America’s in-demand jobs: CDL driver

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Recently we shared the six most in-demand jobs in the U.S., based on information from CareerBuilder’s database. Today, we’re highlighting one of those jobs — commercial driver’s license, or CDL, drivers who work in the trucking industry.

Having a CDL means that drivers must pass their state’s regulatory requirements. According to CareerBuilder’s Supply & Demand Portal, the average national salary for a CDL driver is $44,500, and the top cities hiring for these positions are Chicago, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio.

Watch the video below for more details on these jobs.

And if you’d rather see it as a snazzy infographic, we have that, too:

Check out all the CDL driver positions we have on CareerBuilder.com today!

8 Comments
  1. After 35 years as a class A driver, I can say it has supported us well. Average pay for me in the north east is $25.00 per hour. With over time about 70,000 a year. It is not all glory though, with long days. Sometimes boring, you had better be comfortable with your thoughts. It is great for people who enjoy solitude. Warning the radio will not be as entertaining as you may think. Even your favorites suck the 500th time you hear it. My family understands that I can make no plans for the eve. There is no promise that the day will end 8,10,12, or 15, hours after you start. But rhere is work for those willing to get the training.

  2. Really???As a driver for 15 plus years, I am rather tired of hearing about this so called driver shortage. Logic states that IF there are thousands of drivers needed, there would currently be thousands of loads that are not getting hauled, and that number of loads sitting NOT moving would continue to increase. AND more likely, that the pay for the companies and drivers needed would also increase with supply and demand. This is NOT the case. Oh sure, on any given day there likely ARE loads not be getting picked up here and there due to drivers being in the wrong area, or not having enough hours to get to the shipper.  They are getting shipped, and moved just fine. They may not be on schedule every single day, but they are getting moved.Truth is, this industry has too many trucks, and trucking companies. If a company has a truck sitting empty, they have a driver shortage.  This does NOT mean they have loads for the trucks! It simply means a truck is empty, and the company is mis managing it’s assets in relation to it’s size. Show me the headlines from shippers that state they have hundreds of loads that are not getting moved. Show me the headlines that there are receivers not getting products needed.There is no driver shortage. Just a trucking company abundance of empty trucks.

  3. 44k- No way, maybe after driving for 5 or 8 years or if you have a 5 years experience or if you drive for walmart,ups,fedex or some other trucking companies. in reality it is the lousiest,difficult and stupid profession. Dispatchers are all liars.. it’s for a different breed or kind of people to be a semi driver. there’s too much attention just to do one haul.. adjust the wheel,go thru that weighing station,no using of engine brakes in some areas,pay 26 dollars to cross the washington bridge,pay the tolls – in m ost trucking companies you must have cash on hand to pay those toll fees and you submit it for reinbursements..
    Most trucing companies will dispatch you- let say from Phoenix to LA on friday which is a mesrely 340 miles or so and your delivery is monday… so you waste few days in some lousy truck stop and if they dispatch you to NJ -they will keep you in the new england states for weeks before giving you a load to Phoenix.. with 2 or 3 hauls before heading home.
    In the US-Mexican border, you pick a load in some dirty and dusty yard- you have to install the break lights, why? the yard staff must take out the brake lights so thieves can’t steal the trailers…
    The mexicans jockey will park the trailers like sardines,that you need to take out 1 or 2 or 3 trailers before you can get your trailer and then park back those trailers.
    In fairness, there are several good trucking companies but it maybe not in the place where you live or because you don’t have any yeras of experience… but no way you can make 44k even you have 2 or 3 years expeirence.
    That’s why there is a demand for truck drivers  because it’s just a lousy job.. you are out for days,weeks and sometimes a month or more. you have to install chain during the winter in some areas.. it’s just not worth to do all those things for 24K or 26K  a year. you will meet the rudest people in america in that profession. I only lasted a year… there was a time that I was in Laredo and waited for 3 days for a load..  sorry, but again it’s the losuiest job on earth.

  4. The reason there are so many CDL jobs available, to much police harrasment, truck searches, sitting around in one place for days, you hardly see your family, half of your salary goes to paying tickets, you would be better off working at McDonalds.

  5. My husband is an over the road driver and has 39 years experience and is only getting .31cpm. Where is the job making 45,000 a year?

  6. Yes, 44,000 per year is possible only if you have years, not months or 1 year experience. Also, the public needs to know that its not just holding a steering wheel and simple hours of work. It requires 11 hours of driving and 10 hours break. The hours of working is not a 9-5 job, but requires you to work all kinds of hours and can be very strenuous. Many of the shippers and receivers are disrespectful toward drivers and the public who drive automobiles are just as equally disrespectful to the drivers on the road. Your licence hangs by a thread with DOT regulations and heavy fines can be levied on you.

  7. Really, Justin? Would YOU like to be a CDL driver? Here’s what it REALLY entails:
     
    * Lots of unpaid time for driving “empty”, moving trailers around yards, or sitting in a broken-down rig.
    * Have a social life? Kiss it goodbye.
    * Have a family? Kiss that goodbye, too.
    * Average the amount of time that you’re at work (that is, not at home because you are in the truck) – the average hourly pay is less than minimum wage.
    * Constant vigilance of that precious CDL, because every state highway patrol person and commercial driver patrollers are on the lookout for even the smallest violations.
     
    There are ALWAYS open CDL jobs by the thousands. And there’s HUGE turnover in the industry as well. Why do you think that is?
     
    Signed: a former CDL driver.

  8. What they don’t tell is “the rest of the story.”  In many divisions of this industry you are not covered under the FLSA.  There for OT pay, benefits and retirement are not part of the package.  You are required to “go to school” (by law) in order to obtain your CDL (as it should be) but you ARE NOT classified as “skilled labor.”  Your vocation is highly regulated but still does not afford you any special considerations for abiding by those regulations and knowing them in every state you travel through (it’s part of the job so learn it and love it).
     
    You will be away from home probably more often and for longer periods than you may have expected.  For some this will work well for your particular situation and for other it will not work at all so consider local work instead of regional or OTR.
     
    Your road expenses are also going to be more than you anticipated as truckstops are very expensive as they now also cater to the tourists as well as those who are there as part of their jobs but the prices reflect tourists more so.  Driving is not the only thing that comes with the job, long hours, accessorial work (tarping, strapping, tailgating, unloading, counting freight, throwing chains, truck repairs, paperwork out the wazoo (50% of every business is the paper side of it and you as the driver are not to be left out) etc.  Some of these accessorial jobs come with additional pay and some do not depending on each individual trucking carrier.  There are good carriers out there but there are far too many carriers with very questionable business ethics which see drivers as nothing more than a body in a seat.
     
    The industry as a whole is continually fluctuating.  Freight rates and drivers pay does so as well.  Right now they are both on the lower side of average due in large part to the economy.  If people can’t afford to buy there’s less freight to ship, too many trucks for too little freight which also affects driver pay (trickle down economics).
     
    Even given all that (and these do not cover everything) the vocation of a CDL Driver does suit 100s of thousand to a T.  So if you are planning to make this a career move, think long and hard.  Not everything is as it appears on the surface.  Do your homework first before diving in head first.  There’s a big push on right now to rebuild the driver numbers, a lot have been lost during the past 4 years economic slump.  Maybe they are seeing improving conditions most of us have not yet realized (hopefully in the very near future).

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