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CDL stands for Commercial Driver's License. Drivers in possession of this certificate transport goods and stock in trucks of various sizes from distribution centers to any required delivery destination. The job is pretty straight forward in theory, but not lacking challenges in practice.

Drivers load the truck safely and deliver to the given destination, making sure the cargo is intact and the vehicle is functional. Any and all of these factors may pose potential obstacles to the completion of the task. They have to meet delivery deadlines, inform clients about delays, and document transactions. And they have to stop and rest on non-negotiable terms.

As a CDL driver, you have to know your vehicle and operate it safely, knowing what to do when it breaks down, and more importantly, knowing what to do to prevent mishaps. Experience on the job is always a value, as well as an organized mindset, stamina, compliance with road rules, and yes, the inevitable interpersonal skills. Although, if anyone should be able to get away with being a grouch, it is a truck driver.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a cdl driver. For example, did you know that they make an average of $27.89 an hour? That's $58,020 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 Driver Do

There are certain skills that many cdl 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, physical health and visual ability.

Learn more about what a CDL Driver does

How To Become a CDL Driver

If you're interested in becoming a cdl driver, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 14.0% of cdl drivers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.8% of cdl drivers have master's degrees. Even though some cdl 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 driver. When we researched the most common majors for a cdl driver, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on cdl driver resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a cdl driver. In fact, many cdl driver jobs require experience in a role such as driver. Meanwhile, many cdl drivers also have previous career experience in roles such as truck driver or cdl class a driver.

CDL Driver Career Paths

Average Salary for a CDL Driver

CDL Drivers in America make an average salary of $58,020 per year or $28 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $87,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $38,000 per year.
Average CDL Driver Salary
$58,020 Yearly
$27.89 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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CDL Driver Education

CDL Driver Majors

23.4 %

CDL Driver Degrees

High School Diploma

38.0 %


17.6 %


14.9 %

Top Skills For a CDL 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, 17.2% of cdl drivers listed dot on their resume, but soft skills such as hand-eye coordination and physical health are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable CDL Driver Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use CDL Driver templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your CDL 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 Driver Demographics

CDL Driver Gender Distribution


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

  • Among cdl drivers, 7.2% of them are women, while 92.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among cdl drivers is White, which makes up 63.9% of all cdl drivers.

  • The most common foreign language among cdl drivers is Spanish at 64.0%.

Online Courses For CDL Driver That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
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Engineers in the automotive industry are required to understand basic safety concepts. With increasing worldwide efforts to develop connected and self-driving vehicles, traffic safety is facing huge new challenges. This course is for students or professionals who have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or similar and who are interested in a future in the vehicle industry or in road design and traffic engineering. It's also of value for people already working in these areas who...

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Best States For a CDL Driver

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a cdl driver. The best states for people in this position are Wyoming, Nevada, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Cdl drivers make the most in Wyoming with an average salary of $71,822. Whereas in Nevada and Vermont, they would average $70,879 and $68,710, respectively. While cdl drivers would only make an average of $68,474 in New Hampshire, 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 Driver Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
3.54 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. Wyoming

Total CDL Driver Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.13 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. South Dakota

Total CDL Driver Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
2.96 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 Drivers

How Do CDL Driver Rate Their Jobs?

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Truck DrivingJune 2019


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

Making money to sustain an affordable life. I wish I could drive locally but that doesn't seem to be the case without OTR experience for some odd reason. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Driving nights I really wouldn't want to drive at night. Because, sometimes I get tired and sleepy. But with the proper amount of rest I could do it. Just given the right chance if possible. Show More

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Top CDL Driver Employers

Most Common Employers For CDL Driver

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1C.R. England$76,311$36.69745
2Marten Transport$76,048$36.56787
3Western Express$74,755$35.941,079
5Crete Carrier$73,020$35.11868
6K&B Transportation$69,168$33.25648
7Hub Group$67,368$32.39550
8CPC Logistics$64,211$30.87568
9Roehl Transport$61,540$29.59707
10Cardinal Logistics Management$60,979$29.32963

CDL Driver Videos

Becoming a CDL Driver FAQs

How long does it take to become a CDL driver?

It takes around seven weeks to become a CDL driver. The length of time it takes to get your CDL relies on a handful of factors. It can take as little as three weeks or upwards of 6 months. Many factors, including the type of license (class A vs. class B) and the type of program, determine how long it can take to get your CDL.

How much does it cost to become a CDL driver?

The cost to become a CDL driver ranges from $425 to $5,000 depending on the qualification, with a median cost of $3,500.

There are several company-sponsored CDL training programs in the industry. Each program is different, so be sure to ask for details on the overall cost and pay for the program.

Is it easy to become a truck driver?

Yes, it is easy to become a truck driver. You can become a truck driver in as little as three weeks, but most programs take around seven weeks to complete. The process to become a truck driver can be done in 3 steps.

Is it hard to be a CDL driver?

Yes, it is hard to be a CDL driver. While becoming a CDL driver is not hard, working as a CDL driver can be. Many CDL drivers must work long hours, spend lots of time away from home, and remain seated for most of their workday.

What are CDL truck drivers?

CDL truck drivers are truckers that have a commercial driver's license (CDL). CDL trucks require special licenses for operation because of their bulk.

Drivers must not only be able to maneuver these trucks for miles at a time, often in heavy traffic, but they must also be alert and follow all roadway safety regulations. They are responsible for such duties as loading and unloading heavy cargo, tracking their mileage, fuel, toll expenses, ensuring delivery, and maintaining their trucks.

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