Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) Commercial Driver License (CDL) program will cruise into its final session of the year with an orientation on Thursday, Nov. 19. The orientation is mandatory for students who wish to take the class beginning Dec. 1, 2020 or Jan. 4, 2021.
Students in the program study for their Class A CDL by receiving classroom instruction and experiencing behind-the-wheel truck driving that prepares them for the North Carolina State Commercial Truck Driving License examination. Students are tested thoroughly on the road and through written exams to ensure that they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully and safely operate commercial vehicles.
Craven CC Director of Service Programs Sandra McKenzie explained that the CDL program class sizes can range anywhere from four to 13 students, which allows students to receive more personalized instruction. She also noted that those pursuing a trucking career must be willing to commit, have accountability and always put safety first.
“The best suited person for the trucking industry is someone who is willing to put in the time to learn the program,” she said. “Since the program is 350 hours, it takes a lot of commitment from the student. Then once the student obtains a job, they will be required to go through that company’s training.”
The CDL program also provides students with training to meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standards of specialized training in the areas of driver qualification, hours of service, driver wellness and whistleblower protection for entry-level drivers who are subject to the requirements.
The program usually spans seven to eight weeks. Upon successful completion, graduates should have an excellent foundation for a truck driving career. By the end of the program, most students already have job offers.
“I believe Craven’s CDL program is so successful because of our instructors,” said McKenzie. “We have instructors who truly care about each of the students and their success in this program.”
According to Indeed.com, the 2020 median pay for entry-level truck drivers is $50,733, while more seasoned tractor-trailer truck drivers can earn anywhere from $65,000 to $95,000 annually. Over the next 10 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an additional 30,600 truck drivers will join the workforce and may increase as the nationwide demand for goods drives the need to keep supply chains moving. The trucking industry is currently experiencing a shortage, so now is a great time to get on the road to a successful career.
The next orientation will be held Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. for programs beginning Dec. 1, 2020 and Jan. 4, 2021. For more information on Craven CC’s CDL program, contact 252-638-7248 or WFDinfo@cravencc.edu. To register, visit http://cravencc.edu/CDL.
This article was originally published in the New Bern Sun Journal on November 11, 2020.