For years the CDL meant the freedom of the open road, flexible schedules and a great income. Today the CDL means a lot more as the world changed coming out of COVID, the new economic shift in the economy and our way of life. Also, the CDL today means an income level not before seen in the industry due to the higher than ever demand for commercial truck drivers. The pressures on shipping companies to provide additional movement to e-commerce buyers and remote workers. Coming out of COVID the average commercial truck driver earnings rose by nearly 22% pushing to or above the levels of first year white collar workers.
Many generations saw the MBA as the pinnacle of higher earnings and the ability to always have a job. As more people gained their MBAs at a record rate in the 90’s and early 2000’s there became a flood of white-collar workers in lower demand due to a surplus. This also led to some finding themselves more expendable in the workforce or displaced due to fluctuation in the economy every few years. The other negative was the lower pricing for first year MBA graduates to just over $75,000 per year. The higher pricing for the MBA graduate now facing lower income made this a slightly less desirable alternative to other areas of earning potential.
Today the average cost to complete four years of college and an additional two years for an MBA has now risen to just over $180,000.00 with some schools charging double or triple these amounts. During the same time period the cost to earn your CDL has decreased as the earning potential continues to increase with no end in sight for the commercial truck driver today. Most CDL holders can obtain a CDL at little to no cost to themselves through grants or sponsorship with first year earnings averaging as high has $80,000.00 to $85,000.00. That means that a person with no experience can go to school, earn their CDL and start their first year with minimal to zero debt and earn more than the average first year MBA holder. The average CDL school is between $6,000 to $10,000 to complete and you start your career in 4 weeks instead of 6 years.
Recent reports show that the earnings and low cost to entry are only part of the equation. The other primary reason why there is a heavy allure toward the CDL is the shift in living practices since COVID and the shift to remote work. Near the beginning of the epidemic the shift from offices to working from home sparked the new lifestyle that many have become accustomed to and fight to maintain. The CDL became the answer to continuing to work remote without regular hours and provide earnings at or above their previous jobs. CDL’s can often lead into entrepreneurship with ownership or advancement opportunities in the industry. So even though the CDL is not an exact replacement to the MBA it has become the desirable alternative to many Americans wanting to find exceptional income and a cubicle-free work environment.