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Transportation/Commercial Driving Programs

ELDT Class A CDL CTTK-1103

Looking to start a career in one of the fastest growing occupations? Kirkwood’s Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training program is designed for adults who would like to train for a high-demand career in a short-term time frame.  Tuition includes online entry-level driver theory training, entry-level driver behind the wheel training, along with testing with a third party Iowa DOT certified examiner.  All behind the wheel training and testing will occur at Hawkeye Community College’s Regional Transportation Center (6433 Hammond Ave, Waterloo IA).  This class will focus on developing safe driving skills including backing, turning, and driving on rural and suburban roads. You will receive hands-on training using full-size semi-tractor/trailers and virtual driving simulators with 10 speed and automatic options available. 

Ready to learn more? Complete our online form or contact us at 319-398-1022.

Upcoming Offerings:

Begins April 15th, Hawkeye Community College (Class ID 142224)

Click here to view a full list of Class A CDL Professional Driving Certificate offerings.

Tuition Assistance:
Yes. Full tuition assistance is available to support your career goals. Fill out our referral form at
*Some eligibility restrictions may apply.

Industry Credentials Earned:
Class A CDL

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
Average hourly earnings: $30*
Average Salary in Iowa: $47,214 - $66,332**
*Source:, Iowa region
**Source: and, Iowa region, updated 2022

Entrance Requirements/Prerequisites:
Students must be at least 18 years old. Applicants who are 18 – 21 years of age are only allowed to drive within state lines (intrastate).
Required prerequisites:

  • Completion of three Kirkwood eligibility tests, coordinated by Skills to employment staff
  • Class A permit dated at least 14 days prior to the start of training (good for 1yr)
  • A DOT Long Form physical (good for 2 years)
  • A Pre-employment drug test, with valid medical card, must be completed within 10 days of the class start date
  • Register as a student or driver on the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearing House. Click link below to register
  • Completion of the online theory training must occur one week prior to the first day of your in person, behind the wheel training. The theory training is online and self-paced.
  • Copy of your CLP, Driver’s License, DOT physical and results of your drug test will need to provided you your instructor on the first day of class, at Hawkeye Community College.

Additional Expenses: • DOT Physical $80-150 • DOT Drug Test $50-100 • CDL Permit $12

Delivery Method:
Hybrid (online and face to face)

Length of Program and CEU Credits:
200 hours, 24 CEU’s

Program Completion Requirements:
This is a pass/fail course. Students must complete and pass the Entry Level Driver Theory with a grade of 80% or higher and the pre-trip inspection, skills, and over the road test in order to pass the course and obtain their license. 

Course Objectives:

  • Develop driving skills in maneuvering 10 speed manual transmission semi attached to a 53 ft trailer as required by the trucking industry, including shifting, double clutch, and backing techniques.
  • Acquaint students with safety regulations and precautions throughout the training program.
  • Identify Department of Transportation laws and regulations governing truck traffic.
  • Develop the proper attitude of responsible employees who will perform their duties in a manner that will be a credit to the occupation.
  • Provide a general overview of the trucking industry, how it functions, and what to expect as drivers.
  • Acquaint students with driving on public streets and highways through applied “touch driving” experience in traffic.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will obtain their Class A CDL and be able to operate a semi truck or find other possible careers in the transportation industry. Students are assisted in finding full-time employment with transportation companies that hire graduates directly out of the course. 

Other Items to Know About this Course:
Daily training will occur with scheduling available to meet your needs.  Available training times include 8AM-12PM, 1PM – 5PM, or 5PM-9PM.  You will have up to 6 weeks to become proficient in every skill before testing. Once confident with your skills, the following DOT tests will take place: DOT vehicle Inspection, skills, driving.  Graduates can find employment in a variety of areas including, but not limited to, a truck driver, spotter, shag driver, and many more. Tuition includes FMCSA Entry level driver online theory and face-to-face behind the wheel training requirements, along with testing by an Iowa DOT 3rd party certified examiner at our site. Students are responsible for the fee at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for the CDL permit as well as the fees for the Department of Transportation long-form physical and pre-employment drug test. Upon passing the class, students are responsible for the fee to obtain their commercial license at the DMV. Fees may vary depending on location, renewal of current license, and health insurance coverage. 

Pathway to Credit Program:

Related Information: 
If you are planning to pay out of pocket or are sponsored by a company, you must register directly with Hawkeye Community College by calling 319-296-4286. Kirkwood can only process Class A CDL registrations that are through funded tuition assistance programs.