Earning a CDL opens the door to a world of possibilities. A shortage of truck drivers has plagued the industry for some time and is expected to continue. This creates plenty of job opportunities for new drivers. In a short period, entry-level drivers can expect to earn above-average wages in a high-growth industry. In addition to excellent earning potential, CDL drivers are in demand for several types of occupations within the industry.
Over-the-Road (OTR) Driving
Over-the-Road (OTR) driving is the job most often associated with truck driving. There are many opportunities in this field. OTR drivers are:
- On the road for days and even weeks at a time.
- Have a route that they drive regularly or deliver loads to different locations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
- This type of career offers the chance to see every corner of the country firsthand
- Highest paid job in the industry with a median pay of $41,340 per year.
Regional drivers may have a planned route that they run every day, week, or month. Opportunities for professional drivers include:
- The delivery of commercial products to factories and manufacturing facilities
- The delivery of shipments to warehouses and retail outlets
- A bus driver to transport passengers on chartered trips or sightseeing tours.
Regional drivers are often required to be on the road overnight or for a couple of days but on most evenings you will find them back at home.
Local Truck Driving
The local truck driving industry includes:
- Bus drivers for local transit systems
- Local delivery drivers for small packages and full loads.
Local driver opportunities include deliveries of products to retail outlets. Local drivers have the benefit of being home every night but, with a median pay of $28,390 per year, may not be paid as well initially as other options.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the demand for qualified truck drivers will grow rapidly over the next ten years. Industry experts believe that the truck driver shortage will only get worse over the coming years. The need for drivers along with the excellent starting wages available in the industry makes earning a CDL an exceptional career opportunity.