If you’re the kind of person who enjoys traveling the roads for a living, then you might be able to seriously enhance your salary by becoming a Class A CDL truck driver. As you may already know, truck driver salaries can vary drastically from one situation to the next. When you’re a CDL truck driver, you’ll be able to take on jobs that are generally much more demanding than the standard road-based career, and this means that you should be able to earn more money too.
A CDL rating is simply the classification of the different types of driving conditions people should be allowed to drive in according to their specific skillsets. For instance, a CDL A classification allows you to drive any vehicle with a weight that’s over 26,001 pounds or more. You’ll also be able to tow items that weigh more than 10,000 pounds.
If you’re planning on becoming a CDL truck driver simply because you think you’ll be able to earn more money, it’s worth noting that like any other job on the market, a truck driver that has more expertise should be able to earn more money on the job than someone who has no prior experience. Additionally, when questions and qualifications are set for CDL truck driver experience, it’s important to remember that you’ll probably be asked how many over the road miles you’ve gathered in your lifetime.
The Standard CDL Truck Driver License:
The standard CDL truck driver license simply states that you should be allowed to drive a commercial truck as a professional driver. Operating commercial motor vehicles is a process that requires specialist knowledge and skills. Before the implementation of the CDL program, anyone who had a license to drive a car would be legally allowed to drive a truck or tractor-trailer in some states. In situations where there was a licensing system, there was no test for students on what kind of vehicle they could drive, which meant that many drivers were operating vehicles they shouldn’t have been qualified to drive.
While the type of CDL you will need will be dependent on the kind of work you’re looking for, the first and most common type of CDL license is the Class A license. This is the license that’s covered by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act which was signed into law on the 27th of October 1986. The goal of this particular law was to enhance safety of people on the highway by ensuring that operators of large vehicles like buses and trucks are qualified to operate such vehicles with caution, while removing unsafe drivers from the highways.
The FHA developed and issued a range of standards for licensing and testing commercial motor vehicle drivers. Among a variety of other things, the standards suggest that those driving trucks should be required to pass a specific range of carefully designed knowledge and skills tests on the road.
What Are the CDL Truck Driver Endorsements Available?
One of the biggest things that will affect your salary when you’re deciding whether to become a CDL truck driver or not, is what kind of CDL endorsements you have on your driver’s license. There are currently four different types of endorsements available. The first one is “H”, which allows you to travel with hazmat or hazardous materials. The second endorsement is “N” which means that you can drive trucks with tankers or tank vehicles. The third option is “T”, which means that you can drive trucks with triple or double trailers. Finally, the fourth endorsement is “K” which means that you can overcome air brake restrictions.
If you want to get a good idea of what types of salary increases you might be able to expect if you have the different CDL truck driver endorsements on your license, then you’ll need to check the salary listings available for the area and year you’re searching for. Generally, there can be approximately $6,000 in difference between people with different endorsements, so it’s definitely worth doing your research if you want to make sure that you’re getting the best possible wage.
Demand for filling jobs related to the tanker and hazard endorsement is typically higher than the options available for class A, because most people generally don’t have this high level of endorsement. That means that there should be more jobs to choose from. Additionally, you should find that tanker salaries can be anywhere up to around 11% higher than the standard jobs.
If you want to get a relatively accurate look at the kind of salary you’ll be able to earn with a tanker or hazardous license, you should probably begin by looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. The only downside in using the BLS database when you’re considering a job in the trucking industry, is that the BLS really only looks into general insights into jobs performed with a truck, which means that you can’t see the complete salary rates for the different CDL truck driver endorsements or classifications.
With that in mind however, you can still get a pretty good overview of a truck driver salary that’s usually somewhere around $40,000 a year in good circumstances. In the 2010 census, the BLS report stated that there were more than one and a half million jobs available for professional truck drivers, which means that there should be plenty of opportunities out there. Additionally, current numbers predict that the growth rate by 2020 should be around 21%.
Demand and Availability for Class A CDL Truck Driver Jobs:
If the BLS growth rate for the amount of jobs in the trucking industry isn’t enough to convince you that this industry could be worth your time from a professional perspective, then it’s worth looking at other evidence that suggests there could be high demand in the trucking industry. For instance, there are a range of websites and companies out there that keep tabs on the trucking job market, and look into how difficult it might be to hire truckers with the right endorsements.
Today, becoming an CDL truck driver with the right endorsements could be the easiest way to make a good income from your love of driving.