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South Bend Campus

South Bend Main Campus Elkhart

Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL-A)


Get in the Driver's Seat of Your Career

What You’ll Learn

This class prepares students for the written and practical portions of the State of Indiana's Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) exam. You will learn how to safely drive, operate, and back up a truck and trailer, complete a vehicle inspection, and gain a fundamental working knowledge of the trucking industry, including rules and regulations. The class prepares students for an entry-level position as a tractor-trailer driver with a trucking company.

Career Options

If you're looking for an in-demand and financially rewarding career, consider CDL training. The trucking industry needs more than 400,000 new drivers every year. The average salary for a truck driver in Indiana is $46,102, and the average experienced driver can earn an annual salary upwards of $77,0001.

Other CDL training programs work with only a few carriers or require you to train for their company. Don't limit your choices. Ivy Tech and its licensed teaching partners have established a premier network of hiring companies, including national carriers, regional trucking companies, and local trucking jobs, so you will have a large selection of potential employers.

Class Details

  • Classes are provided at six locations across the state with different licensed partners. Depending on the campus offering your class, training can include a mix of online modules, operating observation/lab classroom time, and behind-the-wheel in-person driving sessions, as well as a test at the end of training with one retest if needed.
    • Training aligns with the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) "gold standard" curriculum. The Class A program includes 160 hours of training, completed in 3 to 4 weeks.
    • All Ivy Tech CDL training program locations and all instructors are licensed by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
    • Classes are open to anyone 18 or older with a valid driver's license for at least one year. See additional driver qualification requirements below.
    • You do not need to apply to Ivy Tech to take this class.
    • Eight hours from this class may be applied toward earning the 18-credit-hour CDL Plus Certificate.

Paying for Class

Funding is available to individuals who qualify through WorkOne or Next Level Jobs. Contact Ivy Tech for help connecting with funding sources and signing up for classes.

This workforce certification is available for free to qualifying students through the Next Level Jobs program. You are eligible to earn this free certification from Ivy Tech if you fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • You are an Indiana resident, and
  • You have a high school diploma or GED/High School Equivalency, and
  • You have not previously received an associate degree or higher (bachelor's, master's, etc.)

Learn more about Next Level Jobs at Ivy Tech

Ivy Tech skills training classes do not earn you college credit on their own, but they may crosswalk into Ivy Tech's academic degree programs should you decide to pursue that route in the future. Speak with your advisor to learn more about getting credit for prior learning.

There are multiple types of CDL licenses, including Class A, Class B, and Class C. Each type of CDL license allows drivers to operate vehicles of varying gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR). Within each class, depending on the type of vehicle a driver is operating, they may also be required to get certain endorsements. Ivy Tech's CDL training focuses primarily on the Class A license. 

Class A CDL License
The Class A license is the most advanced CDL you can obtain. It permits you to drive vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs. or more or to tow a vehicle that is more than 10,000 lbs. The standard 18-wheeler requires a Class A Commercial Drivers License. In general, the Class A license allows you to drive everything up to a full-size semi-truck, including everything Class A and Class B license holders can drive.

Class B CDL License
The Class B license allows you to drive vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, or to tow a vehicle up to 10,000 lbs. The Class B CDL allows you to drive all kinds of buses, box trucks, delivery trucks, dump trucks, passenger vans, and more. A Class B license is restricted to the state in which it was issued, meaning you can’t drive between states to work long-haul jobs. It can be a good fit for professionals who are seeking regional driving careers.

Class C CDL License
The Class C CDL permits you to drive vehicles with GVWRs of less than 26,001 pounds and vehicles carrying more than 16 passengers or transporting hazardous materials. In general, the Class C CDL allows you to operate any commercial vehicle that does not fall under Class A and Class B, such as drive tank trucks, small trucks towing a trailer, passenger vans, and HAZMAT vehicles.

To register for a class, the following items are required:

  • Must be 18 years old
  • Valid Indiana driver's license for at least one year
  • An acceptable driving record
  • Pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical and drug screen, obtain a DOT Medical Certification "medical card," and submit all five pages
  • English proficiency demonstrated through the TOEFL exam if applicable
  • Acceptable criminal background check
  • Obtain a Class A CDL permit from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) (general knowledge, airbrake, combination) and provide a front and back copy of the permit. Depending on the class you take, you may train and sit for the permit during your first week of class.

Note: a minimum of 21 years of age or older is required to drive across state lines. Applicants under 21 must drive in their state of domicile (residence) only.

Upcoming Classes

Class Dates
  • May 6, 2024 – May 10, 2024 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mon. - Fri.
South Bend

Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL-A)
Cost: $5,245

160 Driving Academy LogoHow to Register

Email Dwayne Ridgway to register.

Ivy Tech - South Bend
220 Dean Johnson Blvd
South Bend, IN 46601

In Person, Instructor-Led
Contact: Genie Feldleyfer,

Costs may vary by location given differences in the cost of supplies and class provider.