Semi-trailer truck drives along rural road

How a CDL can put you in the driver’s seat of your career

If you are one of the millions of Americans that drives on an interstate for work, school or travel, then you’ve likely passed trucks of every shape and size. Nevertheless, it’s still easy to take the impact of the trucking and shipping industry for granted. According to the American Trucking Associations, 72.5% of the country’s freight is moved by truck

FastForward has been offering commercial driver’s license certifications since its inception, with both CDL-A and CDL-B classifications available. Earning a CDL opens a doorway to the world of logistics – giving you dozens of different career and job options. 

To equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to kick off a career in trucking, read on.

State of the industry

A 2021 article from CNBC highlighted how enormous the trucking industry has become and how fiercely competitive it’s always been.

Currently, the industry is in an unprecedented stage of change. Soaring demand and a shortage of drivers is leading some trucking companies to offer higher wages and better benefits. Now the challenge becomes finding enough trained drivers to fill the gaps. That’s where FastForward and Virginia’s Community Colleges come in.

In February 2022, the Virginia Trucking Association and Virginia Ready joined together to test out a driver recruitment program. A key component of the program is a $1,000 incentive available to who anyone who enrolls and completes truck driver training at a Virginia community college and also passes the CDL exam. The main goals are to address the nationwide truck driver shortage and give Virginians opportunities for steady employment.

The average Virginia driver can expect to earn $48,919 in annual pay.

Resources for aspiring truckers

Another benefit of joining the trucking industry is the built-in support network that’s available. In addition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (a division of the Department of Transportation), there are a number of trade organizations that are looking out for truckers such as the American Trucking AssociationsVirginia Trucking Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (aka Teamsters). Each of these groups works to represent the interests and security of drivers. As safety precautions are introduced to protect drivers from crashes and make their jobs more sustainable, these resources can keep them appraised of what’s going on within the industry.

If you are interested in earning your CDL and getting out on the road, listen to one of our graduates and his instructor talking about the program and the field. Visit our contact form to get in touch with a career coach today.