What is a CDL A?
Class A CDL Licensed Truck Drivers transport essential goods across the country every day and night. Most truck drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight capacity of more than 26,000 pounds. These 18 Wheel Tractor-Trailers and the professional Truck Drivers who drive them deliver goods across state lines in route to their destination.
What can I do with a CDL?
- Long Haul truck driving
- Fire & Rescue
- Limo buses & Charter Buses
- Construction Machinery Operation
What Can I Expect?
In order to get started in the trucking industry, you must complete your entry-level training and obtain your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). While you are in training, we will introduce you to motor carriers that you can consider as your employer. There are many different types of employment situations available, and you should ask questions and make sure that the position that you accept is a “good fit” with your own goals and circumstances.
Generally, you can expect that over-the-road jobs in the trucking industry will average you $40,000- $45,000 during your first year. In addition, with most companies you will become eligible for insurance benefits and possibly retirement plans. In today’s world, these benefits have become very important parts of yours, and your family’s security. In addition to insurance benefits, many motor carriers offer tuition reimbursement assistance to help students from driver training schools repay any loans that they have used to pay for training. After the first 6 – 12 months with your new employer, additional career options will become available to you. Where you go from there is only determined by your own work habits and attitude.
If you are a good driver, with an established safety record, you are in an industry that will nearly always have a strong demand for your services. It is unlikely that you will ever have to relocate in order to find employment. On the other hand, job demand is such that you are likely to find job opportunities in any part of the country should you choose to move.
An important thing to remember is that chances are you will not be an “hourly” employee. Your pay is usually productivity based, and therefore limited only by how hard you are willing to work. Trucking is one of the few occupations where hard work pays off right away, and gets even better if you stick with it. If you have the self-discipline and are driven to succeed, you will have a great chance to succeed in your new profession.
Earning Potential for a CDL A Driver
The industry average starting wage for truck drivers is $40,000 – $45,000 yearly. As these are only the beginning industry average wages, the opportunity to make a lot more is definitely there. Additionally, many trucking companies give annual and semi-annual raises along with safety bonuses, loyalty bonuses, higher pay for trainers, and great benefit packages. What is your current salary?
Truck Driver shortage
With the booming economy of the US, carriers are running across country nonstop to meet the increasing demands of store and households. However, the second largest industry in the nation has been suffering from a truck driver shortage for decades now.
The good news for you: Truck driving jobs are in high demand. A CDL A will provide you a gateway to a high demand job with job security. The movement of freight across the country cannot be outsourced, and with the e-commerce movement, it continues to grow.
Figures from The American Trucking Association (ATA) reveal that in 2016, the truck driver’s shortage was about 73,500. Looking at those figures, it is enough to say if care is not taken, a decade from now that number could rise up to about 174,500. This will cause severe disruptions in the supply chain resulting in significant shipping delays and shortages at stores.
Some contributing factors to the shortage are government regulation, lifestyle and generational expectations and demands.
Truck drivers have a median age of 49, the highest median age if compared with all US workers with an average of 42. Some sectors in the trucking industry even go as high as 52 years.
According to statistics taken by Driver Solutions, truck driving is the most popular job in about 29 states in the US yet, little attention is given to this sector. These drivers run miles and haul more freight due to lack of drivers and they are going on retirement without being replaced.
To combat the loss of drivers, carriers are improving ways to encourage drivers and potential drivers to driver with their company. Drivers today can enjoy not only job security, but competitive wages, various bonus offers and full benefits.