The truth is, there are a lot of kinds of CDL jobs. They all have different pay and hours. So how do you know which CDL driver jobs would be best for you?
Find.Jobs has the guide for you. We'll talk about the value of a CDL, and what work you can get. So read on to learn about the driving jobs available to you!
While not all CDL jobs require a CDL, having a CDL can make a big difference in pay. CDL trucking jobs, for instance, make around $66,000 per year. Compare that to the trucker median annual pay ($62,000) and how much student drivers make ($41,000). It's pretty clear that having a CDL makes a world of difference. And that's not even considering the difference in driving jobs available!
That difference comes at a cost, of course. Taking a Commercial Driver's License course takes, on average, 7 weeks. They also cost somewhere between $3,000 and $7,000 dollars. A lot of factors will change the cost: What kind of school, which type of CDL, etc. Many companies will sponsor your CDL certification, as long as you sign up to work for them. These arrangements usually only last a year. So if you don't like a company, you aren't stuck with them forever.
CDL jobs, or jobs you need a Commercial Driver's License to do, are always in demand. Big companies like Amazon will always need things transported. When most people think of CDL jobs, they think of these jobs-- trucking.
Then, of course, is the fact that there are different CDLs. A Class A CDL covers things like trucks with trailors, and flatbeds. A Class B CDL covers most busses and trucks. And a Class C CDL is mostly for smaller but precious loads-- HAZMAT or many passengers. And all of these usually require federal endorsements for the specific kind of driving. Knowing what kind of work you're looking for before the CDL process will help. That said, getting an endorsement after obtaining a CDL is relatively easy.
This is the work most commonly associated with CDL jobs. As we said above, CDL trucking jobs pay around $66,000 per year. Starting salaries are usually slightly lower-- around $35,000 per year by some estimates. There are also usually bonuses given out for safe and efficient driving. There's also some variety in the work, between specialized driving, training, truck driving recruiters, and other positions.
There's also the matter of job security. The average trucker is older than the average American worker. This means more people are reaching the end of their careers than are starting them. Companies are eager to retain younger employees. This can definitely mean perks for new and continuing hires.
Of course, there are downsides. The average trucker's day is 700 miles of driving. Depending on the roads, that can take anywhere from 8-12 hours per day. You also may be expected to be away from home for long stretches of time. CDL trucking jobs are relatively easy to get, and the pay is there. But you may be signing up for very long days and a lot of time away from home.
Bus driving is one of the CDL jobs with the most in common with trucking. You will drive your routes, often for many hours a day. In a lot of ways, being a bus driver is preferable to being a trucker. You start and end your day in the same city, meaning you won't be away from home. You also generally work in shifts, meaning you're not sitting and driving for as long of stretches. This also provides some flexibility to the bus driver.
On the other hand, the driving bus drivers do is very different from trucking. You're not on the highway, you're on city streets. You're also dealing with people directly. Don't expect to be able to listen to podcasts and cruise with this work. If you're a more social person and want to stay near your home, though, this is a solid option.
These CDL jobs are very different from the transport jobs. You generally work on one site. You're also not exactly driving, you're "operating." Whether you want to learn how to use a crane, or a steamroller, or a pump truck (if engineering equipment is more your style), you have a lot of options. And just like with transport, these jobs are always needed.
This work is great for people who want to work with others, not sit alone or ferry passengers. It also pays well and can be a lot of fun. On the other hand, construction equipment requires different carefulness than driving does. Operating this equipment can be daunting, if not dangerous. If that doesn't deter you, this is a great choice.
Not all CDL jobs related to construction are dealing with he heavy machinery. All of the roadwork trucks, such as dump trucks and cement mixers, require a CDL. In addition, more regular vehicles like garbage trucks require a CDL. Every city needs work done, and these CDL jobs are for those vehicles which do that work.
The work is somewhere between bus driving and construction equipment operating. Using and pouring a cement mixer will be careful work, but it's not the same as working with a crane. Just as much of the job is getting the big vehicles across cities. These jobs can be as varied as construction equipment operators' jobs. Explore your options!
Some CDL jobs are less about using the vehicles and equipment. Instead, you work on them. These jobs are focused on the repair and maintenance of CDL-related vehicles. However, it's worth noting that these are technical jobs that require special training. And that training is separate from a CDL.
However, having a CDL can definitely help you work with these vehicles. In some cases, it's necessary to be able to drive the equipment you're working on. In others, it's mostly a perk. (Not everyone wants you working on equipment you don't understand or can't use!) Either way, though, it's something to consider. Having a CDL can be a foot in the door to other parts of the industry.
You might not think CDL jobs would apply to management. You'd be right. However, there are some kinds of management which benefit from a CDL. For instance, someone has to oversee all of the transportation that a transportation company does!
The management jobs that benefit most from a CDL are those which directly oversee equipment. Knowing the ins and outs of your employee's days and vehicles is important to planning. The limits of both personnel and equipment will affect what can be expected to be done. And as with any management, knowing where employees are coming from helps in a big way.
Getting a CDL is only part of the equation. While the best driving jobs available come with a CDL, your journey doesn't end there. You then have to decide what kind of driving, operating, fixing, or managing you want to do. CDL trucking jobs are the most well-known, but you have plenty of options.
Some of these jobs will take more work and training to get into. Some of them will take more hours and travel than others. And some will be a fantastic fit your your lifestyle and skills. That's what's great about having so many option. And if you try a job and don't like it, you're qualified for similar work!
With Find.Jobs and more focused sub-sites like CDL.Jobs, you're well on your way to exploring your options. Our network of sites will make sure you're finding the jobs that suit you best. And be sure to check out our other resources. If you're willing to drive through the night, check out the best night jobs for night owls. Or if you're still unsure what a CDL can do for you, read how certifications can improve your resume.