About the Commercial Driver Academy

Minnesota State is proud to incorporate our history of high-quality instruction into a new approach for supporting the Commercial Driver Academy. The Commercial Driver Academy program provides high-quality, timely, and standardized CDL training to meet the needs of a professional driver. 

The Commercial Driver Academy program is a customized series of courses that meet Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) requirements.

The Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy Consortium consists of representatives from each of the four Consortium members, including:

  • Dakota County Technical College
  • Inver Hill Community College

Need for CDL Drivers

In Minnesota, there are 34,540 workers1 employed in this very large career, which is currently in very high demand2 and seeing high growth3 compared to other careers. The growth rate is 6.6 percent4. There will be a need for about 47,962 new Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers to meet market demand between 2018–20285. This includes demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Watch this video from the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence about careers in Commercial Truck Driving.


The Commercial Driver Academy Consortium collaborates on a system-wide basis to respond to CDL training needs and opportunities; however, each campus will retain its local decision-making authority and institutional reporting lines.


The responsibilities of the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy Consortium are to:
  • provide a timely response to training needs and opportunities across the state of Minnesota
  • provide quality trained drivers   
  • The safe and efficient movement of goods transported by trained truck drivers is essential to a prosperous Minnesota economy.  


The Consortium has the following standing committees:

  • Executive Committee
  • Curriculum Committee
  • Marketing Committee


Federal Commercial Driver's License Requirements

Sources: All data is for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Drivers, Standard Occupation Code (SOC) 53-3032, and for Minnesota (statewide).

1) Employment - Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) First Quarter 2021.

2) Demand - Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Occupations in Demand (OID) December 2020.

3-5) Employment and growth projections - Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Employment Outlook 2018 - 2028.