Semi-Truck Driving

Power Mechanics and Transportation

The semi-truck driving training program is a competency-based Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) program and is designed to prepare you for a career that offers freedom, stability and competitive pay. You will develop skills in backing, turning and safe driving, on both rural and suburban roads. Training techniques including CDL simulator, Bumper-to-Bumper online coursework, classroom lecture and hands-on Behind-The-Wheel meet the Federal Motor Carrier Entry-Level Driver Training requirements from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and will prepare you for Class A CDL testing with Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) examiners. All commercial drivers, by federal law, must be able to "read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, understand highway traffic signs and signals, respond to official inquiries, and make entries on reports and records."

The course can be completed in four weeks, but students proficient in pre-trip inspection, range and road skills may complete CDL testing prior to the end date. Endorsement certifications for Hazardous Materials, Bus Driving and Tanker are available and will require additional training and testing.

The College is an approved Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration training provider for Entry-Level Driver Training.

Award: Career Pathway Certificate
Credits: Noncredit
Locations: Oelwein, Peosta, Waukon

Paying for the Program


There are many options available for tuition savings. Contact the Admissions or Financial Aid office for more information.

You may qualify to earn a Career Pathway Certificate at no cost if you meet all eligibility requirements. The dollar amount of $4,995 went into effect 11/1/2023 and will remain in effect until 7/1/2030.

  1. Apply for tuition assistance if needed. You will need to contact Business and Community Solutions to complete the following:
    • Tuition Assistance Program Application
    • CASAS Assessment
    • Interview with NICC staff
  2. Obtain a Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) which includes three tests taken at the Department of Transportation (DOT):
    • General Knowledge
    • Air Brake
    • Combination Vehicle
  3. Register with the FMSCA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
  4. Pass and pay for your Department of Transportation (DOT) physical, receive a DOT Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
  5. Schedule and complete a pre-employment drug/alcohol screening within 30 days of class start date.
  6. Register and pay tuition (if no funding assistance).
  7. Submit CLP, DOT Drug Screening, DOT Medical Examiner’s Certificate, and Clearinghouse query results to Program Developer.
Enrollment Information Request Information

This program consists of 16 classroom hours and 128 lab hours (30 behind the wheel). Total hours: 144.

In partnership with Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and Opportunity Dubuque, the College will provide child care assistance at no cost to those who qualify while students are in class for this program. Also, full-time employed graduates from this program may qualify for additional child care support for up to 12 months at a licensed or registered child care provider. Child care services are available in the Dubuque and Peosta areas only.

Martin Hemann

Martin Hemann
Program Developer, Transportation

  • Email:
  • Phone: 844.642.2338, ext. 1236
  • Location: Calmar