Earning a Commercial Driving License (CDL) will help you earn, on average, nearly $40K annually. However, you can increase your earning power drastically if you're will to drive your education and training a little further.
Here are some additional certifications to give your CDL more market leverage, employment options, and career trajectories.
A T certification allows you to drive double or triple semi-trailers. Although not all states allow triple trailers, adding a T certification onto your CDL can increase your employment opportunities. To earn you T certification, you will first need to obtain a Class A license and pass the written examination. This examination is notoriously hard; choosing a driving school that offers test prep help can drastically increase your odds of passing your test the first time.
An S certification allows you to drive school buses. This certification is often obtained by CDL drivers at the end of their career. They can earn a little supplemental income by driving a school bus for a local school, university, or church. To earn an S license, you need to pass written and driving tests. Also, you will need to submit for a background check and sex offender registry check.
An N certification allows you to operate tanker truckers. These unwieldy and technical machines require a written and driving test. Tanker truck drivers are some of the highest-earning CDL drivers, but they're also subject to some of the highest insurance rates in the industry. If you're considering earning an N certification, you may want to search for an employer who is willing to pay for you gain your certification in exchange for a long-term work contract. Remote areas like Alaska and Canada are always in desperate need of N-certified CDL drivers.
H & X
An H certification allows you to transport hazardous materials. This certification requires you to pass a written test and submit for a background check through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). If you're considering earning your H certification, you should probably just opt for an X certification, which allows you to operate a tanker and/or hazardous materials truck. Either license allows you bid for lucrative government contracts, but your insurance rates will be substantial.
Having a CDL means that you'll likely never struggle to find work. However, adding any of the certifications listed above can expand the power and earning potential of your commercial driving license.