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Truck Driving

Career Studies Certificate

TCC student driver truck

Get on the road to a new career in just 16 weeks

State-of-the-art simulators allow you to practice in varied road and weather conditions

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Why sit behind a desk when you can sit behind the wheel? A trucking career allows you opportunity for financial reward and professional growth thanks to a job where you’re always on the move.

Tidewater Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program offers classes that cover Department of Transportation rules and regulations, defensive driving, maintenance, hazardous material and highway and city driving.

Jump start your career by enrolling in TCC trucking today!

Certify your skills

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies students to obtain their Class A CDL (commercial driver's license) to operate a commercial vehicle from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

View program curriculum
IMPORTANT Additional admission requirements

Your admission to TCC does not guarantee admission to the truck driving program.

If you have questions, contact:

Peggy Manuelito, Administrative Assistant
Truck Driver Training Program
120 Campus Drive
Portsmouth, VA 23701
Fax: 757-822-2926

Summer 2019
8 Week Program. Notice: Financial Aid cannot be used for the summer course.
Classes run May 20 - July 12, 2019, classes will meet Monday through Friday.
Day Class: 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Night Class: 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. 

Fall 2019
This will be a 16-week program, registration is open.
Classes run August 19 - December 13 (no classes on September 2, November 20, 21 and 22)

Weeks 1 and 2:
Mon - Thu: 7 a.m.  – 2 p.m. (day)
Mon - Thu: 4 p.m.  – 11 p.m.  (evening)

Weeks 3 – 16:

Monday and Tuesday:  7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday:  7a.m. – 2 p.m.
Monday and Tuesday:  4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday:  4 p.m. – 11 p.m.

The Tidewater Community College Truck Driver Training Program gives students the opportunity to obtain the skills necessary for a successful, well-paid career in the trucking industry. Upon entering our program, students should have knowledge of standard shift vehicle and clutch operation. 

Our program is an intense sixteen weeks of combined classroom instruction (30%) and practical training (70%). We offer both day and evening classes which meet Monday through Friday at our Suffolk site on College Drive.

TCC does not guarantee nor assist students with employment upon completion of the program. However, at graduation, there are company recruiters that provide students with valuable information. 

The Basics 

Students should be able to read and understand the Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual. Although there are no special educational requirements for admission to the program, you must have an understanding of basic mathematics, reading and writing. 

The course includes DOT rules and regulations, defensive driving, maintenance, hazardous material, backing the tractor/trailer (9 exercises), and over-the-road and city driving. The 280 hours of instruction are broken down to 120 hours of classroom and personal instruction, and 160 hours of practical application. 

During the first week of class, students will review the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commercial Driver’s License manual. At the end of the week, DMV comes to the school to test students for their CDL learner’s permit. 

PLEASE NOTE:  If you cannot obtain your CDL learner’s permit by the beginning of the second week of class, you will NOT be able to continue the program.  

Throughout the next fifteen weeks, each student receives three evaluations: a 9-day evaluation, a mid-term evaluation, and a final evaluation. In order to receive a career studies certificate, you must pass all five courses.

After you have applied for admission to TCC, taken the placement tests if required and applied for financial aid:

Bring your Student ID number and a form of payment to the Truck Driver Training Program Office:
Portsmouth Campus
120 Campus Drive
Building C, room C-117

If you are using financial aid, make sure it's awarded and posted in your myTCC Student Center. 

After you are registered in the program, you will receive information about required documents. Do not obtain any of these documents until you are registered. All required paperwork (including drug test results) must be turned in 2 weeks prior to the start of class. It is your responsibility to pay any costs associated with these documents and to contact the trucking office at 757-822-2428 to report any problems. 

You will need to provide:

DMV report showing at least 7 years of driving history
The college reserves the right to reject any applicant whose driving record is judged unacceptable or who has a criminal record. If your driving record shows -5 or fewer demerit points, you will not be admitted to the program.             

Copy of your Virginia driver’s license
No restrictions, suspensions or revocations. Out-of-state licenses will not be accepted.  If there are any discrepancies regarding your driver’s license, the student will be immediately dropped from the program. 

Department of Transportation (DOT) substance abuse screening (drug test), required under Federal  Regulation 382.103
The drug test should be taken within 30 days before classes begin. A one-time negative results is required. If the result comes in "dilute negative/dilute specimen” or “positive,” you will be dropped from the program. However, you may return at the next class session with a negative result. 

Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examination Report and Medical Examiner’s Certificate
Most physicals are good for two years. However, any health conditions stated on your physical form could affect the expiration date. Some medical conditions such as a history of heart trouble, diabetes, mental illness or serious back injuries may affect your ability to complete the program. 

You may use a facility of your choice for your tests, but it must be in accordance with Department of Transportation procedures. You must be examined by a medical professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

If any circumstances cause this paperwork to be delayed, the student will not be allowed to start class. If a problem is discovered after the class has begun, the student will be withdrawn immediately. If the withdrawal occurs after the second day of class, only a partial refund of tuition will be made.

What does this program cost?

TCC's Career Studies Certificate in Truck Driving consists of 1 semester of part-time study, with classes held mainly at the North Suffolk location off College Drive.

Estimated Program Cost
based on Fall 2018 tuition for 16 semester credits. Your actual cost may differ.
$ 2,936.25 (Virginia residents)
$ 6,097.85 (Out-of-state residents)
$ 3,272.25 (Military Contract Rate)

The Tractor Trailer Driver Handbook/Workbook, Driver's Daily Log, Hazardous Materials, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are approximately $65. Students are required to purchase a yellow DOT safety vest, available at the Barnes & Noble at TCC bookstore in MacArthur Center, Norfolk.

Where can you go?

You can find immediate employment as a local, over-the-road or short-haul trucker.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you: 

  • have knowledge of standard vehicle and clutch operation
  • have a Virginia driver’s license
  • have no major infractions on your driving record
  • enjoy travel
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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

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Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

Earn your learner’s CDL the second week of classes

200,000 job openings for long-haul truckers, according to Truckload Carriers Association

Grants are available for veterans and spouses for Class A CDL training! Info: Al Jackson, 757-822-7761


And the Grammy goes to . . . TCC graduate Elwin Hines Sr.


Recent gifts benefit TCC's truck driving program


TCC’s trucking program costs less and is high quality