If you are looking to open more opportunities for CDL jobs, you have probably considered adding an endorsement to your license.
Endorsements do increase truck driving job opportunities, but choosing the right one can be difficult. Let’s learn about endorsements and how you can use them to expand your eligibility for CDL jobs!
Picking the Right Endorsement for Your CDL Jobs
CDLs, or commercial driver’s licenses, are divided into three “classes” (A, B, and C). These different levels regulate how much weight you can haul, whether you can transport passenger vehicles, and other specifics, but endorsements broaden the scope of opportunities available to you.
Types of Endorsements for CDL Jobs
There are many endorsements, but ones that affect CDL jobs include:
• T: Double or triple trailers - While some states don’t allow triple trailers, this endorsement lets you to pull double and triple trailers and requires a knowledge test.
• P: Passenger vehicles - The number will vary by state, but this endorsement allows you to carry a specific amount of passengers. This endorsement is required for municipal and shuttle bus drivers.
• N: Tank vehicles - If the vehicle carries a certain amount of liquid or liquid gas (specified, again, by the state) in a permanently-mounted tank, the N endorsement is required.
• S: School bus driving - This is different than the standard passenger endorsement, as it allows you to drive a school bus in your local area.
• H: Hazardous materials - For obvious reasons, this is one of the most difficult endorsements to achieve. If hazardous materials of any kind are being transported, the driver must have an H endorsement.
• X: Tank vehicles and hazardous materials combination - If the hazardous materials are liquid and hauled in a tanker, the driver must have the X endorsement as well.
Each one of these endorsements opens up new opportunities for CDL jobs, and while most of them are simple, affordable, and easy to obtain (Hazardous material being the obvious exception), some require knowledge testing, some include a road test, and others may require a larger entry fee.
The H and X endorsements are especially tricky. While they will certainly increase the value of your CDL, they come with heavy scrutinization, which includes an initial written test, a background check, and recertification on a more frequent basis, usually every two years.
Choosing the Right Endorsement for your CDL Jobs
So which one should you get? Honestly, you should get all of them. New CDL jobs open up all the time, and whether it’s with your current trucking company or with a new organization, having all the endorsements allows you to apply for more opportunities, enhancing your career track and earning potential.
But we also know it’s not that easy, so take these things into consideration when choosing an endorsement...
Talk to your company leaders and find out what they need. Do they have lots of double trailers that need to be hauled? Are there constantly CDL jobs opening for driving tankers? This information will help point you in the right direction.
Next, take a look at the trucking industry overall. Maybe there is a current shortage of HAZMAT drivers or a need for shuttle bus drivers.
What about your pay? Because they are more difficult to achieve, CDL jobs for HAZMAT tanker driving generally pay more. Is that something you want from your career?
By looking at the market, your trucking company and its needs, and your career goals, you can choose the endorsements that best suit your goals for obtaining future CDL jobs.
High-Quality CDL Jobs are Waiting
No matter what endorsements you have, you will find the CDL jobs you want by visiting clicking below to view our Classifieds section.
From auto hauling to pulling tankers, we have the opportunities you need from leading trucking companies all over the country.