Trucking school isn’t cheap. At the very least, it’ll cost you several thousands of dollars.
That’s how much you should prepare to pay if you decide to attend a private trucking school in Seattle. They aren’t connected to any specific trucking organization, meaning you’re free to choose your employer once you graduate.
Some students prefer this route, despite the financial setback. They typically provide a better learning experience because you’re a paying customer.
Let’s see which schools operate within Seattle, Washington.
Evergreen Truck Driving School
- Address: 8500 Perimeter Road South Suite 101, Seattle, WA
- Phone: (206) 403 0733
You can complete Evergreen Truck Driving’s CDL training in as little as four weeks. You’ll spend approximately 120 hours in a truck. It can be either within their range or in nearby locations as you go through behind-the-wheel training.
If we look at the amount of time you spend driving, it’ll amount to about 50 hours. That gives you ample time to become familiar with the truck’s controls and fine-tune specific maneuvers.
Evergreen only assigns one student to an instructor. This way, his attention is entirely focused on you and your education. It’ll provide a more in-depth learning experience.
You will need to invest time and money in their program. The training costs around $3,600, and Evergreen delivers it in whole days.
Pacific Truck School
- Address: 9876 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S, Seattle, WA
- Phone: (206) 747 9472
If there’s one thing that Pacific Truck School has in spades, it’s flexibility.
It begins with their equipment. Pacific Truck has manual and automatic vehicles so that you can have as much practice as necessary for both transmissions.
They also ensured that they have a wide selection of trucks, giving you a chance to get more than the required hands-on training hours. The more time you spend behind the wheel, the better off you’ll be. And we’re not just talking about when you take your CDL exam — it’s a huge advantage when you’re on the road.
Pacific offers three types of CDL training — Class A, B, and C. The first runs for 160 hours and the other two for 48 hours each. Financing is also available in case you need a bit of financial help.
Their classes typically start on a Monday and run for the entire day. However, Pacific is well aware that not all trucking students can afford to dedicate four weeks to school.
That’s where flexibility comes in again. The only stretch you need to take on a strict schedule is the 40 hours of classroom training, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Once that’s done, you can work with them to create a schedule for your 120-hour hands-on training. You can finish your CDL training in as short as four weeks or go through it at your own pace.
160 Driving Academy
- Address: 9876 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S, Seattle, WA
- Phone: (206) 922 2279
160 Driving Academy is one of the best-known truck driving schools. They have locations in all regions in the U.S.
Fortunately, they have a training center located in Seattle. That makes going to and from their location convenient. You can have a full day’s training and still make it home for dinner.
160 Driving Academy understands that people may have varying learning curves when driving a truck. So they make the class sizes small deliberately.
Each instructor only handles four students. It ensures that you can have individual instruction if you need it.
Their CDL program runs for 160 hours. You spend 40 hours on classroom training, where you’ll learn rules and regulations plus everything you need to pass the written portion of the CDL exam.
The remaining 120 hours are for hands-on experience. You spend it inside the truck, either observing or operating it.
You’ll have the chance to take it out on the driving yard and, when you’ve gained more confidence, on nearby streets and local roads.
Eventually, you’ll have to navigate highways and interstate roads. But don’t worry — you do it progressively so that you won’t be overwhelmed.
160 Driving’s support doesn’t end when you complete the program. It can also help you find a job that suits your needs and preferences.
Free CDL Training In or Around Seattle
Private trucking schools are expensive.
But don’t let this turn you away!
There are several companies and schools that offer free CDL training. Of course, this isn’t 100% free. You will most likely have to work for the company you sign up with for a set period of time after you get your license.
But that said, this is a great option for those who don’t have a lot of cash up front.
Here are some of the best free CDL trainings you can get in or around Seattle!
Knight Transportation is one of the biggest names when it comes to trucking schools. As such, you can easily find jobs with them once you’ve finished your training. Checking out their job listings can get your very excited!
Speaking of training, Knight Transportation is unique in that they actually pay YOU while you train.
Not only is it free, but you’ll be earning while learning!
Of course, the pay during training is not amazing. But this is something that you won’t find in every school.
Knight Transportation has locations all over the country. But for Seattle residents, your nearest branch will be over in Portland, Oregon.
Over there, you can learn how to drive a dry van type of truck.
Another big name in the industry is Pam Transport.
While they do have their own truck driving school, Pam is more known as transport company – meaning that they’re literally the guys that employ truck drivers.
Now, their trucking school is located all the way over in Arkansas.
But don’t fret!
Pam works with CDL schools all over the country.
As long as you sign a deal to work with Pam after you graduate, they can sponsor all your training (including your housing fees and transportation to and from your school!).
So if you want free training, but don’t want to leave Seattle – why not apply for Pam and ask them if they work with a school in your city?
Another free CDL training you can get that isn’t too far away from home is Swift Transportation.
Like other big names, the Swift CDL school network has locations all over the country. And one of them is just across the state border, in Troutdale, Oregon.
The great thing about Swift is that they have a lot of options.
Whether you want to drive a flatbed, dry van, or a reefer – or whether you want to drive over the road or local – Swift has the options for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a professional truck driver earn?
The average salary of professional truck drivers in the U.S. is $60,539 per year. If we focus on entry-level compensation, it drops to around $39,000.
Those in Seattle earn a bit above the average at $62,804, with entry-level drivers receiving $40,000.
There are several factors affecting compensation. One of these is industry.
The average annual entry-level salary in transportation is $57,000, while those in manufacturing only earn $41,000. Retail is at $40,000 and hospitality, $39,000.
Your education may also increase your average annual compensation faster over time, but entry-level remains the same at $40,000.
How much does CDL training in Washington cost?
The average cost of CDL training across the state is around $4,000. Rates vary between trucking schools, so it’s best to compare before deciding where to go.
The Wrap Up
There are many different reasons for someone to be part of the trucking industry. For some, it’s the travel, while for others, it’s a lifestyle they prefer.
If it’s your cup of tea, remember that you’ll need to know the ins and outs of operating a truck. And the best way to do that is to complete your CDL training program.
Hopefully, you find a school that matches your preferences. Once you’ve completed the program, you’re closer to getting your CDL license.