Many people begin pursuing a commercial driver’s license with the intent of becoming an over-the-road truck driver. And why not? It’s a common profession that has a lot of demand at the moment, so there are plenty of jobs available.
However, it’s not the only show in town. A CDL is a surprisingly versatile document, and while driving is almost always on the docket if you are getting a CDL, driving a big rig is far from the only occupation you can hope to pursue.
Indeed there are many vehicles you can operate, and an equal number of potential employers who will look at hiring you if you have a CDL, depending on your level of experience. These jobs can each bring their nuances that offer commercial drivers a surprising level of diversity to their daily work experience.
Highway Maintenance Technician: Highway construction and repair projects often require the use of large vehicles, which means people are needed to drive those vehicles. Everything from dump trucks to skid steers to concrete mixers and paint trucks are used for highway maintenance, so if you want this job, you’d better put your work boots on. Often a Class B CDL is the minimum requirement for this position. (http://careers.dbiservices.com/index.php?content=showjob&id=590)
Engineering Equipment Operator: As an Engineering Equipment Operator you will operate a variety of heavy machinery including pump trucks and trash compactors and will help prepare terrain for upcoming construction projects. Depending on where in the country you are working and the geographical structures around you, and the nature of the business that employs you, you can work in any number of environments up to and including bodies of water. (https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/408946300)
Construction Equipment Operator: Few fields have as diverse a set of big vehicles as the construction industry. Skid steers, dump trucks, knuckle boom loaders, track hoes, loaders, flatbeds, bush hogs, cranes, and steamrollers. You name it, the construction guys use it. All of them require an operator who possesses a CDL. (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/escambia/default.cfm?action=viewJob&jobID=59549)
Bus Driver: Bus driving is a solid alternative to truck driving. Providing stability and flexibility, there are several different types of bus driving jobs, each of which have their own distinct vibe. Whether you choose city bus, school bus, tour bus, or an intercity bus, you have a different clientele and a different work experience.
Tractor Trailer Technician: While not required in most states, having a CDL is a big plus for most tractor trailer technicians. It stands to reason that it is better to be qualified to drive a vehicle you are working on. Tractor trailer technicians don’t haul loads with their trucks, but they certainly are good at fixing them. Maintaining fleets of trucks is a big job that is usually performed by a team of semi-truck techs, and is a vital part of the trucking industry.
Terminal Manager: Another job that doesn’t require most workers to have a CDL, but it greatly helps. Terminal managers are the field managers of a trucking company, and are responsible for organizing, planning, and implementing transportation solutions. In other words, they manage trucking company workloads.
Delivery Driver: Delivery drivers don’t have the prodigious time on the road that perhaps an over-the-road hauler does, but the two occupations are close cousins. Businesses as diverse as furniture companies and medical equipment suppliers often provide delivery services, and often employ workers with commercial driver’s licenses.