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Jul 18
Training for professional truck driving begins in August

professional truck driving.jpg

Mid-Plains Community College will bring back its training for professional truck driving next month. The eight-week program is scheduled for Aug. 21-Oct. 13. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 1.8 million tractor-trailer driving jobs across the country in 2014 - the most recent year for which statistics are available. Another 98,800 jobs are expected to be added by 2024 as the economy grows and the demand for goods increases. 

Meanwhile, the median wage for professional truck drivers in May of 2016 was $41,340 per year, or $19.87 per hour, indicating a high return on investment. 

The professional truck driving program offered through MPCC prepares students for a career in intrastate and interstate commerce. It is designed for those without trucking experience who want to complete commercial driver's license (CDL) training in as little time as possible. 

The online coursework provides flexibility to people who have full-time jobs, but who want to explore a new career. 

The driving aspect includes practice on city streets and rural roads as well as on two-lane highways and interstate systems. Students will put in approximately 60 hours of drive time and test their skills at Central States Safety and Driver Training in Kearney before progressing to the highway. 

The curriculum used meets criteria established by the Professional Truck Driver Institute. The instructor, Dennis Holtz, has more than 45 years and over 2 million miles of trucking experience. 

To be eligible for the course, students must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a safe driving record
  • Have a valid motor vehicle operator's license
  • Be physically qualified according to Department of Transportation regulations
  • Go through a drug screening
  • Obtain a CDL learners permit by taking a 50-question general knowledge test at a Department of Motor Vehicles office 

Acceptance into the program is contingent upon the quality of the driving record and the results of the drug screening and physical. 

Successful completion of coursework, driving and testing will result in a nationally-recognized CDL. The cost of the program is $2,995. 

Those interested in registering can do so online at, or by calling Crystal Welch, Business and Community Education coordinator, at 535-3614 or emailing her at

Financial assistance is available for qualified applicants. Kelsey Miller, regional manager for the Nebraska Department of Labor, can provide information about those resources at 535-8340, or at

Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​​​