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3 Reasons to Finally Get your CDL in 2023

If you’re looking to make a career change in 2023 but aren’t sure where to go or how to start, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you enjoy driving and seeing more of the world around you?
  • Do you like the idea of working independently?
  • Do you want a secure job and one that can provide opportunities?


If this all sounds good, it might be time to consider getting your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and starting a new career as a truck or other transport driver.

Here are three reasons why 2023 is the time to make this change:

Job security.

The world is changing, it’s true, and the supply chain problems of the past few years likely won’t be cleared up soon. But driving a truck that transports goods and materials from city to city, across state lines, or from coast to coast can help ease those strains. CDL drivers are in high demand right now and will be for some time; that means job security and plenty of opportunities for those who are trained and ready to hit the open road to help provide products to companies and customers in need.

Good pay.

For a job that requires no college degree, just a specialized certificate (more on that in a moment), CDL drivers can make a great living! The average pay for a new driver, as of December 2022, is almost $53,000 per year — that works out to more than $1,000 per week and about $25.50 per hour. And that’s for an entry-level position! That’s also the average starting salary; depending on the job and where you live, it could be more.


As a CDL operator, you can decide what kind of work you want to do, and how far you want to travel in a given day or week; you can decide whether to work for yourself or join a larger company. Whether you’re an independent operator or part of a large fleet, when you’re in the truck and driving, you’re working on your own, in your own space, without the typical stresses of a standard 9-5 job. There’s flexibility and freedom to this kind of work that you won’t get from other occupations.

Does this sound like the job for you? Great! Now you might be wondering how to go about getting CDL certification. Here’s how that works:

Make sure you’re eligible.

There are certain requirements for obtaining a CDL, given the importance of keeping the road safe for all drivers. You’ll need to be over the age of 18 if you want to start driving in your home state; after the age of 21, you can drive commercial vehicles across state lines. You’ll need to pass a physical and be able to provide some paperwork — birth certificate, driver’s license, social security card, utility bill, the same documents needed to get any kind of official paperwork — when you apply for school as well.

Find and enroll in a reputable driving school.

There are private schools and programs run through community colleges; it’s a matter of finding one that offers courses that work for you. Many will offer apprenticeship programs for students and can help with job placements when you’ve completed the coursework.

Start reading.

You’ll need to get your state’s CDL manual and start to learn the laws of the road for commercial drivers before, or just after, starting school. Just like preparing for a standard driver’s license test, there are several portions and you’ll need to understand the particulars of driving professionally.

Get a learner’s permit.

Just like a standard license, you’ll need to fill out an application and start the learning and training process for a commercial license, because there are different regulations and requirements you’ll need to know. If you’ve enrolled in a driving school program, try to fill your application out there, as there will be someone available to help you with the paperwork.

Take the written test, learn more, practice more, study more.

Driving is a learn-by-doing kind of activity and if you want to be trusted with a heavy load over long drives, you’ll need to know all there is to know about safety, security and time management.

Prepare for the final test.

Unlike a standard license, you’ll need a few extra steps to get your CDL, including passing a vehicle inspection test, a basic controls test and a road test, and you might want to add on other certifications to help you land a job, including endorsements for carrying certain loads (a HazMat certification, etc.).


Looking to make a big change in 2023? Sterling Personnel might have the job for you!

Keep in mind there are different kinds and grades of CDLs; do a little research and determine what kind of driver you want to be before you start the process and it’ll help guide your work.

If this all feels overwhelming or you’d like to talk through your options, call Sterling Personnel. We can help you understand all the different prospects you have and can help you determine what’s best for you. Call Sterling Personnel today and let’s hit the ground running!