Getting your CDL license is a first step toward a career that can be very financially rewarding. Research is vital in making any career decision. Before applying for that license, there are a few things you should know.
1. The commercial delivery industry is booming due to the tremendous growth in online purchasing. According to NPR
NPR, shipments in some areas outnumber drivers by 18:1. Companies are eager to fill the shortage caused by growth. That means that commercial truck drivers are in high demand right now.
2. Higher demand for drivers means salaries are good. ZipRecruiter reports that the median salary for an entry-level driver is $56,949. The majority of entry-level salaries range from $42,500 and $71,000. Because the cost of living differs from place to place, your salary will depend in part on where you reside.
3. Some requirements for obtaining this license are determined by the state where you take the test, so check to see what your state requires. Even though many states require no classes, passing the CDL test requires specific knowledge, so preparation is essential.
4. You may be intrigued by the challenge of driving across the country. If you plan to cross state lines, federal regulations require you to be 21 years old.
5. The job can be demanding, and it’s important to prepare for the physical challenges. Because hours can be long, this job requires the ability to focus and endure discomfort. Keep in mind that laws do require drivers to take some time to rest and refresh. Long-haul drivers are on the road up to 11 hours at a time with a 30-minute break.
6. Endorsements give you access to jobs that require special credentials. Getting a hazardous materials endorsement, for example, can increase the amount of work available to you. These endorsements may involve a background check.
7. For many, commercial driving becomes a way of life. Local drivers are usually up and on the road hours before most people wake up. Long-haul truckers spend most of their time on the road. This constant travel provides opportunities to see new sights and meet new people. Commercial drivers often mention the bond they share because of the unique aspects of this career.
Choosing any career involves thought and self-reflection. The hard work is just as big a factor as the rewards. If you’re ready to commit, obtaining your CDL can be the gateway to a rewarding new career.