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Earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) gives you the opportunity to begin a rewarding career in the trucking industry. After completing the process, you hopefully feel a sense of accomplishment and are excited for this new chapter in your life. At the same time, you may be wondering what the next steps are and what you can expect directly after truck driving school graduation.

The vast majority of recent CDL graduates start with over-the-road (OTR) trucking. This is because these companies are more likely to hire drivers with no commercial driving history and because these jobs allow you to get the widest range of experience.

Once you know your goals and preferences, you can start looking for companies that are currently hiring new drivers.

The process for getting a trucking job after earning your license varies. Depending on the position, there may be a more conventional interview and/or a driving test. You can use these as opportunities to learn more about the motor carrier and decide if they are the best fit for you.

Although you have already been exposed to various aspects of the trucking industry during your time in CDL school, most motor carriers also have additional training before you can drive solo. This usually involves spending a few weeks on the road with a driver trainer.

The typical structure for on-the-road company training begins with a period of time where the driver trainer supervises all of your driving time. After this, you’ll transition to a team driving schedule. This means the trainer will not be actively watching you while you are driving but will be available if you need them.

After you complete any on-the-job training your company requires and your trainer approves you to move forward, you can go solo. This is often both exciting and a little bit intimidating. It helps to remember how far you have come. It’s also important to remember that safety should be your number one focus from the time you start driving until the end of your trucking career.

Alternatively, if you’re pursuing team driving, you’ll transition from working with your driver trainer to your new trucking partner. Many of the most successful trucking teams consist of spouses or family members who are already comfortable with each other, but other drivers choose to be paired by their company.

Start On the Road to a Trucking Career

If you’re interested in earning competitive pay as a truck driver, the first step is earning your CDL with us.