Considering a career in trucking, but confused on whether you need a Class A or Class B CDL? Wondering which one will earn you the most income? The different classes of CDL’s can be quite confusing, but today we’re going to explain the benefits of getting your Class A CDL – which can be earned right here at Diesel Driving Academy.
Class A CDL – What Training is Involved?
At DDA, we offer two types of Class A training; Basic and Advanced CDL courses.
The Basic Class A CDL course does not require previous truck driving experience for you to enroll in. Classes can be completed in 4-weeks, for a total of 160 clock hours. Your instruction will include both classroom and hands-on driving experiences as part of our course. Graduates of this course are prepared to do entry-level truck driving work.
The Advanced Class A CDL can be completed during daytime classes (20-weeks) or evening classes (30-weeks) for a total of 600 clock hours. Students do not need previous driving experience, and instruction will still include both classroom and hands-on driving experiences as part of your course. Students who graduate this program have many career options available including employment as a Truck Driver, Line Haul Driver, Owner Operator, Semi-Truck Driver, or Over the Road (OTR) Driver.
Why Choose a Class A CDL?
When deciding between a CDL A or CDL B, you want to weight your career options. Your Class A CDL will generally be able to garner you the highest wages of any type of truck driver. Most students who graduate with their Class A CDL will get into over-the-road (OTR) trucking. That means you drive longer distances, log more miles, usually drive across the US, and therefore get the highest wages of any class of truck drivers.
What is the pay, Year 1?
A trucker beginning with a company in their first year can make quite a range of pay, and many things can factor into a truck driver’s pay including the following:
- The Company Being Worked For: Some companies pay more or less than other companies as in any industry. The company you choose to work for may alter the pay from the “standard” for the industry to fit their business model.
- The Size Load You Haul: Larger or smaller loads may pay less or more than the typical “median” pay for the industry” as it requires different licensing and training to haul different sized loans.
- The Distance Driven: Sometimes local-versus-long-distance drivers might be paid differently depending on the miles driven and the number of hours that require driving per week.
- Location: Some states may pay more than others, it depends on the cost of living, the going rates, and the area that
- What You Are Hauling: Drivers hauling dangerous materials or materials of high value may be paid more than those carrying more traditional items. Every company will vary in how they handle the payment for hauling different loads.
On average, DDA graduates can expect to start with an income of around $45,000+ annually, while an average salaries run between $50,000 annually (25th percentile) and $70,00 (75th percentile) for OTR truck drivers.
Most carriers also provide their drivers with a host of additional benefits in addition to a good salary when they are OTR truckers. The following are some of the other benefits you can expect to get from your carrier:
- Full health insurance coverage (for your family also)
- 401k and other retirement options
- The possibility to qualify for monthly payments back to help pay off your student loans (signing a 1-year contract is usually required)
- Opportunities to earn additional performance-based bonuses
- The possibility of promotion to higher-paying loads (with experience)
- Annual paid vacation time
These additional benefits make getting your Class A CDL worth your time and money. Once you get your Class A CDL you will enjoy access to some of the highest-paying jobs in trucking and you will have a career that can become a passion for the rest of your life.
Want more information on getting your Class A CDL so you can start earning a consistent paycheck? Call us today at 1-800-551-8900.