Professional Truck Driving

“The best thing we can offer is a well trained truck driver that will become a valuable employee.  Our program gives people confidence that they can make a change in their career without fear of failure.”

Ralph Dean, Former Program Head

Program Overview

If you are looking for a career that provides independence and numerous opportunities, a career as a professional truck driver is waiting for you. The College of Western Idaho (CWI) Professional Truck Driving program will train you to become an entry-level, over-the-road driver in the commercial trucking industry. Our program includes classroom, live simulator, and on-the-road training with special emphasis on developing safe and efficient operating skills. Skilled and professional drivers are in demand and can expect good wages and excellent benefits.

This program is located near CWI’s Nampa Campus—and includes a driving range for practice, backing, docking, and parking.

What kind of degree(s) can you earn?

What Programs Are Available?

15 week daytime program – 40 Hours per Week leads to a certificate of completion, or a post-secondary vocational certificate.

This program is designed to provide you with the necessary skills and background for employment as an over-the-road entry-level driver. Initially, you will practice driving in non-traffic areas and attend class at our location in Nampa.

As your skills advance and your confidence increases you will progress to driving our big rig on the open road. You will learn the skills and procedures for handling freight, loading and unloading, dock loading, and trailer combinations and their uses. You will also gain the skills needed to handle trucks in urban and heavy traffic situations, difficult weather conditions, steep inclines and downgrades, highways, and so much more. The program covers all of the Department of Transportation regulations and interstate rules and requirements you will need to know. You will also gain important on-the-job skills that include, but are not limited to: keeping log books, accident avoidance, and reporting procedures. All students must meet the Department of Transportation’s physical standards, have a Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s record check, and pass the state commercial driver’s license exam. Special fees apply to this program, see below for more information.

23 Week Evening and Weekend Program – Approximately 26 Hours per Week.

This training covers the same topics as the 15 week course, but takes longer to complete because students only attend classes at night and on the weekends. Students will have 17 weeks of in-house training. See below for more information.

When Are Classes Held?

New classes start every three weeks. Evening and weekend program starts approximately three times a year. Call now to secure a seat in class as programs fill quickly and space is limited.

Steps to Enroll

Please follow the steps below. If you need help or have questions call us at 208.562.2050.

  1. Fill out CWI Admissions application and pay $25 application fee.
  2. Provide official transcripts for high school, GED and/or any college or university you have attended. If you do not have a high school transcript or a GED then you must take the COMPASS Assessment. The cost is $15.00, cash, voucher, or money order (no fee is charged if you have paid the CWI application fee). Test site available in Nampa at CWI Administrative Offices, 6056 Birch Lane.

To Do List

  • Department of Transportation Physical Exam. You must complete this exam by the first day of class. Results of your physical must be recorded on a form that meets the DOT requirements. Cost is $40 - $70.
  • Driving Record. You are required to provide your Idaho driving record, or one from the state that you have previously resided in for the past three years. Contact Idaho Transportation Dept. at 334-8735, a local insurance company, or the DMV. Idaho charges $7 for this service.
  • CDL Manual. Get your manual free from any Department of Motor Vehicle Office. Study chapters two and three prior to the 1st day of class.

What Else Should I Know?

Commercial Drivers License Instruction Permit: You need to obtain a CDL Instruction Permit after 1st week of class, you will need your social security card, or number for verification.

Program Cost

  • Tuition: $4,026
  • CDL: $91 - $180
  • Drug/Alcohol testing: $45
  • Graduation Application: $30
  • LabFee: $660*

*subject to change based on fuel cost fluctuations


Degree Plan

Instructor Info

Program Chair:
Tracy Younger

Martin McDannel

Steve Taylor

Dan Jolley

Jeff Shetler

Career Info

What kind of career can you expect?

This is an exciting career field for those who want the freedom of the open road and enjoy driving. A new truck today is equipped with technology and extras that make driving a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable career. Employers need responsible drivers who will safely operate and maintain their investment in these vehicles, as new trucks can cost over $150,000. While some companies hire drivers for local jobs the majority of work is over the road long haul driving.

We have been training drivers for more than 20 years. Our instructors are professional drivers who understand the needs of adult learners. They truly care about each student. You will fit in here and you can successfully complete this program regardless of past educational experience. Employers hire our graduates because we offer top quality training and hire the best instructors.

Industry Partners

The following companies actively support this program, and are looking to hire skilled drivers:

  • Swift Trucking Company
  • Werner Enterprises
  • Gordon Trucking
  • May Trucking Company

Need more info?

Program Chair