Truck Driving Schools in Washington
We Show You Where the Best Truck Driving Schools in Washington are Located
We show you how to choose the best truck driving schools in Washington with our comprehensive list of state-mapped truck driving schools in Washington. On this page you will also find a list of truck driving schools in Washington that have been rated and reviewed by the students themselves using a 5 star rating system. Feel free to bookmark this page for future reference by pressing Ctrl-D on your keyboard.
Washington Truck Driving Schools Information
Total Number of Schools: 51
Average Number of Students: 19
Average School Tuition Cost: $4,032
Average School Loan Amount: $5,279
Average Scholarship Award: $1,638
Washington Heavy Truck Driver Jobs Information
Number of Truckers Employed: 28,340
Average Yearly Salary: $42,900
Average Monthly Pay: $3,575
Average Weekly Pay: $825
Average Hourly Wage: $20.63
National Average Salary: $38,700
Washington heavy truck driver jobs information was current as of May 2013 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Truck Driving Schools in Washington
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Truck Driving Schools in Washington
1. Bates Technical College†
2201 S. 78th Street
Tacoma, WA 98409
2. Biddix Company, Inc.**
2418 Old Hwy 99 South
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
3. Big Bend Community College
7662 Chanute Street NE
Moses Lake, WA 98837
4. C & H Trucking Academy, Inc.
340 S. 6TH Street
Sunnyside, WA 98944
*Se Habla Espanol
5. Central Valley Truck Driving School
11 Asotin Avenue
Toppenish, WA 98948
6. Check Ride**
13632 NE 177th Place
Woodinville, WA 98072
7. Coast 2 Coast CDL Training, LLC
9110 NE Hwy 99
Vancouver, WA 98665
8. Columbia Basin College
2600 N. 20th Avenue
Pasco, WA 99301
9. Commercial Driver School
1386 SE Lund Avenue
Port Orchard, WA 98366
10. Commercial Driver School
4305 Auburn Way North
Auburn, WA 98002
11. Commercial Driver School**
11000 34th Avenue South
Lakewood, WA 98499
12. Driver Training & Solutions, LLC
7405 S. Hayford Road
Cheney, WA 99004
13. Driver Training & Solutions, LLC
2021 E. James Street
Pasco, WA 99301
14. DRM Driver Training
424 E. 19th Street
Tacoma, WA 98421
15. Evergreen Truck Driving School
8500 Perimeter Road South
Seattle, WA 98101
16. Fleet Safety Consultants
1704 23rd Avenue
Milton, WA 98354
17. Fort Simcoe Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center
40 Abella Lane
White Swan, WA 98952
18. GMC Training Institute
109 W. 2nd Street
Grandview, WA 98930
*Se Habla Espanol
19. Grays Harbor College
1620 Edward P. Smith Drive
Aberdeen, WA 98520
20. H & R Elite Trucking Academy LLC
426 S. 7th Street
Sunnyside, WA 98944
21. Independent Truck Driver Training, Inc.**
Corporate Office Only
1800 Stone Road
Yakima, WA 98908
22. Independent Truck Driver Training, Inc.**
2532 S. 12th Avenue
Union Gap, WA 98903
23. L & T Truck Driver Training
17802 N. Redowa Drive
Colbert, WA 99005
24. North Cross Commercial Driving School LLC
3122 Cedardale Road
Mount Vernon, WA 98274
25. Northwest Career Training Center
3707 S. Godfrey Blvd
Spokane, WA 99224
26. OK CDL Training, LLC
1536 Pine Creek Road
Tonasket, WA 98855
27. Operating Engineers Regional Training Program
16921 Vantage Hwy
Ellensburg, WA 98926
28. Pacific Truck School, LLC
18057 28th Avenue NE
Lake Forrest Park, WA 98155
29. Pacific Truck School, LLC
9840 Martin Luther King Jr. South
Seattle, WA 98118
30. Pegasus Corporation
921 Cornwall Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225
31. Peninsula College
1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd
Port Angeles, WA 98362
32. Seattle Truck Driving School
106 Frontage Road North
Pacific, WA 98047
33. Skagit Valley College
2405 E. College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
34. Spokane Community College
1810 N. Greene Street
Spokane, WA 99217
35. Stateline Trucking School
215 N. Commercial Avenue
Pasco, WA 99301
36. Taylor Driving Schools
646 Burlington Blvd
Burlington, WA 98233
37. TDA Educational Systems
34004 9th Avenue South
Federal Way, WA 98003
38. Teamsters/AGC Training Center
2410 E. Saint Helens Street
Pasco, WA 99301
39. T Enterprises Truck Driving School
210 E. Lewis Place
Pasco, WA 99301
*Se Habla Espanol
40. T & M Taras Truck Driving School
18635 8th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98148
