How to start a truck drivers career?

What are the job requirements for a truck driver?

To become a professional truck driver, you need:

  • 18 years old to drive in one state or 21 years old to drive through different states. Most HMD Trucking jobs involve crossing state borders, so they hire drivers over the age of 21. You can learn more about their vacancies and terms on the website: 
  • Get a valid commercial driver’s license. This can be done in the military or through training at a CDL school. 
  • Complete an off-road training program
  • Pass a DOT physical examination and get a medical card. 
  • Pass a federally required drug test.

Get a CDL license

You will need to look for a school in your area that offers CDL driving instruction. Instructors will teach you the important points and help you get a commercial driver’s license. The expenses to get a CDL license and go through a training program will range from $3,000 to $10,000. 

The time you spend to get your CDL will depend on the school you choose and the type of commercial driver’s license you want to obtain. Most programs take 3-7 weeks, but you have to know that Class A programs are more fundamental and usually take a little longer.

What CDL license options are available and which one to choose?

Before you take truck driver training and meet CDL requirements, you need to decide in advance what class of license you need.

  • Class A: This is ideal for heavy vehicles. Class A allows you to drive all main types of commercial trucks, including flatbeds and tractor-trailers. This type of license is most important and many employers prefer certified Class A drivers for their flexibility.
  • Class B: Class B drivers are the people who provide traffic in the city. They drive public vehicles and school buses. Trucks that deliver goods around town to various businesses or pick up trash are driven by Class B drivers.
  • Class C: This class qualifies you to drive compact vehicles. It can carry passengers and small loads.

Class A CDL is the most suitable choice for those who want to start a career in driving commercial vehicles. With it, you will be able to drive not only large trucks, but also Class B and C vehicles.

What to expect after getting CDL license

After completing your training or CDL program and getting your license, here’s what awaits you:

Competitive Salary

Most novice drivers can get a salary of up to $60,000 annually in their first work year – an average of about $1,200 a week. That is much higher than the average U.S. wage. Also you have to know that salaries vary by region and some other factors, like level of experience. With a competitive salary, employers usually provide drivers with health insurance as well as other benefits.

High Demand for Drivers

In a modern world economic growth depends on transporting materials and we constantly need more drivers to deliver hauls. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast 6% job growth for heavy-duty and tractor-trailer driver positions between 2016 and 2026.

Flexible Work Schedules

Truck drivers have a wide variety of schedules that can also be adjusted to fit their lives. You may choose an alternative schedule or work traditional hours. If it’s fine for you to be on the road for a long time, OTR routes are a good opportunity that will help you to earn more, as these routes are often difficult.

Travel the country

Some drivers like to see the country while driving on open roads. Sometimes trucking routes even include international trips to Canada or Mexico, giving you the opportunity to explore other countries well!

What is the average wage for a truck driver?

Salaries for truck drivers in the United States vary widely, from just over $32,000 for a beginner driver to more than $130,000 for an owner-operator.

In most companies, salaries depend on experience and the type of cargo being moved. Drivers who drive in teams also earn more.

How much do drivers who own their own truck make?

The annual income of drivers who own their own trucks varies depending on different  factors, like the number of miles driven per year and type of the freight hauled.

Typically, owner-operators can get more than $100,000 a year. But they also operate as a  business, which means they are responsible for everything from workers’ compensation insurance to truck repairs and other workers’ compensation insurance and other operating expenses.

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