How to Become a Truck Driver

Published Date: 3/28/2023

Updated Date: 3/29/2023

Starting a new career as a truck driver  

Have you ever wondered what the career path for truck drivers really looks like?   

Between attending truck driving school and obtaining your CDL License to finally hitting the road on your first long haul route: We’re here to guide you through the initial steps of becoming a professional truck driver.  

How to become a truck driver  

Though the process of becoming a professional truck driver varies by individual and trucking company, the journey typically begins with attending CDL Training and obtaining your Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).   

Earn your CDL License with a paid truck driving program  

Obtaining your CDL License can be accomplished by attending a truck driving school of your choice. This can be personally financed, but it can be helpful to seek out trucking companies that offer tuition reimbursement programs, like Swift. This can help you save money while gaining the knowledge you’ll need for your new career.   

Signing up for a CDL Training program can also help you save money in tandem with providing valuable post-training job security.    

You may be asking, “How long does it take to become a truck driver”? CDL training will take roughly 4 weeks to complete depending on the CDL school, and be followed by additional Over-the-Road (OTR) training with a mentor.   

Some benefits of earning your Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) at a Swift Academy include:  

  • A working knowledge of trucking equipment. 
  • Advanced safety training to ensure the safest experience. 
  • Training on the latest model trucks and trucking technology. 
  • Training needed to start a truck driving job with confidence. 
  • Knowledgeable instructors with decades of Class A experience. 
  • Hands-on training with plenty of time in the cab and behind the wheel.  

Seamless transition to becoming a ‘solo’ truck driver.

2 Swift Transportation drivers posing in front of their truck

Getting started in your career as a truck driver  

After a truck driver has obtained their CDL License and is hired on at Swift Transportation, they’re paired up with an experienced driver to provide them with mentorship and additional Over-the-Road (OTR) training. Helping them become a safer and more confident driver to support their professional success.   

Paid mentorship programs & OTR Training  

Once a new driver begins their mentorship, they will be eligible to receive compensation for their time spent training in the form of OTR Training Pay. This makes becoming a professional truck driver a more financially sustainable process, helping to support yourself and your family on the road to your new career during OTR Training  

Once you complete your mentorship and OTR Training with Swift, you’ll officially be a ‘solo’ driver (unless you choose to team), and be part of the truck driver lifestyle. After you are dispatched to drive solo, you will have the ability to earn monthly performance bonuses for safety, productivity, and fuel. Now it’s time to buckle up and hit the road as a Swift Driver to start fulfilling your new professional duties.  

Trucking career advancement opportunities  

Once you complete your training and become a truck driving professional, you can begin planning for the future and start working towards some exciting potential driving career advancement opportunities.   

Within the trucking industry and at Swift, career advancement opportunities can come in the form of:  

Transitioning to an office position, like becoming a driver leader.

A Swift Transportation driver smiling and siting on the entrance to the cabin of his truck

Legal requirements for becoming a truck driver  

Before you dive into the process of becoming a professional driver, it is important to consider the legal requirements truck drivers must meet in order to legally drive a commercial vehicle. These requirements are put into place to ensure the utmost safety.  

To pass the legal requirements1  for becoming a truck driver, you must pass:  

  • A driving record assessment. 
  • A medical examination. 
  • A background check. 
  • A DUI check.   

Want to become a truck driver?  

If you find yourself intrigued by the thought of becoming a professional driver, today may be the day to kickstart an ultra-rewarding CDL career path with Swift Transportation. Whether you’re seasoned with CDL Experience or a new driver: We want to hear from you! 

The Author

Swift Marketing

Swift Transportation is the Nation's #1 full truckload carrier. Swift offers Driving careers in our Linehaul, Refrigerated, Flatbed, Intermodal, Teams, and Dedicated divisions.