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Being a CDL Driver in the trucking industry may, for you, conjure up images of Smokey and the Bandit or BJ and the Bear. If you’ve ever considered taking a job on the open road, now is a great time to move on that. The industry is booming, trucking jobs are plentiful, and the unusual lifestyle has some extraordinary benefits. Let’s consider:

“You’re essentially a paid tourist.”

Ray Klatt, a dedicated regional CDL driver out of Western New York, says he got into the industry 25 years ago to be able to see the country in a way most other people cannot. He’s seen 40 states during his time on the road. That’s the draw for many drivers. The scenery changes regularly and there are a lot of fascinating points of interest along the way. Klatt says his travels have taken him past places like Area 51 in Nevada, White Sands, New Mexico, and down old Route 66.

Flexibility

A lot of trucking companies offer flexibility in their runs. A CDL driver can sometimes choose what types of hauls they want to carry and can decide between local work, long distance runs, or regional runs. There’s a lot of flexibility in the dress code, too. Unless you’re driving for a company like UPS, you can usually wear whatever feels comfortable. And as Klatt says, “there’s no boss looking over your shoulder.” Drivers work with a dispatcher, who assigns their pick-ups and deliveries, but there’s no one to micromanage you on a day to day basis.

Good Pay and Job Security

Because there’s a shortage of CDL drivers right now, the trucking industry is a secure job market. Once you get a few years of experience under your belt, you’ll always be guaranteed a job. And the pay is pretty good. Of course, it depends on your experience, what you’re hauling, how far you’re driving, and whether you’re running solo or as part of a team, but salary plus bonuses can earn some drivers over $100,000 per year. According to glassdoor.com, the average salary for truck drivers in 2018 was $43,464.

There is some talk in the industry about self-driving vehicles, but that’s not yet a reality for most logistics companies and, even when it becomes a reality, truck drivers still have a good shot of leading that type of driving.

Industry Requirements

There really are no special skills needed to become a truck driver. Truck driving school will prepare you for your Commercial Drivers License (CDL), which could run anywhere from four to eight weeks, with the average being six weeks of driving instruction. The cost to become a CDL driver is far less than what you’d spend at a two- or four-year college, with the range being $3000 to $8000 for the entire program. The price depends on whether you are getting a class A or B CDL license, and which endorsements you want to carry. For instance, getting an endorsement to haul hazardous materials will add cost to your school, but will also add money to your paycheck.

Trucking has changed a lot over the years. Trucks are more comfortable than they used to be, and today’s technology means you’ll never be stranded and it allows you to remain in contact with things going on at home. The ease of entry into this industry makes this a viable career option for both men and women. It’s also a veteran-friendly industry, with many companies opting to hire our men and women who have served in the military.

Spectra360 has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing talent management agencies in the nation. We work with hundreds of logistics companies and pride ourselves in matching individuals to their dream jobs. If you’d like more information about employment as a CDL driver, check our website here