You may have heard about commercial driver’s licenses before. Presumably, you know a little about them and why you might want one. If you have a commercial driver’s license, you can do things with it that you can’t do if you only have a regular driver’s license.
In this article, we will talk about what you can do with a commercial driver’s license and whether it’s worth it to get one. You may want to at least consider it if you’re thinking about starting a new career or about to finish high school or college.
Risks of Driving for a Living
First, let’s talk about some possible risks when you drive for a living. If you drive as your career, whether you operate something like an 18-wheeler, a van, or something else, you’re on the road a lot. If so, you run the risk of getting into an accident more than someone who seldom drives.
You probably know some personal injury lawyers make their living holding responsible parties accountable for fatal accidents. You can lose every cent you have if you make a serious driving mistake while working. You might never forgive yourself if that happened.
With that in mind, you should think about your driving skills if you’re going to pursue a commercial driver’s license. Do you have confidence in your abilities? If you’re not a confident driver, do you think you can become one with dedication and practice?
If not, you should probably think about a different career. You don’t want to start driving a huge, heavy vehicle if you don’t believe you have what it takes.
What Can You Do with a Commercial Driver’s License?
Assuming you feel you have the driving skills necessary to make it in this line of work, you can move forward with getting a commercial license. Once you have one, you can get into several careers involving transporting people or goods.
If you get a commercial driver’s license, you can work as a bus driver. You might drive kids to school every morning and bring them home in the afternoons. If you like children, that might appeal.
You can drive a tanker truck on a construction site. You can also haul hazardous materials around. Those jobs can pay quite well, but you’d better have nerves of steel and some excellent driving skills.
You might become a delivery driver. You can drive for UPS, FedEx, or a similar company. You can drive a city bus. You can help get people to and from work every day.
If those sorts of jobs don’t interest you very much, maybe you can become a driving instructor. You might even work as a dispatcher. You won’t work as a driver that way, but you’ll involve yourself with the transportation industry in a slightly different capacity.
How Much Does a Commercial Driver’s License Cost?
If you want to get yourself a commercial driver’s license, that can cost you anywhere from $4,000 to as much as $12,000. That might seem like a lot. However, you must think about it as an investment.
Once you have gone through the classes and you have the requisite skill set, as long as you stay sharp and don’t let yourself get rusty, you never have to spend that much cash again. You must keep your commercial driver’s license current, but that doesn’t cost very much.
The exact cost you can expect to pay will depend on a few different factors. You can look at some different driving schools and compare prices. You might not pay quite as much in some parts of the country as you would in others.
What Can You Expect to Make as a Commercial Driver?
Let us say you paid the fees and got a commercial driver’s license. You may not feel great about being out of pocket for that money, but there’s good news coming your way. You can make $41K in your first year in the business, and it only goes up from there.
You can also expect very good benefit packages if you do commercial driving. Because getting a commercial driver’s license isn’t easy, you’ll have a skill that not everyone has. Trucking companies and many other entities often look for drivers. If you sign on with one of them, you can usually get health insurance for yourself and your family.
If you just married your partner or moved in together, you might like how that sounds. If you have kids or you’re thinking about having them, having that healthcare in place makes a huge difference.
Many companies that hire you for commercial driving will also give you additional benefits, like a pension plan. Not many jobs come with those anymore, so that’s an added perk you should enjoy.
Some commercial driving jobs come with a 401K. You can put money into it, and your company might match you up to 3% or even 5%. That’s free money, so there’s no reason not to start saving a nest egg with your company’s help.
Should You Get a Commercial Driver’s License?
If you’re thinking about getting a commercial driver’s license, you should know it makes a whole lot of sense. A lot of people have lost their jobs recently due to automation. However, commercial trucking and similar industries will probably remain secure for many years to come.
That’s more than you might say for a lot of other industries. Plus, if you get into commercial driving, you can move around the country. You can move to a big city if you like or live in a smaller community that costs less. You’ll have a skill that many companies and industries want.
You can feel sure you’ll have exciting days and experiences. You might meet new people along your bus route every day or at the truck stops where you stop for coffee. You’re in good company as a commercial driver, as these individuals make up the backbone of America.