41. Trans 360, Inc.
201 Hidden Spring Road
Kalama, WA 98625
42. Trans Union Truck Driver Training
4624 River Road East
Tacoma, WA 98443
43. Vata Commercial Driving School**
6846 Martin Way East
Olympia, WA 98516
44. Walla Walla Community College
500 Tausick Way
Walla Walla, WA 99362
45. West Coast Training**
3805 Dike Road
Woodland, WA 98674
46. Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon
1709 Van Wormer Street
Centralia, WA 98531
47. Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon
1839 1st Avenue
Longview, WA 98632
48. Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon
2747 Pacific Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98501
49. Western States Operating Engineers
23500 S. Operating Engineers Lane
Spangle, WA 99031
50. Yakima Valley Community College
S. 16th Avenue & Nob Hill Blvd
Yakima, WA 98902
*Se Habla Espanol
51. YY Truck Training School
116 Y Street
Vancouver, WA 98661
† Truck driving school offers truck driver training programs that are certified to meet the standards of the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI).
** Truck driving school is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Here is the state-mapped list of truck driving schools in Washington. The list of truck driving schools in Washington above matches the markers on the map below.
Map of Truck Driving Schools in Washington
|1. Bates Technical College||2201 S. 78th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409|
|2. Biddix Company, Inc.||2418 Old Hwy 99 South, Mount Vernon, WA 98273|
|3. Big Bend Community College||7662 Chanute Street NE, Moses Lake, WA 98837|
|4. C & H Trucking Academy, Inc.||340 S. 6TH Street, Sunnyside, WA 98944|
|5. Central Valley Truck Driving School||11 Asotin Avenue, Toppenish, WA 98948|
|6. Check Ride||13632 NE 177th Place, Woodinville, WA 98072|
|7. Coast 2 Coast CDL Training, LLC||9110 NE Hwy 99, Suite A, Vancouver, WA 98665|
|8. Columbia Basin College||2600 N. 20th Avenue, Pasco, WA 99301|
|9. Commercial Driver School||1386 SE Lund Avenue, Suite 3, Port Orchard, WA 98366|
|10. Commercial Driver School||4305 Auburn Way North, Auburn, WA 98002|
|11. Commercial Driver School||11000 34th Avenue South, Lakewood, WA 98499|
|12. Driver Training & Solutions, LLC||7405 S. Hayford Road, Cheney, WA 99004|
|13. Driver Training & Solutions, LLC||2021 E. James Street, Pasco, WA 99301|
|14. DRM Driver Training||424 E. 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98421|
|15. Evergreen Truck Driving School||8500 Perimeter Road South, Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98101|
|16. Fleet Safety Consultants||1704 23rd Avenue, Milton, WA 98354|
|17. Fort Simcoe Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center||40 Abella Lane, White Swan, WA 98952|
|18. GMC Training Institute||109 W. 2nd Street, Grandview, WA 98930|
|19. Grays Harbor College||Satsop Development Park, Flex Tech Bldg, 1620 Edward P. Smith Drive, Aberdeen, WA 98520|
|20. H & R Elite Trucking Academy LLC||426 S. 7th Street, Sunnyside, WA 98944|
|21. Independent Truck Driver Training, Inc.||Corporate Office Only, 1800 Stone Road, Yakima, WA 98908|
|22. Independent Truck Driver Training, Inc.||2532 S. 12th Avenue, Union Gap, WA 98903|
|23. L & T Truck Driver Training||17802 N. Redowa Drive, Colbert, WA 99005|
|24. North Cross Commercial Driving School LLC||3122 Cedardale Road, Mount Vernon, WA 98274|
|25. Northwest Career Training Center||3707 S. Godfrey Blvd, Spokane, WA 99224|
|26. OK CDL Training, LLC||1536 Pine Creek Road, Tonasket, WA 98855|
|27. Operating Engineers Regional Training Program||16921 Vantage Hwy, Ellensburg, WA 98926|
|28. Pacific Truck School, LLC||Main Office, 18057 28th Avenue NE, Lake Forrest Park, WA, 98155|
|29. Pacific Truck School, LLC||Training Yard, 9840 Martin Luther King Jr. South, Seattle, WA 98118|
|30. Pegasus Corporation Commercial Driver Training||921 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225|
|31. Peninsula College||1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles, WA 98362|
|32. Seattle Truck Driving School||106 Frontage Road North, Pacific, WA 98047|
|33. Skagit Valley College||2405 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, WA 98273|
|34. Spokane Community College||1810 N. Greene Street, Spokane, WA 99217-5399|
|35. Stateline Trucking School||215 N. Commercial Avenue, Pasco, WA 99301|
