Mesilla Valley Transportation

CDL A Jobs

04/06/2020

Are you looking for CDL A jobs? A Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is one of the most important types of truck driving licenses to have.

This specific type of CDL license provides individuals with the legal ability to operate any combination of vehicles that have a GCWR (gross combination weight rating) of 26,001 or more pounds. In addition to this, it allows individuals to operate and tow vehicles that are over 10,000 pounds. As one of the most common and important CDL options, individuals who have this license are likely to find a wide range of opportunities available to them.

What Type of Truck Driving Jobs Can You Get with a CDL A?

If you have a CDL A, that means you can drive:

  • Tractor-trailers trucks, including 18-wheelers, big rigs, and semis)
  • Truck and trailer combination vehicles
  • Livestock trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Tanker vehicles
  • Most Class B vehicles (if you obtain endorsements)
  • Most Class C vehicles (if you obtain endorsements)

This means you can work in a variety of industries, including hauling freight, shipping items, aiding in industrial jobs, and helping with agricultural industry needs. You may be able to support the food industry or automotive industry as well.

How Do You Get a CDL Class A License?

To get a Class A CDL, you will need to apply for the license through the state you live in. This permit allows you to begin learning and practicing for this type of work. After this, you will need to have a full test to determine if you qualify for a commercial driver’s license.

In most cases, you will need to be 21 years of age to obtain a CDL. Some states have lowered this threshold to 18. These laws are also changing at a rapid pace as laws for truck drivers change. If you obtain a state only CDL A license, you are then able to operate in the state. That means you are not able to drive across state lines. Most of the time, this restriction is removed once you hit the age of 21.

If you are thinking about applying for a CDL A, you will need to apply for it at your local Department of Motor Vehicle office. While you can obtain your CDL through these state-based organizations, you will need to meet all federal guidelines for obtaining this type of license. On top of this, each state has its own requirements that you need to meet. For that reason, it is important for you to work closely on learning both your state requirements and all federal requirements.

There are two components to the CDL examination process. The first is a written exam that allows you to demonstrate that you know the laws regarding commercial driving. The second portion focuses on your driving skills. You will need to demonstrate these skills when you are behind the wheel with an instructor. Your state designs the specific information and testing process for CDL drivers.

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Are CDL A Jobs Superior?

CDL A jobs, or truck driving jobs, are some of the most in-demand positions today. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that between 2018 to 2028, there will be a need for 99,700 more people with truck driving licenses. There were nearly 2 million people working in this field in 2018, and it continues to grow. The agency also states that the 2018 median pay for those working in this field was $43,680 per year or $21 per hour. However, some individuals earned double this amount in some industries.

What Are the Best CDL A Jobs?

The good news is that most CDL A jobs are versatile. You could say any of them are good jobs depending on what your needs are. The following are some of the most common CDL A jobs and the benefits they offer to those in this career path.

Tanker Hauler

A tanker hauler is a professional who hauls liquids. This may include gas or water-based fluids. You may need to have a CDL endorsement to do this job, but as one of the highest-paying positions in the field, it may be worth doing so. Some fuel tank drivers in the U.S. make up to $70,000 a year. To get an endorsement, you will need to get certified which requires extra training.

Oversized Load Hauler

This is a type of CDL A job for those who obtain additional training to operate much more difficult tasks. Oversized load haulers are dedicated professionals who handle very heavy or very large loads. This may include things like machinery or pipe fittings. They are able to drive these loads while navigating a variety of obstacles along the way. Those who work in this field can earn up to $90,000 per year, depending on their experience. Location plays a role in this, as well.

Over the Road Driver

One of the most common truck driving jobs is an over-the-road driver, also known as an OTR driver. This driver has the ability to travel anywhere in the United States to provide services. Since you are able to provide more services and longer routes, OTR drivers are highly sought-after professionals. It is likely that you will do harder work and be away from home more often, but these drivers tend to earn more as well. You will need to be 21 or older to obtain this type of position. Starting out, you can make around $40,00 a year in this field.

