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The Highway to Financial Success: Career Options in Commercial Driving by EveryTruckJob on March 14, 2013

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Some people just aren’t cut out for office work, food services or retail. They feel confined by buildings and dislike dealing with workplace drama. The idea of looking at a computer or punching buttons on a cash register just isn’t appealing to them. The idea of a mobile office—a stable job where the scenery changes constantly—is a winning proposition for this kind of person. Operating such a mobile office, in the form of a bus or truck, is not an easy task. Not only is getting a Commercial Driver’s License a considerable task, but operating a large, commercial vehicle comes with its share of difficulties. As we all know, there’s no such thing as a stress-free job anyway—so if you’re the type of person who’s troubled by the prospect of standing or sitting around in a building all day, a CDL job might be perfect for you. Let’s look at the possibilities.

Local Truck Driver Driving a truck doesn’t necessarily mean being away from home all the time. There are plenty of local truck driving options, most of which require a Class B CDL. There are cargo transportation opportunities that don’t require long hauls, but it goes way beyond that. A Class B license allows you to drive utility vehicles, garbage trucks, cement mixers, dump trucks and a variety of other rigs. If you love to drive, aren’t intimidated by larger vehicles and don’t like the prospect of being away from your family for extended periods, a Class B CDL job is a great option.

Long Haul Truck Driver When you first think of a CDL job, chances are this is the first thing that comes to mind. Long haul trucking isn’t for everyone, but if you’re the kind of person that can handle it then it’s an opportunity you can’t pass up. The pay is good, you get to see parts of the country you’d never see otherwise and you enjoy a certain amount of freedom. Most long haul trucking jobs require a Class A CDL, and many also require the T endorsement for additional trailers. Long haul trucking serves as the infrastructure for entire countries, so its importance can’t be understated. It’s a stable, rewarding job that’s perfect for the right person.

Local Bus Driver


Public transportation is absolutely vital to larger cities, and it also plays an important role in many smaller towns as well. Local bus drivers can take pride in the important job that they do, as well as enjoy a stable job in a relatively comfortable environment. It’s certainly true that you’ll meet some colorful characters as a local bus driver, but you’ll also meet a lot of great folks who are extremely grateful for the work you do. Bus driving requires a Class B CDL with a P endorsement, and generally requires a TSA background check as well. School bus drivers require an even more thorough background check and must also obtain the S endorsement on their license.

Tour Bus Driver Driving a touring bus is a completely different animal than either long haul trucking or driving a city bus. Your job is to make sure that many people safely arrive at a destination, and sometimes it can be pretty slow-going. If you’re the kind of person that can sit back and enjoy a moderately-paced drive between cities then driving a touring bus is a great opportunity for you. Depending on the company you work for, you might meet tourists from other countries, world travelers and ordinary folks just visiting their families. With enough experience, there’s also the real possibility of driving a bus for a touring music group, stage act or politician—which is an entirely different world in itself.

HazMat/Tankers This final category is not for the faint of heart. Driving a hazardous materials vehicle or a fuel tanker is serious work and an extremely valuable service. Only the best, most confident drivers excel at driving a HazMat rig or a tanker, so it’s definitely not a job for everyone. An H endorsement for hazardous material requires a background check, an in-depth written exam and US citizenship. An N endorsement is necessary to drive any liquid-carrying tanker vehicles, and an X endorsement covers both hazardous materials and liquids. Having HazMat and tanker endorsements gives you more options, even as a regular long haul truck driver. With H and N endorsements there’s a greater variety of loads you’re legally able to haul, and many of them pay more money to boot.

CDL jobs aren’t strictly limited to long haul trucking. There are a variety of license types and endorsements that open up a world of job opportunities. If you’re the kind of person that enjoys driving and dislikes being confined to an office or retail outlet, a CDL job is a great career choice. There are city jobs, interstate jobs and jobs everywhere in between for the dedicated CDL driver. As long as you know what you’re getting into and get the right kind of license, a commercial driving job is a stable, well-paying job in a comfortable mobile office.

Hank Barton is a second generation trucker-philosopher with a penchant for the written word. He enjoys blogging about long haul trucking, safe driving practices and life on the open road. He writes for E-Gears, an online CDL Test authority that specializes in a variety of study guides.

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