Commercial driver’s license training (or CDL training) is a specialized instructional program or course designed to prepare a student to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL). A CDL is required for a career as a truck driver. During training, students are taught the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully pass a series of tests to obtain their CDL. CDL training normally begins with classroom instruction geared towards passing the written exams for a CDL permit. The CDL permit is a learner’s permit that allows a student truck driver to practice driving skills on public roads with a CDL licensed driver or instructor. A student graduates CDL training once he or she receives a CDL and proves that he or she can comfortably and safely drive and maneuver a truck. Most CDL training schools train drivers for a class A CDL, which allows the holder to drive a tractor trailer that weighs over 26,000 pounds.
TRUCKING INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
EMPLOYMENT CHANGE Overall employment of truck drivers and driver/sales workers is expected to increase by 8 percent over the 2006-16 decade, which is as fast as average for all occupations,due to growth in the economy and in the amount of freight carried by truck. Because it is such a large occupation, truck drivers will have a very large number of new jobs arise, over 258,000over the 2006-16 period. Competing forms of freight transportation—rail, air, and ship transportation require trucks to move the goods between ports, depots, airports, warehouses, retailers, and final consumers who are not connected to these other modes of transportation. Demand for long-distance drivers will remain strong because they can transport perishable and time-sensitive goods more effectively than alternate modes of transportation
JOB PROSPECTS Job opportunities should be favorable for truck drivers. In addition to growth in demand for truck drivers, numerous job openings will occur as experienced drivers leave this large occupation to transfer to other fields of work, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons. Jobs vary greatly in terms of earnings, weekly work hours, the number of nights spent on the road, and quality of equipment.There may be competition for the jobs with the highest earnings and most favorable work schedules.