|36. Taylor Driving Schools||646 Burlington Blvd, Burlington, WA 98233|
|37. TDA Educational Systems||34004 9th Avenue South, Suite A13, Federal Way, WA 98003|
|38. Teamsters/AGC Training Center||2410 E. Saint Helens Street, Pasco, WA 99301|
|39. T Enterprises Truck Driving School||210 E. Lewis Place, Pasco, WA 99301|
|40. T & M Taras Truck Driving School||18635 8th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98148|
|41. Trans 360, Inc.||201 Hidden Spring Road, Kalama, WA 98625|
|42. Trans Union Truck Driver Training||4624 River Road East, Tacoma, WA 98443|
|43. Vata Commercial Driving School||6846 Martin Way East, Olympia, WA 98516|
|44. Walla Walla Community College||500 Tausick Way, Walla Walla, WA 99362|
|45. West Coast Training||3805 Dike Road, Woodland, WA 98674|
|46. Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon||1709 Van Wormer Street, Centralia, WA 98531|
|47. Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon||1839 1st Avenue, Longview, WA 98632|
|48. Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon||2747 Pacific Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501|
|49. Western States Operating Engineers||P.O. Box 210, 23500 S. Operating Engineers Lane, Spangle, WA 99031|
|50. Yakima Valley Community College||S. 16th Ave & Nob Hill Blvd, Yakima, WA 98902|
|51. YY Truck Training School||116 Y Street, Vancouver, WA 98661|
How to Choose the Best Truck Driving Schools in Washington
Most truck driving schools in Washington train their students by following the same basic curriculum. In the classroom, students are taught what they need to know to pass the written knowledge test when they go to obtain their Washington commercial drivers license. This includes coursework in:
- The driving laws and safety regulations as they pertain to truck driving in the state of Washington.
- The different mechanical and safety parts of a semi.
- The various driving techniques needed to competently operate a tractor trailer.
In the training yard, students observe and practice operating a tractor trailer using the techniques they were taught in the classroom, so that they will be prepared to pass the pre-trip inspection and the driving test when they go to obtain their Washington commercial drivers license.
That’s basically it. There may be minor differences in how the coursework is handled from school to school but, the end objective is always the same; train students to become safe, knowledgeable, and highly qualified commercial truck drivers who are ready to obtain their Washington CDL and begin their truck driving career.
With that being said, there are a few things you will need to take into careful consideration when choosing a truck driving school in Washington. The decision you make could lead you on the path to a great learning experience or a dead end disaster. Although they teach the same thing, not all truck driving schools are the same.
Of all the factors you need to consider when choosing a truck driving school in Washington, the tuition cost will invariably be near the top of the list. Let’s face it, the final decision you make will determine the quality of training you receive and the amount of money you pay to receive that training. Although price is not necessarily the most important factor when choosing a truck driving school, it is still very important. In the real world, you get what you pay for. The same holds true when it comes to education and vocational training. Now, don’t get me wrong. There may be a couple of truck driving schools in Washington that charge an outrageous amount of money for mediocre training. Remember, a truck driving school is a business, and like any other business, it is in business to make a profit so that it can stay open. Like any other business, there are good ones and there are bad ones. On average, CDL training in Washington should cost somewhere between $2,500 and $4,500. There is usually a $500 difference in pricing between competing truck driving schools in the same general location. If the difference in price between schools in the same location is more or less than $500, you may want to do some research and find out why one school charges much more than the others. Here are some questions you may want to find the answers to when doing your research:
- Is their equipment more modern than the other truck driving schools in Washington?
