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Truck Driving

Chemeketa's truck driving certificate will provide the knowledge and skills needed to earn your Commercial Driver License (CDL) in four weeks.

Potential Salary$50,000

topics Trades

Skills & InterestCoordination

CareersService Professions

  • Hands gripping a truck steering wheel
  • Truck driving instructor and student with truck
  • Chemeketa's truck with fall leaves in background

Why choose Truck Driving?

Over the next ten years, the employment field for truck drivers is expected to grow by at least 6 percent. Plus, there is currently a shortage of truck drivers. A current shortage of 50,000 truck drivers nationwide is expected to grow to 174,000 drivers by 2026. In the Mid-Valley, there are almost 400 openings annually for truck drivers stemming from job growth and replacing retired drivers.

Earn your CDL for free

Chemeketa, in partnership with Willamette Workforce Partnership and Worksource Oregon, will offer free Commercial Driving License (CDL), or truck driving training for 30 candidates. The training primarily takes place at Chemeketa's Salem Campus, 4000 Lancaster Drive NE in Salem. Some classes will be held at the Yamhill Valley Campus, 288 NE Norton Lane in McMinnville. 

To determine if you qualify for the training there is a two-step process.  There are two applications. You will need to complete both applications prior to a start date being determined.  We look forward to working with you. 

Step 1: Please fill out the Future Ready application

Step 2: Please fill out Chemeketa’s Truck Driving application: Online versionPrinted version 

UPDATE-(1/30/2023) Currently, all 30 spots are FULL for the Future Ready Grant. You can still apply to the truck driving program (not grant sponsored) by submitting a completed application using the links in "Step 2" above. See below (Session Start Dates menu) for what classes have open spots/availability. 

What will you learn?

Chemeketa's truck driving certificate program consists of 160 hours of coursework-

  • XCDL 9100A- Introduction to Professional Truck Driving & Logistics (40 hours)
  • XCDL 9100B- Practical Applications in Professional Truck Driving & Logistics (80 hours)
  • XCDL 9100C- Transportation Customer Service Skills (40 hours)

This coursework will provide the skills necessary for you to earn your Commercial Driver License, or CDL.


What will you do?

A career in truck driving can provide many things-

  • Job security
  • Great starting salaries
  • Variety of cargo hauling
  • Options for local or interstate jobs
  • Free CDL Permit Prep Class

    Chemaketa is offering a CDL Permit prep class.

    Please use this link to receive more information on the class.

    Class Times: Saturday Classes - April 8 - April 29 - 8 am to 10:30 am

    REQUIRES Level B2 reading in ESOL. 

    Space is limited.

  • Program Requirements

    In order to be eligible for the program, you must-

    • Have a valid drivers license with at least one year driving experience
    • Be at least 18 years old to drive in-state, and 21 years old to drive across state lines
    • Provide verifiable work history or schooling
    • Certain felony convictions can limit employment. Hazmat hauling has stricter rules; if you plan to haul Hazmat materials, inquire with employer/DMV prior to pursuing program
    • Pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination
    • Pass a DOT drug screening (completed after acceptance into program, and ordered by Chemeketa)
    • Obtain a Class A CDL learner permit with Airbrake and Combination Vehicles endorsementsTest administered at DMV in English only.
  • Session Start Dates

    Spring Term Schedule 2023: 

    Location: Salem Campus (class hours subject to change)

    April 3 - May 2, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (4-week training) No class/Holiday on: 4/20, 4/21. (Currently, FULL Accepting ALTERNATES only)

    May 8 - June 2, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (4-week training) No class/Holidays on: 5/29. (Currently, FULL Accepting ALTERNATES only)

    Summer Term Schedule 2023: 

    Location: Salem Campus (class hours subject to change)

    June 5 - June 30, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (4-week training) No class/Holidays on: 6/19. (Currently, FULL Accepting ALTERNATES only)

    July 3 - August 4, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (5-week training due to holiday/make-up days) No class/Holiday on: 7/4, 7/12, 7/13, 7/14, & 7/17. (Currently 2 spots available)

    August 7 - August 31, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (4-week training) No class/Holidays on 9/1. (Currently, 7 spots available)

    Fall Term Schedule 2023:

    September 5- September 29, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (4-week training) No class/Holidays on 9/4 (Currently, 5 spots available)



  • Application Process

    Please complete the following steps for entry into the program-

    Return paper application and driving record to- 

    Chemeketa Community College
    Truck Driving Program
    Brandy Lehn
    306 NE Norton Ln
    McMinnville, OR 97128

  • Tuition & Fees

    Tuition and fees for the program are as follows-


    Prior to Training
    FeePaid ByAmount
    DOT Drug Screen Student (Chemeketa orders and schedules)   $50
    DOT Physical Exam Student $90
    DOT Driving Record Student $3
    CDL Learners Permit Student $23
    Knowledge Test Student $10
    Airbrakes Test Student $10
    Combination Vehicle Student $10
     CDL Program

    Student (see "payment information" menu
    for scholarship information below)



    Post Training
    FeePaid By  Amount
    CDL Testing Student $230*
    CDL Driver's License Student $75-$135*

    *Tuition and fees are subject to change.

