size: 15 students
- Average Length of Program: Will vary between 3-12 weeks, with the average length being 7 weeks
CDL Requirements in Oklahoma
CDL requirements can vary from state to state. Oklahoma’s requirements are as follows:
- You must be 18 years of age or older to drive within state lines (21 if you intend to drive out of state)
- You must have met the requirements for an Oklahoma driver’s license
- You must be able to prove your legal presence in the U.S.
- You must have documentation proving you’re a permanent resident of Oklahoma
- You must have a valid medical examiner’s certificate
CDL Variations Available in Oklahoma
There are three CDL variations in Oklahoma, as well as different endorsements that can be added. Here’s a quick overview of each variation.
This CDL will allow you to drive any vehicle, or vehicles, that has a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,000 pounds or greater, as long as the tow vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is more than 10,000 pounds.
Types of vehicles that can be driven with a Class A license include:
- Truck and trailer
This CDL allows you to drive single or combination vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds, provided that the tow vehicle is less than 10,000.
A Class C CDL will allow you to drive vehicles that can transport 16 or more passengers or materials that are considered hazardous.
Types of vehicles that can be driven with a Class C license include:
- Passenger vans
- Small hazardous material vehicles
As mentioned above, each license class can also be paired with different endorsements. These include:
- H - Allows you to transport hazardous materials
- N – Let’s you transport any liquid or gaseous materials in a tank
- P - Allows you to transport 16 or more passengers
- S – Let’s you operate a vehicle that transports students to and from school
- T - Allows you to operate a vehicle with two or more trailers attached
- X - Combines the H and N endorsements, allowing you to transport hazardous materials and tankers
Review of the Best CDL Trucking Schools in Oklahoma
Now, here’s a look at some of the top trucking schools in Oklahoma.
Certifications and Endorsements Offered by CDL University
CDL University offers in-depth Class A CDL training, as well as courses in Class B training, a CDL permit class, and a Class A refresher course.
CDL University’s multiple training programs provide top-notch training thanks to its instructors who have decades of driving experience.
Training length will vary depending on which course is right for you. The permit and refresher courses are the shortest, lasting about a week. Class B courses take three weeks. And Class A courses last 160 hours over four weeks.
CDL University offers professional, personal training with small class sizes that ensure each student is getting the proper training. Truck driving lessons are completed in properly maintained trucks, as well as a state-of-the-art tractor-trailer simulator.
CDL University’s small class sizes ensure students pass the Oklahoma state CDL exam and learn how to safely operate large commercial vehicles within its state-of-the-art training facility.
Working closely with local Oklahoma trucking companies, CDL University has experts to assist with job placement, whether it be local trucking or over state lines. With a 90% graduation rate, 95% of its students obtain a job in the trucking industry.
- Locations: Ardmore and Tulsa
- Website: www.atds-cei.com
- Average Tuition Cost: $6,000
- Average Class Size: Class sizes average 11 students
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Certified by Oklahoma Department of Safety
- Student:Teacher Ratio: 5:1 in-truck ratio
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Arbuckle Truck Driving School
The Arbuckle Truck Driving School emphasizes Class A CDL training. Students can expect to pass the Oklahoma state Class A CDL licensing test and obtain the knowledge to safely operate a tractor-trailer.
Certified by the Oklahoma Department of Safety, Arbuckle Truck Driving School goes above and beyond the basics. Its training includes in-depth pretrip inspections and road safety.
Students can expect to spend four weeks training at Arbuckle, with 130 hours of the 160-hour course spent in-truck, both at the facility and on the road.
While overall class sizes are generally small, Arbuckle’s in-truck learning typically sees up to five students in a truck at one time. While all students will have the opportunity to produce the same amount of driving time, many find the less personal driving distracting.
Arbuckle Truck Driver Training helps students safely operate a tractor-trailer and provides them with state-of-the-art, well-maintained trucks to train in.
Arbuckle works closely with multiple local trucking companies to provide graduates with job placement opportunities. The school also provides lifetime job placement assistance to any graduate.
- Locations: Oklahoma City
- Website: www.americalovestrucking.com
- Average Tuition Cost: $5,500
- Average Class Size: 10 Students
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: N/A
- Student:Teacher Ratio: 5:1 in-truck training
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By American Truck Training
American Truck Training offers certificate courses in Class A CDL training. It also provides classes for multiple endorsements, such as tanker trucks and hazardous material transportation.
American Truck Training focuses on a comprehensive Class A training program, which consists of 130 hours of combined in-class and operation observation, as well as 30 hours of driving, over three-to-four weeks.
All of American Truck Training’s inspectors are highly experienced, resulting in an education that sets students up for future success in the trucking industry.
While American Truck Training’s program may not be as personal as some students would like, it doesn’t mean its training quality is lacking. Every student gets the same number of hours behind the wheel.
Students raved about the training trucks’ quality of trucks. The provided equipment put students at ease and made them comfortable.
American Truck Training has well-established relationships with multiple well-known trucking companies, offering its graduates a wide range of job opportunities for both local and national trucking.
4. Tulsa Tech
- Locations: Broken Arrow
- Website: Professional Truck Driver Training | TulsaTech - Tulsa, OK
- Average Tuition Cost: $2,900
- Average Class Size: Information is currently unavailable as the school is restructuring due to high demand as a result of the pandemic
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: N/A
- Student:Teacher Ratio: Information is currently unavailable
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Tulsa Tech
Tulsa Tech focuses on Class A CDL training. The school also provides double-triple and tanker, endorsement classes.
