If you are here it is because you either have completed the necessary steps to get your CDL, in which case congratulations! You may also be thinking about getting your CDL and want to know what your options would be, in which case welcome!
What is CDL?
A CDL is a Commercial Driver’s License. There is this misconception that truck driving is the only thing you can do with a CDL, which is simply untrue. Truck driving is just ONE of the many career options you can take with your CDL, but like with any other certification, there are options.
We have put together a small list of jobs you can get with your CDL. Do keep in mind that what jobs you can get depends on the type of CDL you got A, B, or C; we will make sure to note that in each entry.
Commercial Truck Driver
Commercial truck drivers haul goods all over the country, you will not always have to leave your state either, many drivers move product within state lines.
You will haul anything from food to medical equipment to a variety of locations. You can work for a trucking company or in-house as a delivery driver.
You will need a CDL-A to do this. Commercial truck drivers typically make $xxx
Long-Haul Cargo Driver
These are the drivers most people picture when they think of truck drivers. These drivers carry cargo across long distances. This career choice can be very profitable, but one must keep in mind that they will be away from home for long stretches of time. These types of drivers tend to be in higher demand and make higher wages.
Bus drivers come in a few varieties, they can drive people around a metropolitan area or they can transport people to other cities, or even other states. These drivers can also drive school buses, with the correct CDL type.
Owning or leasing your own truck gives you the freedom to choose your own routes. You can pick and choose what hauls to take based on what is most profitable for you.
Keep in mind that, while you will have more freedom with this career path you will also be in charge of fuel, repairs, and any other unplanned expenses.
Even after taking all of that into consideration owner-operator wages remain on the higher end for drivers.
Hazmat drivers carry materials that can be flammable, explosive, corrosive, etc. Due to the implied danger o their job hazmat drivers receive higher wages than other drivers. In order to become a hazmat driver, you will need special certification.
We now offer a hazmat certification class that you can find here.
These days people want to get the things they buy immediately, because of this delivery drivers tend to be sought after by companies like FedEx, Amazon, and UPS.
In this job, you will transport things like food, clothing, furniture, etc. This career path carries a lower average wage but also means you will get to go home at the end of every day.
Concrete Truck Driver
You will need a CDL-B license to become a concrete truck driver. These jobs tend to be local, meaning you will never be too far from home.
Very few people get to say they are literally building the community around them, concrete truck drivers go to work every day knowing they are making an impact.
Heavy Equipment Operator
Heavy equipment operators are responsible for safely operating heavy-duty equipment in construction zones. As such, they often must obtain CDL licenses for some of the equipment they need to operate.
If construction interests you, you can set yourself apart from everyone else by getting your CDL.
Dispatchers are in charge of answering client calls, coordinating deliveries, and relaying information to truck drivers. Your interpersonal skills also need to be top-notch as you will have to interact with both clients and drivers.
You do not need a CDL for this job, but having on-the-road experience makes you more attractive for the position than other candidates.
While a CDL is often not necessary to be a terminal manager it certainly helps, it shows you understand the ins and outs of truck driving and can assess every situation from a position of knowledge.
After you have been driving trucks for some time you may want to step back, a terminal manager with years of experience behind the wheel is the most ideal individual for the job. You would be in charge of the logistic aspects of truck driving and will need to be able to implement solutions at a moment’s notice.
As you can see, there are many different career paths you can take with your CDL outside of truck driving, there are many other examples we did not go into in this article.
Make to know all your options as you get ready to get your CDL so you can make sure to pick the correct career path for you.