- Do they only train students in simulators or in tractor trailers?
- How much “behind the wheel” time do they give their students?
- Do they have more instructors on their payroll?
- Do they have larger class sizes and, therefore, more wear and tear on their trucks, and higher fuel expenses?
- Do they have more trucks for the students to train on than the other truck driving schools in Washington?
- Do they go above and beyond the state minimum “required hours of training”?
- Are they accredited by the Professional Truck Driver Institute?
- Are they accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
- Do they award student scholarships or participate in state and federal grant programs?
- Do they have a more successful job placement program than the other truck driving schools in Washington?
If the answer to these questions invariably comes up as “no”, then that school is most likely charging students more money for no other reason than to make a higher profit.
Almost all truck driving schools in Washington offer financial aid. Student financial aid can help lower the cost of attending school. Many truck driving schools in Washington actively participate in state and federal grant programs and even give out scholarships for academic excellence. Student loans are also available for those who qualify. Fill out the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) and check with the financial aid office of the school to see if there are any available student grants, scholarships, or loans you may qualify for if you decide to attend.
When choosing a truck driving school, be wary of any school that promises to get you trained and on the road in two weeks or less. Not only is this unrealistic, it is also unsafe. Commercial driver training should take anywhere from three weeks to three months to complete. There are two main factors that will determine the length of a school’s CDL training program. They are:
- Full-time vs. Part-time training.
- State mandated regulations.
Full-time training programs will usually be much shorter since the students will be going to class and training five days a week. Part-time classes will usually be longer since the students will only be training on nights and weekends. Another factor that will determine the length of a school’s CDL training program is the minimum amount of hours a student is required to train both in the classroom and in the yard. Some states require students to acquire a minimum of 160 hours of CDL training while other states do not. If a truck driving school promises to train you and get you ready to take your CDL tests in a week… RUN!… in the other direction! These type of schools are called “CDL mills” and they are only out to take your money and get you out the door as fast as possible so they can exploit a new batch of unsuspecting students. Trust me, learning how to safely and competently operate a tractor trailer takes longer than seven days. Passing the CDL tests and obtaining your commercial drivers license doesn’t make you a well-trained truck driver anymore than getting a hunting license makes you a great hunter.
Location, location, location. In a perfect world, the best truck driving school would be the school that is closest to where you live. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and so, you may have to travel some distance to get the best CDL training in Washington. Think of it as job preparation. If you can’t even handle the daily commute to truck driving school then, maybe you’re pursuing the wrong profession. If the best truck driving school is hours away or in another state, then obviously you’ll have to take living expenses into account. Some truck driving schools provide room and board for an added expense and may put you up in a hotel until your training is complete. One more thing to consider. If you do decide to attend a truck driving school outside the state of Washington, be sure to read up on the rules and regulations for transferring your out of state CDL to the state of Washington. You may have to simply fill out a few forms or you may have to retake the written test, the driving test, or both. Also, make sure that the amount of hours you will receive during your out-of-state CDL training will meet the minimum required hours for obtaining your CDL in the state of Washington.
Behind the Wheel Time
Probably one of the single most important factors to consider when choosing a truck driving school is how much “behind the wheel” drive time they give their students. Not simulator time or passenger seat observation time but, shifting, steering, braking, backing up, and parking time. Remember, most truck driving school students have never even been inside a semi. Driving a tractor trailer competently and confidently takes practice, practice, and more practice. The amount of drive time a school gives their students directly impacts the price of tuition because of the expenses involved. It will also impact how well you can drive a tractor trailer when you graduate.
