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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Looking for a Career as a Commercial Driver?

With the economy in bad shape and long term unemployment the norm, it’s hard to imagine an industry with a shortage of workers but that seems to be what the trucking industry is facing now. A recent article in USA Today said that a shortage of truckers is driving up delivery costs and causing shipping delays.

According to the article, the shortage is due to several reasons:
  • Truckers don’t want to take on the long haul assignments that keep them separated from their families for long periods.
  • The 21 year old age limit to get a CDL license leads those who have just graduated high school to seek other trades instead.
  • The federal government’s publication of trucking company safety records have lead trucking companies to hire only those drivers with near spotless driving records.
  • The cost of attending a truck driving school is prohibitive for some.
However, for those over the age of 21 with a relatively clean driving record, the shipping companies are hiring as fast as they can and they are paying higher salaries to get qualified drivers.

For those interested in working in the trucking industry, funding to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) may be available from a variety of sources. 
The Post-9/11 GI Bill
Non-College Degree (NCD) programs offered at non-degree granting schools: Pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees or $17,500, whichever is less. 

Also pays your Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA), based on the location of the school and up to $83 per month for books and supplies.

Check with your local Veteran’s Affairs office for details.

  • Veterans whose GI Bill benefits have expired may qualify for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) through the Department of Veterans Affairs. For details and qualifications, visit:
  • Non-Veterans can check to see if there may be some form of grants or re-training funds through their local state Department of Labor Workforce Development Office or One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Some trucking companies may offer reimbursements for CDL training. Your local truck driver training school will have information on programs for those who qualify

To be even more competitive, anyone going for a CDL license should also consider passing the DMV requirements for the different CDL endorsements:

  • Air Brakes
  • Combination Vehicles
  • Tankers
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Doubles/Triples
For more information on your state’s requirements for obtaining a CDL license, visit:

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PO Box 3359
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-3359

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