Ron Vance is all that stands between a student and a job that pays up to $65,000 a year.

Vance, 50, is the owner and driving instructor of, which teaches people how to drive trucks. It’s a job he’s been doing since 1986.

His favorite part: “It’s rewarding when they finally pass their license and they’re ready to move on and make a good living,” he said after teaching a recent class at his school on Main Street in Saco.

Vance currently has 10 students, none of whom should have a hard time getting a job after they pass their tests. He noted that Maine Department of Transportation recently posted 90 job openings for snowplow drivers.

Typically a commercial truck driver can earn between $35,000 and $65,000 a year, while instructors typically make between $15,000 and $25,000, he said, depending on the economy.

Tuition at his school runs from $2,195 for a Class B (buses, dump and box trucks) license to $3,995 for a Class A (tractor-trailers, tankers).

His ears bear the brunt of the hardest part of his job – teaching people to drive a stick shift.

“Trying to get them to drive the truck without grinding the gears,” is what’s toughest, he said.