Getting in the game?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  scott_hanson 12 months ago.

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    I am a 16 year old hoping for a career in trucking as an adult. My first question is; can I get my class A CDL and a job in the industry fresh out of high school at 18? My second question is, does trucking really pay what they say? I’ve heard rookie drivers can make around 40-50 grand a year and after a couple years of experience you can make around 70 grand. Are these figures accurate? I mean I know this is an industry where you make your money based on how hard you work, but are those realistic numbers if you are driving a lot? (I am hoping to do over the road) Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer these questions



    Please forgive my delay in responding.

    At 18 years old it’s possible to get your CDL and work as a driver, but your are limited by Federal regs to Intrastate driving, within one state, until you become 21. Some companies will hire you at 21, but others won’t hire until you are 23 years old. So once again, I, maybe not Red, suggest your first research companies & jobs before you pay/borrow to get your CDL. I would hate to see another story of someone borrowing money to get a CDL and afterwards only then find out you can’t find a job. You would still owe the money & the unpaid loan could wreck your credit.

    I hear that Texas is picking up some in the “oil patch” and keep hearing that you can make good money, maybe not like a few years ago. If you are locked into 1 state, Texas is a big one. You need to research and get answers from specific companies, not just read their Web page and see if they say they will hire you. Call and ask for them to review your situation and would you qualify to be hired. If you have any criminal or driving record issues your entry becomes much more difficult, being so young.

    Yes you can make $45-50k as a new driver. You will be gone from home a lot as an OTR driver. There are jobs like Yard/Switcher truck driver that pay about that much & you are home daily. It’s hard work. It seems pay increases are not as certain as in the past. It seems quite a few companies pay a set amount and there are not longevity increases like was common in past. You may get more miles because you have proven reliable & adaptable and that means more pay. As a rule the more work you are required the more money you earn as a driver. Dry vans, you just open & close trailer doors & drive. Reefer you monitor trailer temps & washout trailer. Flatbed you secure &check loads constantly. Pay for each GENERALLY increases from Dry Van to Reefer to Flatbed. There are exceptions.

    I’m not the final word, it’s just my view as another veteran drivet. Good luck.

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