After earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are many different career paths available to you. When you are deciding what type of trucking job you are interested in, there are several factors to consider. In addition to choosing whether local, regional, or over-the-road (OTR) driving is a better fit, you will need to consider the different companies that have openings. Our job placement assistance team can help you gather the information you need to make an informed decision.
Some factors to think about when choosing a CDL job:
Money is an important consideration for any type of career. In the trucking industry, you will usually be paid per mile. This is especially true for regional and long-haul jobs. Local trucking, on the other hand, is more likely to have hourly wages. Pay is going to be a consideration both in terms of which type of driving you want to do (local, regional, or OTR) and which company you work for. It’s a good idea to do some research on rates for new CDL drivers in your area to determine what you can expect.
In addition to pay, you should consider what benefits the companies you are interested in offer their drivers. Many motor carriers have health, dental, and vision insurance plans as well as other benefits such as paid time off, tuition reimbursement, et cetera. This will be more of a consideration once you have chosen a general path and are deciding between companies, as opposed to a factor for deciding the type of trucking you want to pursue.
Having time at home is an important factor for your job satisfaction. Home time varies depending on the type of trucking job you have and can also differ among companies within the same category. Overall, local driving will usually get you home every night, regional jobs often get you home every week, and long-haul jobs get you home every few weeks. In addition to considering these general trends, make sure to research the companies you are interested in.
The trucking lifestyle is unique and for many drivers, this is a big reason they are interested in this career path. However, the lifestyle of a long-haul trucker is very different from a local pick-up and delivery driver. If you want to experience the freedom of the open road and see more of the country, OTR is likely going to be a better fit. On the other hand, a local job or a dedicated regional route will be preferable if you like a stable routine.
Having a supportive company can make a major difference for how much you enjoy your trucking job. To get an idea of a company’s reputation, you can research them online and talk to drivers if possible. Be sure to seek a balanced perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in only the negative, or vice versa, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. You should also keep in mind that your attitude and work ethic are going to be important in determining your success, regardless of which company you choose.
Get Your Trucking Career Started
If you are interested in life on the open road, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help. You can earn your CDL in as little as four weeks with our accelerated program.