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.
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.