Trucking For Military Veterans – A Complete Career Guide

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An increase in e-commerce and growth in the manufacturing sector has led to a thriving trucking industry. First year truck drivers can expect to earn between $69,000 and $85,000 per year. That makes a CDL an excellent investment in your future. Get to work in a lucrative career in as few as four weeks. When you compare that with the time and expense associated with a college degree, attending CDL school is a no brainer.

Pay isn’t the only perk associated with a career in trucking. There’s also plenty of job security. The American Trucking Association reports a truck driver shortage, making truck drivers in demand.

Veteran Truck Driver Statistics

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10 percent of truck drivers are veterans.
  • One in four veterans are truck drivers. Considering there are 18 million veterans in the United States, that adds up to a lot of veteran truckers!

Why Veterans Make Good Truck Drivers

Truck driving jobs for veterans just make sense. Former military personnel tend to be:

  • Disciplined – Military training instills a sense of personal responsibility, translating into safer driving practices on the road. You can always count on a job well done when a veteran is behind the wheel.
  • Adaptable – New challenges and situations arise daily in the military and the trucking industry alike. The resilience found in many veterans makes them well-suited for the demands of the trucking profession.

Benefits of Veterans Becoming Truck Drivers

  • Earning your CDL can be very affordable. There are multiple Veterans Affairs programs that can assist in paying for part or all of your CDL Training, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.  
  • Entry-level truck drivers can make upwards of $69,000* their first year.

How Veterans Can Get Their CDL

Step 1 – Use Your Military Benefits

Talk with a DRC career specialist  who can guide you through the application process. Our network of schools work with multiple veteran’s programs, including Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Chapter 30 – Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB), Chapter 35 – Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA). Once your application is approved, you’ll enroll for an upcoming class and review job opportunities. We partner with numerous military-friendly carriers.

Step 2 – Get a Physical, Your CLP, and Begin Classroom Training

This will include preparation to get your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). This temporary license allows you to practice driving a commercial vehicle. To get a CLP you must pass the written test and in some states pass a DOT Physical. Classroom training also covers how to drive defensively, plan trips, and log your hours of service.

Step 3 – Perfect Your Road Skills

Spend 120 on the range mastering skills including pre-trip inspections, parallel parking, space management, lane changes, backing, as well as city and rural driving best practices. 

Step 4 – Take the CDL-A License Test

Once training is complete, you’ll need to take and pass the CDL-A license test for your state. We’ll schedule testing for you, and you’ll use our equipment for the exam. 

Step 5 – Find a Job

After paying for your license, you’ll work with career specialists to finalize your job selection. Many carriers offer Military OJT Apprenticeship Programs, allowing you to earn additional income.

References

Source 1: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/06/america-keeps-on-trucking.html

Source 2: https://www.bts.gov/data-spotlight/veterans-in-transportation

Source 3: https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/ata-driver-compensation-study

Source 4: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm

*Average salary based on American Trucking Association Compensation Study.

**Truck driver demand based on ATA report.

***GI Bill®is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

https://www.benefits.vs.gov/GIBILL/Trademark_Terms_Of_Use.asp

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