Ratio of Instructors to Students
First of all, when you attend a truck driving school, you are paying for an education. You can’t get an education unless you are given instruction, and you can’t get instruction without an instructor. Paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to a school to be “self-taught” would be just plain dumb. But, in essence, that’s what you are doing if the truck driving school you attend has too many students and too few instructors. Almost all truck driving schools in Washington are set up the same way. There is a building where students are given classroom instruction and there is a training yard where students are given driving instruction. In order to keep costs down and profits up, some schools will have four or five students sitting in the cab with the instructor instead of one-on-one instruction. They may also have multiple students training behind the wheel of two or three semis at the same time while the instructors walk from truck to truck, educating the students on the right way and wrong way to maneuver the vehicle. While being behind the wheel and getting some drive time is a good thing, not having one-on-one instruction the entire time can be very detrimental to your ability to learn how to maneuver a tractor trailer correctly. In order to learn a skill, you must practice it over and over again until it becomes “second nature”. The problem is, if you are practicing something the wrong way, you will eventually be ingrained with bad habits, and it is a well known fact that it is harder to get rid of bad habits than it is to pick them up in the first place.
The instructors are the cornerstone of any truck driving school. Without instructors, all you have is a building with a bunch of books, and a parking lot full of tractor trailers. It is the instructors that will ultimately make you or break you. A good truck driving school will have good instructors, and good instructors will be knowledgeable, experienced, nurturing, and enthusiastic about what they’re teaching.
If you are paying thousands of dollars for an education, you want to learn from the best, and the best instructors become the best at what they are teaching through years of experience. Would you want to be taught by someone who just graduated from truck driving school a year ago? Of course not. You want to be trained by someone who knows what it’s like to have to maneuver a 53 foot rig through a crowded city, or what it’s like to carry a five ton load over hilly terrain, or what it takes to beat the clock and deliver a time sensitive load on time. You want instructors who will not only lecture but will also listen. Instructors who will listen to your questions and to your concerns. Instructors who will take the time to help you catch up with the rest of the class if you happen to learn at a slower pace. Instructors who are there because they want to be, not because they have to be. They should be up-to-date with all the industry trends and regulations.
Before you shell out thousands of dollars to a truck driving school, set up an appointment to tour the school and meet the instructors. Before you arrive at the school, write down any questions you would like to ask the instructors about the program and about their experience in the field of truck driving. Talk to some of the students and ask them if they’re pleased with the instructors, the program, and the equipment. You may want to schedule a tour towards the end of the school’s semester so the students can give you a good review of their training experience.
Some truck driving schools in Washington have been accredited by the Professional Truck Driver Institute or PTDI. The Professional Truck Driver Institute
is a non-profit organization that advocates truck-driver training standards, driver professionalism, and safety. They introduced a uniform skill performance, curriculum, and certification standard in 1989 in order to raise the bar on the truck driver training process. Although it isn’t necessary to be accredited by the PTDI in order to be a reputable truck driving school, only reputable truck driving schools are accredited by the PTDI, as it is an expensive and stringent process to become PTDI accredited.
Since truck driving schools in Washington are businesses and therefore, should be held accountable for their business practices and ethics, you may want to check to see what kind of rating or reviews a school has received by the Better Business Bureau. Do they have an “A” rating or an “F” rating? Do they have any unresolved complaints that have been brought forth by the students of the school? Is the school accredited by the Better Business Bureau? Truck driving schools in Washington that are BBB accredited must commit to a high standard of honesty and fairness in order to receive an “A” rating. BBB accreditation isn’t necessary to make a truck driving school a great school but, it does show that the school takes its business practices very seriously and holds itself accountable to a higher standard.
Let’s face it, the main reason for going to truck driving school is to get a good paying job when you graduate. How successful a school is in getting their graduates good paying jobs with reputable trucking companies is one of the main factors to consider when choosing a truck driving school. If a school’s job placement program has a low success rate, then you may want to consider going to a trucking school with a higher job placement rate. There are many reputable trucking companies in Washington that will hire graduates with little to no truck driving experience if they graduated from a reputable truck driving school.
You want your truck driving school experience to be educational, beneficial, and fun. Choose the right school and it will be. Choose the wrong one, and your truck driving career could stall before it even starts.
What are you hoping to experience at truck driving school in Washington? Have you graduated from a Washington trucking school? What was your experience like? Please let us know in the comments section below.
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