  • Payment Information

    Payment Methods (non-credit programs are not eligible for financial aid through Chemeketa financial aid office.):

    • Cash, Check, Credit Card
    • Grants/Scholarships
      • Available to qualifying students through several different programs. Please see the "Grants and Scholarships" menu for more information. 
    • Personal Loans
      • Students can obtain their own financing through a financial institution of their choice

    Several trucking companies have sign-on bonuses or tuition reimbursements once a student earns their CDL.

  • Grants and Scholarships

    Financial assistance is available through the following programs.

    Future Ready Grant 

    Qualifying applicants must meet one or more of these criteria:

    • Women
    • Veterans
    • Refugees
    • Individuals with disabilities
    • Low-income (200% or less of the Federal poverty level) or receiving public assistance
    • Justice system involvement
    • English language learners
    • Underserved or underrepresented black, indigenous, or person of color
    • Member of Oregon’s Nine Federally Recognized Indian Tribes
    • Member of the LGBTQIA+ community
    • Resides in a rural community

    To apply for this grant please fill out the Future Ready Application at 

    **Currently all 30 spots have been filled**

    Please send confirmation you have filled out the Future Ready application (in addition to the truck driving program application) to

    Worksource Oregon Vocational Scholarship 

    • Complete and update an iMatchSkills profile:!pkg_startup.proc_new_home
    • Schedule and complete a Welcome conversation with the employment department (this includes ID verification):
    • This can be completed virtually or in person at any Worksource Center
    • In that Welcome conversation, make sure to request a referral to WIOA services for funding for their program 
    • They will then submit a referral to us on the same referral form I reference below
    • Our team will reach out to that person within 1 week, usually by email, schedule an intake appointment to determine if services are appropriate, and will walk the student through the remainder of the process.
    • Additional funding is available through the STEPS program at Worksource

    Chemeketa Job Corp Scholars

    This program is for eligible students between the ages of 18-24 years old. Please visit the Job Corps Scholars for more information.

    Chemeketa STEP Program

    Students can obtain more information on the STEP webpage, or call 503.399.6482.

    To be eligible for STEP, you must:

    • Must currently be receiving SNAP benefits
    • Must not be on TANF
    • Must be interested in pursuing training and/or educational opportunities
    • Make an appointment
    • Career Technical Education (CTE) Programs & Degrees

    If you're pursuing a certificate, AAS degree, prerequisite classes, or license/certification exam, STEP can help with:

    • Success coaching dedicated to providing academic and personal support, connecting you to resources
    • Gap funding to assist with required CTE certificate or degree program expenses-
    • Tuition and fees
    • Textbooks
    • Tools
    • Certification exams
    • Transportation
  • Refresher Courses

    Need to brush up on your truck driving skills? We offer one-on-one training with our instructors to address your areas of need. See pricing below!


    Refresher Courses 
    DescriptionPaid By  Amount
    2 Hours-Truck Testing only   Student $200
    3 Hours  Student $350
    5 Hours Student $550
    7 Hours Student $750
    15 Hours Student $1200


  • HAZMAT Training
    Need a Hazmat endorsement on your CDL? We offer an online course (book included) for a hazardous materials endorsement allowing you to drive any vehicle carrying hazardous materials.

    You must have your CDL Class A Learner's Permit for acceptance to class (required to submit a copy).

    Classes offered year-round. Please email or call 503.584.7537 for enrollment information. 

    Description Paid By Amount
    Hazmat Online Course Student $200

    Additional Requirements per DMV

    You must:

    Note: You are required to pass the HAZMAT Knowledge Test every time you renew your license.

    Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment

    • You must pass a TSA security check every five years to keep this endorsement.
    • The security check can take 60 days or more to complete.
      • You must pass another TSA security check if you are coming from another state and your last TSA check was more than 4 years and 9 months ago.
    • We will verify the date of a previous security check with the TSA.
    • You must start a TSA security check online at the TSA website or by calling Universal Enrollment Services at 855-347-8371.