EUCLID, Ohio (WJW)– It is one of the hottest careers out there, but learning to drive a truck has its challenges and it’s a tough job once you get one.
Getting a job in the field is easier these days. Once you have your commercial driver’s license, or CDL, you can pretty much take your pick.
It was so important that a cdl will open up a lot of new doors for student Gabriel Johnson
“Part of the program is getting your first class CDL. And today we’ve been doing our CDL training here and we’ll be able to take our test and move up in our job,” Johnson said.
He’ll be driving a truck locally, which is part of the problem. If you have a first-class CDL, you can drive busses, construction trucks and a variety of vehicles that aren’t necessarily 18 wheelers. That’s why long-distance drivers who move a lot of cargo across the country are in short supply
“Anybody who wants a job can get a job. We get recruiters looking for people straight out of the school,” said Ian Wilson, lead instructor at Cuyahoga Community Colleges CDL training academy.
He said retirements and the sheer competition is fueling the need for qualified drivers. It’s also slowing down commerce.
Wilson said it’s also easier for drivers to pick and choose their opportunities.
“If you’ve upset me today, I know I can go around the corner and get another job tomorrow. And if you look at it in a bigger context, look at the overall employment situation. Not just for truck driving, but everything in general and everybody’s competing for that small food,” Wilson said.
The trucking industry estimates there is shortage of more than 80,000 qualified drivers for all types of vehicles.