Transport Drivers

One of the best CDL A jobs is a transport driver. These professionals tend to haul other vehicles. This includes high-end and luxury cars that are very valuable, as well as junked cars, those that have been in an accident and need to be removed. Transport drivers are versatile because they can handle very delicate items, but they can also handle damaged vehicles with ease. Many will earn around $53,000 a year in this field.

Hazmat Drivers

In some cases, truck drivers are charged with operating the larger rigs that haul hazardous material from one location to another. This takes a high level of skill and proper training to handle more complicated hauls. An endorsement to your CDL A license will give you access to this type of job. If you take the steps to do this, you are likely to earn a lucrative paycheck based on the type of work you do. Some even earn a minimum guarantee after a specific length of time.

Delivery Truck Driver

One of the more popular CDL A jobs is a delivery truck driver. These are often regional CDL A jobs, which means you do not have to go too far to work in them – plus, you can be home more often. Delivery drivers are very important to the current economy, especially as e-commerce continues to grow. There are various versions of this type of work, including working directly for retailers or through third-party companies like UPS, the United States Postal Service, FedEx, or others.

The amount of money you earn as a delivery truck driver depends on a variety of factors, including experience and the company itself. Some companies have paid significantly more in recent years because of the demand for these truck drivers with a CDL A license. Initial earnings start at around $30,000 for delivery truck drivers and grow from this rate.

Truck Driving School Instructor

Perhaps one of the least known truck driving jobs is this one. Once you learn the ropes and get out there to get in your experience, you may want to start spending more time at home, or you may want traditional work hours. If that is the case, consider becoming a truck driving school instructor. These professionals are needed because well-trained truck drivers are in demand. Those who work in this position will teach others the laws and skills to obtain a commercial driver’s license. It is estimated that you can earn up to $51,000 for this position.

Ice Road Truckers

Another job that appeals to those who love a challenge is an ice road trucker. These jobs are perhaps the most dangerous when it comes to environmental conditions. These are also the best-paid truck drivers out there, sometimes earning as much as $250,000 a year. Yet, with that comes exceptional experience and skill, especially since these drivers need to operate highly expensive and heavy trucks along ice-covered roads.

Owner and Operator Jobs

Another type of truck driving job that is best for those who want to earn well and make their own schedule is to be an owner-operator. You can be your own boss and own your own trucking company. There are plenty of requirements for holding a job like this, specifically that you’ll need ample experience on the highways and working with people to make it happen. However, those that do well here will find owning their own company can pay well, up to $141,000 a year for some.

Dispatcher Positions

Some people do not want to drive a truck, but they want to be a part of the industry anyway. In this case, you may want to consider working as a dispatcher. You will need to have a good understanding of trucking (which is why many companies hire people who are former truck drivers or those with CDL A qualifications before offering this job). You will work with other drivers, spend time managing and communicating with them, and relay key travel information to drivers. Many dispatchers oversee a group of truck drivers. They can earn between $40,000 and $45,000 in many cases.

It’s one thing to work hard. It’s another thing to do what you love and get rewarded for it.

How to Get a CDL A Job

If any of these or other positions seem like a good fit for you, that’s great news. There is a growing need for those who want to work in this career. If you want to get a truck driving job, your first step is to get your CDL A. You can find available schools easily. You will need to take both a written exam and then complete a driving skills test, but the best truck driving schools prepare you to do well with this. There are a few things you should know about how to get your CDL A job.

Do You Have the Key Skills to Get a CDL A Job?

When you learn how to get a CDL A job, you realize that there is a lot of work that goes into the process. This is the type of job that many people can do, but to do it well, you should have a few key skills. These include:

  • Good communication skills. It is very important for you to be able to communicate your needs, what’s happening, concerns about the vehicle, and other information on the go. Good communication skills are a must for all CDL A jobs.
  • Customer service skills are important, too. In some types of CDL A jobs, individuals work hard with customers, including delivering right to a person’s door. This makes it important for you to be able to talk to and interact with customers in a positive way.
  • Good hearing and vision are requirements to obtain your CDL A job. Those that are on the road for long periods of time will need to be able to hear what’s happening around them and to be able to react quickly. Some states require testing of hearing and vision to ensure it is good enough for the road.
  • Good physical condition is also important. What this means for drivers differs from one industry to the other. Some truck driving jobs require individuals to be able to lift packages weighing as much as 70 pounds. Others do not. If your job involves loading or unloading freight, you will likely need to be in good condition to secure this job.
  • It’s also helpful to be reliable and responsible. Since most truck drivers spend most of their working time on their own, they need to be self-motivated and able to work around challenging situations on their own.

