Is a CDL License Perfect for You?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average truck driver in the transportation industry is at least 40 years old. As this group of workers nears the age of retirement, people who have their commercial driver’s license (CDL) are in high demand—especially as demand for production rises due to the current pandemic. This presents a great opportunity in the transportation industry for people searching for a job that offers independence, flexibility, competitive pay, and room for growth.

Because being a commercial driver means working alone, driving large vehicles, and working with heavy machinery, certain types of people are better suited for this career pathway. If you are independent and dependable, this makes for a truck driver who can take care of herself or himself when on the road. If you are a patient and safe driver, it is even more important in a job that requires you to drive a semi-truck. While you may choose to work locally, if you are a long-distance truck driver, you have to be comfortable being alone. Of course, you will get to meet new people in this job, and customer service skills will be important, but long-distance trips mean driving alone for long periods of time. Additionally, many truck driving jobs have no residency requirements, so moving states does not mean moving jobs.

Another thing to note about choosing this career path is that the education requirement is not a 2-4 year-long commitment. Instead, getting your CDL means going through a several weeks-long training program.

If you do not see yourself being a truck driver, you are in luck—going through CDL training opens up the door to other related jobs too. While it is true that truck driving is a good first step in the field for experience, it is not the end of the road. With your CDL, you can be a bus driver, delivery driver, or operate garbage trucks or construction site vehicles (like concrete mixers). If driving is not what you would like to do long term, you can also choose from positions like highway maintenance technician, tractor-trailer technician, and terminal manager. Terminal managers are the people who manage trucking terminals—the job duties include administrative work and overseeing your team of drivers. Similar to other management positions, if you are a leader, can communicate well, and are organized, this could be a good fit. For management positions and jobs like tractor-trailer technician, having your commercial driver’s license tells potential employers that you have the know-how not only to do the job but to do it well.

If you are looking for a career that doesn’t have a years-long education requirement and offers an opportunity for growth, paid travel, independence, good pay, and flexibility—consider pursuing your CDL. To learn more, connect with one of our employment coaches by calling 317-639-6106, then dial 2 or by clicking here.