April 26, 2012
By David Lewis | Ranger Reporter
The Amarillo College Truck Driving Academy gives students a way to learn a trade that provides a career with a steady income in a short period of time.
The academy provides training to help interested students earn their Class A Certified Drivers License in a course that takes place during a five-week period. The course includes 10 written exams followed by a driving exam in order to fulfill requirements to receive a Class A license that qualifies holders to drive semis and other forms of trailers.
“It’s a trade you can learn in five weeks that will can get you a job starting anywhere from $40,000 to about $45,000 per year,” said Robert Mathews, academy program director.
Courses begin every three weeks, with 15 courses offered each year. Up to 16 students are enrolled in each class. Classes take place 8 a.m. To 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
About 200 students graduate from the program annually. Jerry Terry, a faculty instructor for the academy, said the completion rate in the truck driving program is about 99.9 percent.
“Here, we don’t accept failure,” Mathews said. “Our job is to help the students find the way to graduate and receive their certifications.”
Janey Allmon, an administrative assistant, said now is a great time to join the program.
“Right now, the demand is huge for truck drivers,” Allmon said. “By completion of the academy, it is not only helping students, but the work force as well.”
Mathews said the academy is a means for those looking for a fresh start in a trade that offers many benefits.
“The academy gives you everything you need in a very short period of time,” Terry said. “After completing the course and receiving your license, you can sign on to drive with any company.”
Terry said this is the field for anyone looking to make good money in a short period of time.
“I’ve seen some people come in here having never made more than minimum wage and then after completion of the course and getting their first job, they are making around $70,000 a year,” Terry said. “It not only changes their lives, but the lives of their families, as it can open up new doors for them financially.”
Classes are full for the next six weeks, but anyone interested can learn more at the academy website, http://www.actx.edu/truck.