If you think you have these skills, it may be time to get your CDL A license. Once you have it in hand, you can then apply for jobs that fit your goals. For some people, this means working locally so that they can be home each day. For others, the thought of the open road is appealing, and OTR truck driving jobs may be important.

If you want to work with one of the CDL A jobs that require extensive training or an endorsement, you can get that after you start working another CDL A job, or you can just continue your education now before taking on any position. Keep in mind that even the best CDL A job training will still be second to getting real experience on the road.

Common Questions About CDL A Jobs

Many people have questions about CDL A jobs and how they can get them. Here are some of the most common questions and answers for you.

Can I get a CDL A job with a Felony?

If you have a felony conviction on your record, that could play a role in which companies you can get a job with even if you have a CDL A. Criminal convictions, such as theft or fraud, may disqualify you from getting your license or obtaining a job. You may also find it far more difficult to do so if you have a history of driving under the influence. States set the rules on when they will allow you to obtain a CDL A license, which ultimately impacts your ability to get a job. However, companies have their own hiring criteria they use to make decisions about who to hire. If you have a ticket from parking tickets, that’s not going to limit your access to a job like this.

How can I get a CDL job without experience?

There are some outstanding opportunities available to men and women who have little to no experience in driving a truck. If you have your CDL A license in hand, you are ready to find a job. Some companies are more likely to work with entry-level truck drivers than others. And, they still pay well with excellent job features (such as being home often) for those with limited experience. If you do not have experience, but you want to work as a CDL A driver, chances are good you will find a variety of positions available to you.

What jobs can I get with a Class A CDL?

We’ve provided a list of many of the jobs you can work if you have a Class A CDL. This includes truck driving jobs such as:

  • Semi-truck drivers
  • Delivery truck drivers
  • Over-the-road trucking jobs
  • Tanker truck driver
  • Bus drivers (if you have a passenger endorsement)

The good news is that there are other jobs you may be able to get that do not require you to be on the road for long hours each day. You may want to work in highway maintenance, for example, or work as a technician on large vehicles. Other positions include tractor-trailer technicians, terminal managers, and construction equipment operators (with endorsements). The number and type of jobs you can do with a CDL A is an impressive assortment for many people.

Is a CDL A Job the Best Truck Driving Job?

There are many truck driving jobs available, and many of them will allow you to work with a CDL Class A. There are two other classifications of commercial driver’s licenses. Some drivers will spend the extra time getting this education as well. A Class B CDL allows an individual to operate a single vehicle without a hitch to a trailer. This includes box trucks, tourist buses, furniture trucks, city buses, and school buses.

You may also want to choose a CDL Class C license. This type of license allows a driver to operate a vehicle with a GVWR that is under 26,001 pounds or any vehicle towing another one that weighs under 10,000 pounds. It also allows individuals to transport 16 passengers or more. This includes jobs such as hazmat vehicles, tank truck drivers, double trailers, and buses.

If you know what type of job you want or the type of work you would like to do, be sure to choose the right type of CDL to allow for this.

How Can You Get Started? If you are thinking about a new career path, one that offers a significant amount of freedom when it comes to the open road, then you may want to choose a CDL A truck driving job. There are some exceptional opportunities available – and they are available virtually anywhere in the United States right now. Take the necessary courses, which usually take just a few weeks to complete, and find yourself in a new career path, achieving the goals you desire and earning an income that feels just right.

Sources:

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/types-of-cdl-jobs-and-what-they-pay

https://driving-tests.org/cdl-classification-licenses/

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm

https://www.thejobnetwork.com/10-high-paying-trucking-jobs/

https://www.drivebigtrucks.com/blog/types-of-cdl-jobs/

https://www.indeed.com/q-CDL-No-Endorsement-jobs.html

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