10 Career Options Available to Commercial Driver’s License Holders
There are a lot of different benefits associated with driving jobs in Virginia. Many driving jobs pay very well, and they do not require spending years in college to get a degree. However, many of the higher paying driving jobs have their own qualifications, with one of the main requirements being a commercial driving license (CDL). There are three different classes of CDL: A, B and C. The main differences between the types of CDL licenses are which vehicles the driver is legally allowed to drive. CDL license holders drive public transportation vehicles, such as buses or vans, while others become long haul truck drivers. Finding a job after obtain a CDL license can be fairly quick, as the demand for trained commercial drivers is consistent. Virginia is a main transport hub for many companies, products, and goods, so drivers who are hired by a company have a very good possibility of long term employment with good benefits. The following information can give you an idea of what kinds of jobs are available to CDL license holders, and what type of driver you want to become.
A Brief Overview of the CDL License Types in Virginia
Class A licenses allow drivers to tow trailers with over 10,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). It also allows drivers to operate both Class B and C vehicles. A Class B license allows drivers to operate a vehicle with a GVWR rating of over 26,000 pounds, but it only allows them to drive Class C vehicles.
The final type of license, Class C, allows drivers to operate any kind of vehicle that is meant to transport over 16 passengers, or vehicles that are used to move hazardous materials. No matter the license, drivers have plenty of job options available to them.
Over the Road Trucking Jobs
One of the most common options for Virginia drivers with a CDL license is to work with a trucking company. Depending on the company, drivers may first be required to complete a certain amount of ride along hours before they are assigned their own route. This gives new drivers a chance to learn some of the finer points of the route, as well as get general tips and advice for loading or unloading the vehicle.
The most common type of trucking job is referred to as over the road trucking. These drivers work with different companies throughout Virginia. In some situations, they drive from one part of the state to the other, but other routes may take them across the state to deliver or retrieve products from other states.
Specialty Trucking Jobs
Truckers that haul oversized loads or specialty products are called specialty truckers. For example, drivers that transport large medical equipment are considered specialized drivers. These drivers receive more money because they are transporting large products, and because they have to learn different safety policies and loading protocols depending on the type of products they are moving.
Moving Hazmat Materials
Hazmat drivers are also specialty truck drivers who must have additional training to transport toxic and dangerous chemicals. Hazmat drivers require special certification to carry hazardous materials. Because of the nature of the trips, they are also expected to follow very specific safety protocols.
Mining Dump Truck Drivers
Another career available to drivers with a CDL license is dump truck drivers who work in coal mines. These drivers work in coal mines, where they have proper protocol for both loading and unloading the vehicles. Drivers must follow specific safety instructions as well to keep the mine from being disrupted.
Ice Road Truck Drivers
Ice road truck drivers are some of the highest paid truckers because of the high risk nature of the job. Ice truck driving is not recommended for drivers that have only recently acquired their CDL. Drivers should wait at least a few years until they have more experience driving large vehicles with heavy loads, and have an understanding of what to look for when they are assigned a route.
Highway Maintenance Technician
Not all of the jobs that require a CDL license have to do with driving across long routes or driving in dangerous conditions. Highway maintenance require a CDL license to operate many of the large vehicles which are used to repair roads. Some examples of these jobs include driving concrete mixers or paint trucks. For the majority of highway maintenance technician jobs, workers are required to have a Class B CDL license.
Engineering or Construction Equipment Operator
Another job that requires a CDL license but does not involve a great deal of travel involves operating engineering or construction vehicles. Engineering equipment operators typically use vehicles like pump trucks or trash compactors. They also operate vehicles that help shape the terrain for upcoming construction jobs. Engineering equipment operators must have knowledge of how to use vehicles in a number of different terrains, with some drivers even working in bodies of water.
Construction operators have to use a number of different vehicles. Some examples of construction equipment that requires a CDL license include flatbed trucks, loaders, cranes, steamrollers, skid steers, knuckle boom loaders and track hoes. Construction operator jobs are great for drivers with a wide range of experience, since there are so many different vehicles involved in a construction site.
Driving a Bus
Driving a bus is a good medium for CDL license holders that want a job which involves a lot of driving, but they do not want to drive the same route over and over. There are many different bus driving jobs available. Some examples including driving a school bus, a tour bus or an intercity bus. Drivers that do not mind having a longer route can even get a job transporting passengers across state lines with one of the larger Virginia based busing companies
Technician or Mechanic Jobs
In most situations, technician or truck mechanic jobs do not require workers with their CDL licenses. However, applicants that do have a CDL license are much more likely to receive these jobs, since they have experience working with larger vehicles.