CDL License Requirements in Illinois
Before you hit the road on your journey to becoming a licensed CDL driver, there are a few things you need to know. According to Illinois CDL requirements, you must be at least 18 years old, pass a current physical examination, and have a valid driver’s license. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulates interstate transportation of cargo, so if you want to travel across state lines to deliver cargo, you must be at least 21 years old. All CDL applicants then need to pass a general knowledge exam and a skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic vehicle knowledge test, and a hands-on test in which you’ll drive on the road. The driving test also must be taken in a vehicle that matches the class of CDL license you are trying to obtain. Additional qualifications or other endorsements can be obtained as well. These endorsements cover things like air brakes, school buses, and many others.
Find CDL Training Schools in Illinois
It’s time to break out your pencils and notebooks and head back to school. Luckily, our site provides great resources that will help you find the perfect school to advance your future trucking career. These schools will show you the ropes through both in-class and outside the classroom training. You’ll gain experience behind the wheel in a controlled setting as well as learn how to properly inspect your vehicle before, during, and after you hit the road. If you’re looking for an adventurous career, check out these top training schools to ensure that you’re getting the best Illinois CDL training and education available.
CDL Training Costs in Illinois
Currently, the average tuition cost of a CDL training school is around $8,300. This includes the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of training. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to pay for CDL training. If you don’t have the money up front to pay, financial aid is a great way to ensure that your CDL education is financially feasible. Applying for financial aid through FAFSA is a great first step if you want to explore your federal student aid options, in which the government subsidizes some of the loan cost. If you qualify through FAFSA, a federal Pell Grant awarded through participating institutions is money that can be used for school and differs from a loan in that it doesn't need to be paid back. In some cases, trucking companies will also pay for schooling as long as you pass the CDL tests and agree to work for them once you have your Illinois CDL license. This can be a great way to get both an education and a job at the same time! Be sure to explore all possible options before you decide to embark on a trucking career.
CDL Prep in Illinois
So now it’s time to take on the test. You’ve spent your time in school, you’ve read the textbooks, and you’ve spent hours on the road. So, what else is there to do? Well, there are actually a few more things you can do to ensure that you’re as prepared as you can be for your test. If you want to get a feel of what the test will be like, feel free to take our practice test as many times as you need to so you can see how you stack up. You’ll also want to make sure that you practice driving in the same vehicle that you are going to take the test in. You’ll want to practice driving something familiar so you feel as comfortable as possible when taking your test. When in doubt, make sure to crack open your books and have a study session to help you remember the ins and outs of truck driving.
Illinois CDL Endorsement & Waivers
With an Illinois CDL, the individual or their employer might next require specialization to carry certain types of cargo - this is referred to as an endorsement. An extra testing is required to ensure that the operator knows the additional responsibility of safe handling under the law. The following types of endorsements are common throughout Illinois and other states.
- School Bus
- Tank Vehicles
- Hazardous Materials
Waivers may also be prevalent in case a student did not pass a portion of the test or has a special circumstance. These will be marked with corresponding letters on the Illinois Commercial Driver’s License.
CDL Tests in Illinois
Now it’s the big day. One little test and you’ll be heading down the open road towards a new and exciting career. You’ve spent hours studying and even more time behind the wheel, and now it’s time to show off what you’ve learned. Below we’ve given you a preview of what you can expect during your Illinois Commercial Driver’s License test.
CDL Knowledge Tests in Illinois
The general knowledge portion of the exam is usually 50 questions and will cover a wide variety of information pertaining to trucking regulations, road safety, equipment, and other subjects. You will nee to get at least 80% on the Illinois CDL knowledge test to pass. Once completed, you will move onto the hands-on skills test.
CDL Skills Test in Illinois
The driving test consists of two parts that will test your knowledge of the CDL process. The knowledge test is a traditional exam that covers a variety of different topics that you will have gone over during your driving school. The pre-trip inspection tests your ability to determine that the vehicle is safe to drive. You have to explain to the examiner how you would examine the various parts of your vehicle. The purpose of the road test is to verify you may safely operate your vehicle. Here you will be asked to turn, back up, change lanes, as well as identify different traffic signs, so make sure you’ve prepared accordingly.
Job Outlook in Illinois
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of truck driving jobs in the United States is expected to increase 5% by 2024. This is just below the average growth rate of 7% for all occupations. This is yet another sign that points towards an industry that’s trending upward. Make sure you pass your Illinois CDL so you can hit the road in full stride and find the ideal trucking job.
Illinois Truck Driver Salary
The average annual salary for a trucker in Illinois is currently $46,970, which is greater than the US average of $43,590.