Felons often face difficulties while looking for jobs. According to many employers, past offenders have a high-risk profile, so they almost exclusively hire applicants with no records.
Trucking jobs are an important exception. Hiring felons is even a good thing in such a career. As an ex-convict, you may wonder whether truck driving schools will take felons. This article has all the answers.
Why Trucking Is a Good Career Path For Felons
Truck drivers spend most of their time on the road alone. Many felons find this perfect because they don’t have to deal with judgments from their colleagues.
There’s also very little supervision, which most people enjoy, especially those who served sentences in institutions.
After the constant surveillance of prison, it’s liberating to be able to hit the road on your own. The open road is a great shift of perspective from confined prison spaces. Plus, a trucking job allows you to travel across the country.
Finally, truck driving pays really well. In fact, it’s among the highest-paying career paths for felons.
However, you’ll need a commercial driving license (CDL) to get a truck driving job. To get this license, you need to meet the following requirements:
Be over 18 years old, except for New York and Hawaii, where you must be 21.
-Go through CDL training.
-Pass the CDL skills and knowledge test.
-Pass the background check.
-Get a medical certification.
As a felon, you may be concerned about the background check part. Indeed, you can take different background checks. Some offenses can disqualify you from obtaining a CDL, but this depends on the state.
And even if you get a CDL, the employer has to check your record once per year.
As a felon, you can still obtain a CDL. Having a clean record is unnecessary, but having too many offenses is not welcome. It’s possible to check the eligibility rules for every state with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Now that we’ve got the permit topic out of the way, we can jump straight to the point. Below is the list of driving schools that accept felons.
Trucking Schools That Accept Felons
Swift Driving Academy
Swift Transportation has a school that trains drivers to work in their company at different locations. The states they operate in include Arizona, Virginia, Idaho, and Texas.
The length of the program varies depending on the type of class. Financial aid is available on behalf of Swift, and tuition must be paid upfront. If you receive financial assistance, you’ll be able to pay for classes from your paycheck once you start working.
Felons should consult the school before they apply because various felony cases are treated differently.
However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t have any DUI/DWI convictions for the last five years when you apply.
You also won’t get accepted if you have a reckless driving conviction within three years from the date of application.
A. Duie Pyle Academy
A. Duie Pyle Truck Driving Academy is based in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. It’s a 10-week training course for the CDL license with eight weeks of classes and 40 hours of practice. You can also take comprehensive training for the CDL exam.
The classes for all sizes of tractor and trailer vehicles are available.
A nice thing about this school is that it also has accommodation facilities so that you can live on the campus while in the program.
Lincoln Land Community College
Lincoln Land Community College is located in Illinois and offers a certificate program for truckers. The Class A training lasts four to six weeks for the CDL permit.
The classes include standard classroom time, map reading, practical driving, and logbook training.
The college regularly receives recruitment visits from different employers.
Felons have a good chance of meeting potential employers while studying at the college.
Celadon Driving Academy
The Celadon Driving Academy is run by a major transport firm, just like Swift Transportation. The company offers training in Alabama, Indiana, and Texas.
They also offer students in-house jobs, so you’ll receive training and continue working for them afterward.
The typical CDL training lasts from three to six weeks. There is a five or six-week training with the instructor on the road after preliminary instruction.
Accommodation and food are also included in the program.
The school carries out a DMV record check for all applicants. As a felon, you can only apply if your record is older than 10 years. Your record must be over five years old for reckless driving and DUI offenses.
Did you know? Truck drivers who work for small businesses drive more than 3 million miles in their lifetime. That translates to around 115,000 miles each year.
U.S. Truck Driver Training School
This school has great training for students, including those with felony records, and is approved by the Michigan State Approving Agency.
The instructors are experienced and licensed, and there are two different programs you can join:
-The entry-level program
-The professional training
There are also Class A and B CDL certifications available at the school. You can apply for grants to study in the U.S. Truck Driver Training School if you’re eligible.
For more details, visit their official website.
Academy of Truck Driving
The Academy of Truck Driving is based in Oakland, CA, and specializes in eight qualifications, including CDL.
Every qualification has a different training length, with the average completion time being one month.
The Academy is known for its excellent learning environment, consisting of classroom and physical training. They also have motivating and experienced drivers as professors.
Advanced Career Institute
Advanced Career Institute is based in Visalia, CA, and has 22 qualification programs. The training differs on the type of program and ranges from three weeks to nine months. They have excellent tutors and a fun learning environment.
The programs are open to ex-convicts and consist of different types of training that last for at least three weeks.
Accommodation and financial assistance are available to students. Available aid ranges from federal and private loans to grants and scholarships, including some company-sponsored scholarships.
The school offers professional CDL training in Fresno and Bakersfield in California, Las Vegas, and other cities. You can find more information about your opportunities by visiting the Advanced Career Institute website.
Other Felon-Friendly Trucking Schools
-R. England Driving School
-FFE Accelerated Driver Academy
-Continental Truck Driver Training and Education
Felon-Friendly Trucking Driving Schools Are All Over
Despite the many difficulties felons face while re-integrating into the community, the trucking industry has its arms wide open to receive everyone. As an ex-convict, you can apply for dozens of trucking school programs to kickstart a new career.
Hopefully, the schools and academies mentioned in this article were helpful. The next step is to reach out to suitable ones and start the application process. Good luck!