Tulsa Tech’s CDL course – which is offered as both full-day and evening training sessions - can be broken into two categories: entry-level driver training and professional driving skills. The five-month program is extensive, resulting in a 600-hour combination of in-class and in-truck training.
Tulsa Tech is seeing a high demand for its CDL course due to the pandemic and having to indefinitely close the program. Reach out to the school directly and enquire about current class sizes and possible wait times for registration.
Tulsa Tech provides financial aid on both a federal level as well as a local level through various grants and student loans. The website provided here will direct you to the most up-to-date information on current financial assistance programs.
Upon graduation from Tulsa Tech’s in-depth CDL training, students will have access to a wide array of job placement assistance, including help completing a resume, interview assistance, and job hunting.
- Locations: Drumright
- Website: centraltech.edu/truck-driver-training/
- Average Tuition Cost: $4,300
- Average Class Size: 10 Students
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Approved by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technical Education and certified by The Professional Truck Driver Institute
- Student:Teacher Ratio: In-truck ratio of 2:1
Certifications and Endorsements Offered By Central Tech Truck Driver Training
Central Tech offers an in-depth Class A CDL program as well as refresher courses for those who need to renew their license.
In-class learning at Central Tech comparable to other schools in Oklahoma at 120 hours. While it doesn’t offer one-on-one in-truck training, the 2:1 instructor-to-student ratio is one of the lowest on this list. As a result, you gain a more personal education that guarantees 44 hours of driving time. The entire course will take 23 days to complete.
Central Tech has multiple state-of-the-art tractor-trailer combinations.
Overall training at Central Tech is very in-depth, with comprehensive in-class coverage of inspection and maintenance procedures as well as truck and trailer safety. The on-site driving facility is state of the art and offers three miles of a paved driving area over 45 acres. It also includes traffic signs, railway crossings, and practice areas.
The program’s graduation and job placement rates are over 90% and 95%, respectively, thanks to Central Tech’s close relationships with multiple trucking companies and its extensive placement program.
How to Choose a Trucking School in Oklahoma
CDL schooling options can seem overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider.
The price of schooling is one of the first things students consider, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be the most important factor. Fortunately, Oklahoma’s CDL schools are generally within the same price range.
Most CDL school programs in Oklahoma will offer some sort of financial assistance through specific programs, trucking companies, or even federal aid.
An ideal situation will see students learning close to home. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. While some schools will provide hotel rooms for students coming from a distance, those rooms are usually provided at an extra cost.
This is the most important thing. Most schools follow the same basic curriculum. However, they differ in student-to-instructor ratio. Look for a school that has a low ratio to ensure you’re getting the personal training you need.
While schools offer around 120 to 160 hours of training, it can vary. Some programs will offer both full-time and part-time studies. All aspects of CDL training are important, but a school that offers more in-truck training hours will ensure you know how to safely operate the truck before writing your test.
Why Start a Trucking Career in Oklahoma?
The demand for truck drivers is increasing throughout the U.S., and the state of Oklahoma is no different. If you’re considering a truck-driving career, there’s no better time than now.
The high demand for drivers is being seen all across the country, meaning companies are being forced to pay more for properly trained drivers.
Many of the country’s largest trucking companies can be found in Oklahoma.
Even without the current demand for drivers, the U.S. depends on truck drivers to deliver its goods. A quality trucker will have a job for the rest of their life.
Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in Oklahoma
The job outlook for truck driving in Oklahoma has never been better. Even with the steady job loss in many areas across the U.S., trucking remains one of the most in-demand professions.
Trucking is the No. 1 method used to carry goods around the U.S., with 80% of goods being delivered by truck.
While many trucking companies base their salary on the state’s current cost of living, the demand for drivers is changing that. Companies now need to offer higher salaries, from entry-level to master level, with an average salary in Oklahoma being right around $42,000.
Whether you look at it statewide or countrywide, the numbers prove the job outlook has never been better.
Entry Level: The base salary for drivers right out of school currently sits around $27,000
Mid Level: As you gain some experience, you can expect the salary to grow to $41,000
Master Level: A driver with many hours of experience can make upward of $64,000
When you look at the demand and projected outlook of Oklahoma’s truck driving industry, it’s easy to see why more people are considering this career. With many trucking companies looking for CDL certification, that path starts at school.
People Also Ask
Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding trucking schools and the industry as a whole in Oklahoma.
Do Trucking Companies In Oklahoma Pay You To Get Your CDL?
While it seems to be less of a common occurrence, some companies will hire untrained employees and pay them during their CDL training. Companies will typically pay a low base salary while you’re in school and then raise it upon completion.
Can You Get Financial Aid For Trucking School in Oklahoma?
Yes. Most schools don’t qualify for federal support, but will instead offer grants from local governments, trucking organizations, or a financing plan.
Do You Need a CDL To Drive a School Bus in Oklahoma?
Anyone intending to drive a school bus with 16 or more people on board (including the driver) must have a CDL with “P” (passenger) and “S” (school bus) endorsements, as well as an air brake endorsement if the bus is so equipped.