My sixteen-year-old son has struggled to get this far in high school. At this point, we know that he will not be attending a college to become a doctor or lawyer, but that he will be going to a trade school instead. Why would we make this plan so soon? Will he really benefit from going to a trade school and not a college? There are so many benefits to going to a trade school, and if you visit my blog, you will learn what those benefits are. Hopefully, you will gain a better understanding of how a trade school can help a struggling student create a career plan that is reachable.
Being a CDL-licensed truck driver can open the door to a rewarding career, but if you are looking for something a little more challenging, you may want to consider getting a hazmat endorsement for your license. Hazmat drivers are specially licensed to haul hazardous materials, such as gas, nitrogen, propane and hazardous waste. Here are a few things to consider when planning your career in trucking so you can decide if being a hazmat driver is right for you.
CDL drivers with a hazmat endorsement can make more money than those without. The average pay for a heavy equipment operator with a hazmat endorsement can make as much as $35 per hour, while those without can make up to $29.90 per hour. The difference between a tractor/trailer truck driver is a bit less than that for heavy equipment operators, but the hazmat driver still has a pay advantage. The pay will vary depending on the area you live in and your level of experience on the road.
With a hazmat CDL, there are many unique job opportunities you can apply for. Fuel truck drivers, hazardous waste drivers and fuel delivery specialists all typically need a hazmat endorsement to haul their loads. You could use your license to drive the fuel truck at the airport to help refuel airplanes, or you could drive fuel tankers to gas stations for refueling purposes. If you want to get out from behind the steering wheel, you can use your special endorsements to work in the office as a dispatcher or a fleet manager. Your unique knowledge of the challenges of hazmat driving can help you to provide efficient logistics for any company that specializes in hauling hazardous materials.
You'll need to already have your CDL before you attempt to get your hazmat endorsement. Your state will require you to take the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test. You can take a class at your local truck driving trade school to help prepare for the test. Before you take the test, you'll need to pass a TSA criminal background check, and you'll need to make sure you have all the proper documentation for proof of identity and proof of medical fitness to drive. Once your application is approved, you will have a CDL with a hazmat endorsement that lets you legally transport a range of hazardous materials.
Getting a CDL means you already have half the work done towards getting your hazmat license. With a relatively easy licensing process and plenty of unique job opportunities, getting a hazmat endorsement is a smart move for any truck driver. Even if you never drive a hazmat truck, having the license means you can keep your career opportunities open. For more information, contact the Center For Transportation Safety or a similar organization.Share
5 November 2015