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What is a CDL Class A Driver

If you have ever wondered what CDL stands for in the job title, CDL driver, we are here to clear up any doubt: CDL means commercial driver's license, and drivers in possession of this permit operate large and heavy vehicles such as trucks or tractor-trailers transporting goods and sometimes hazardous material for commercial use.

Working as a CDL driver is not your average 9 to 5 job. If you get hired without having consulted your wife or partner first, you might have a problem. Working as a CDL driver will have you on the road, all around the country, for more than 300 days a year on lengthy routes that will not allow you to return home more than once every three weeks.

This job could be just right for you, if you are not the follow-the-flock kind of guy. Or girl. You can work during day or night, as long as you respect the maximum duration of working hours, which is 70 hours over an eight day period, so it seems doable to the average Joe. And you will be expected to cover 125,000 miles each year, which is around 2500 miles a week, 500 miles every working day. You'd better love that landscape, that's all we are trying to say.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a CDL Class A Driver. For example, did you know that they make an average of $27.84 an hour? That's $57,901 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 99,700 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a CDL Class A Driver Do

There are certain skills that many CDL Class A Drivers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Hand-eye coordination, Hearing ability and Physical health.

Learn more about what a CDL Class A Driver does

How To Become a CDL Class A Driver

If you're interested in becoming a CDL Class A Driver, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 10.4% of CDL Class A Drivers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.4% of CDL Class A Drivers have master's degrees. Even though some CDL Class A Drivers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a CDL Class A Driver. When we researched the most common majors for a CDL Class A Driver, we found that they most commonly earn High School Diploma degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on CDL Class A Driver resumes include Diploma degrees or Bachelor's Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a CDL Class A Driver. In fact, many CDL Class A Driver jobs require experience in a role such as Driver. Meanwhile, many CDL Class A Drivers also have previous career experience in roles such as Truck Driver or CDL Driver.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. C.R. England Jobs (346)
  2. Prime Jobs (124)
  3. U.S. Xpress Jobs (154)
  4. Western Express Jobs (167)
  5. Knight Transportation Jobs (658)
Average Salary
$57,901
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
925,409
Job Openings
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CDL Class A Driver Career Paths

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What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a CDL Class A Driver

CDL Class A Drivers in America make an average salary of $57,901 per year or $28 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $86,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $38,000 per year.
Average Salary
$57,901
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12 CDL Class A Driver Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a CDL Class A Driver Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless CDL Class A Driver resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View CDL Class A Driver Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. C.R. England Jobs (346)
  2. Prime Jobs (124)
  3. U.S. Xpress Jobs (154)
  4. Western Express Jobs (167)
  5. Knight Transportation Jobs (658)

Choose From 10+ Customizable CDL Class A Driver Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use CDL Class A Driver templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your CDL Class A Driver resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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CDL Class A Driver Resume
CDL Class A Driver Resume
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CDL Class A Driver Resume
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CDL Class A Driver Resume
CDL Class A Driver Resume
CDL Class A Driver Resume
CDL Class A Driver Resume
CDL Class A Driver Resume
CDL Class A Driver Resume
CDL Class A Driver Resume

CDL Class A Driver Demographics

CDL Class A Driver Gender Distribution

Male
Male
93%
Female
Female
7%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among CDL Class A Drivers, 6.8% of them are women, while 93.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among CDL Class A Drivers is White, which makes up 63.9% of all CDL Class A Drivers.

  • The most common foreign language among CDL Class A Drivers is Spanish at 74.5%.

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CDL Class A Driver Education

CDL Class A Driver Majors

23.8 %

CDL Class A Driver Degrees

High School Diploma

39.3 %

Certificate

19.0 %

Associate

17.1 %
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Top Skills For a CDL Class A Driver

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 29.7% of CDL Class A Drivers listed OTR on their resume, but soft skills such as Hand-eye coordination and Hearing ability are important as well.

Best States For a CDL Class A Driver

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a CDL Class A Driver. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Wyoming. CDL Class A Drivers make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $72,543. Whereas in Connecticut and New York, they would average $69,277 and $67,253, respectively. While CDL Class A Drivers would only make an average of $66,886 in Wyoming, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total CDL Class A Driver Jobs:
5,609
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
3.43
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Kansas

Total CDL Class A Driver Jobs:
13,188
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
2.48
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Wyoming

Total CDL Class A Driver Jobs:
1,155
Highest 10% Earn:
$100,000
Location Quotient:
1.1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For CDL Class A Drivers

How Do CDL Class A Driver Rate Their Jobs?

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4.0

More moneyMay 2019

4.0

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What do you like the most about working as CDL Class A Driver?

Money , I am good at it , traveling , independence , Show More

What do you NOT like?

Long time sitting , long time of loading and unloading Show More

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Top CDL Class A Driver Employers

Most Common Employers For CDL Class A Driver

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage CDL Class A Driver SalaryAverage Salary
1$76,434
2$75,938
3$75,766
4$75,096
5$73,609
6$73,298

CDL Class A Driver Videos

Becoming a CDL Class A Driver FAQs

How do you get a Class A license?

In order to get a Class A license, a person needs to meet several requirements, including age and education. The basic minimum requirement is that a person has to be at least 21 years old. There are a few states that allow 18-year-olds to obtain a commercial driver's license, but most companies will not hire until they turn 21.

How long does it take to become a Class A driver?

While the length of time to become a Class A truck driver varies from state to state; it averages about seven weeks. Typically training courses last seven to twelve weeks of full-time training. However, some can even be up to 18 to 24 weeks.

How much do Class A truck drivers make?

Class A truck drivers make around $64,333 a year. There is a good deal of variability; however, a Class A truck driver's earnings vary, starting as low as $34,000 to as high as $100,000 a year.

How much does it cost to get a Class A CDL?

It costs between $3,000 to $5,000 to get a Class A CDL license. Each state, however, has its own set of requirements and fees for obtaining a Class A CDL.

General Fees include:

  • Knowledge Test - costs between $5 and $20 and includes the issuance of a Commercial Learner's Permit

  • Road Skills Test - costs $30 and $60

  • Standard CDL License - costs between $75 and $100

  • Endorsements - costs between $5 and $10 for each endorsement

  • Other costs can include application fees, drug screenings, fingerprint and background checks for HAZMAT Endorsements (typically $100), and re-test fees.

Is a Class A CDL worth getting?

Yes, a Class A CDL license is worth getting. It's a great time, more than ever before, to get into a Class A CDL truck driving career, with so many jobs available.

Holding a Class A CDL license gives you great job security. There's also a good deal of flexibility in the type of trucking job you can take. Some truckers are away for weeks at a time, while other truck drivers are home every night and weekend.

What is a Class A driver?

A Class A CDL Driver is a driver who has earned a Class A license that allows them to operate larger vehicles. In most states, this license allows the driver to operate any vehicle with a semi-trailer or trailer with two or more axles.

What is a Class A truck driver?

A Class A truck driver license allows you to operate equipment of all sizes and weights. You must have this if you are deciding to drive a semi-truck or a combination of truck and trailer. Class A also allows you to drive flatbeds, livestock, and tank vehicles.

What is the difference between CDL Class A and B?

The difference between CDL Class A and B has to do with what size of the truck is covered on the CDL license type (A, B, C).

A Class A license takes seven weeks to complete and includes 168 classroom hours.

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