One of the things that come to mind as soon as we hear the word truck driver is the on-road experience that comes along with it. But with so many different online training programs and certifications that can be granted to basically anyone and everyone, it’s very easy to kick off your career in a multitude of different industries.
But knowledge and experience go hand in hand.
So, what is the market like for someone who has a CDL license but no prior training? Let’s find out.
How Easy is it to Get a Trucking Job With No Experience?
As we progress further into the 21st century, competition in all aspects of life is constantly on the rise. Be it labor demand, competitive rivals, or just about anything else, it’s crucial to have some kind of experience to guarantee your safe spot among a wide pool of candidates.
- Getting a trucking job with no experience at all is no piece of cake. And, honestly, we wouldn’t recommend it either.
- You’ll basically be in charge of commanding an 80,000-pound conveyance mobile. This is a huge responsibility, one you shouldn’t even think about taking up if you have no experience.
- Even if you do land a job without prior experience, chances are it won’t be the most worthwhile place to work at.
- Training certificates are a great way to jump-start your career in this field.
- Sometimes, if there’s a shortage of drivers, companies hire new or less experienced drivers in the hopes of them becoming long-term employees without significantly damaging their vehicles.
- Companies will surely look at your past record to ensure you fit right into the designated spot. So you’ll need to boast qualities that most employers are inspecting when hiring.
How to Become a Truck Driver With No Experience
Let us now discuss how you can actually benefit from your newly acquired CDL license without holding any experience in this field.
Apply to Every Carrier That You Can Think Of
One of the most reliable ways to acquire a job is by applying to essentially every trucking company you possibly can. The more companies you apply for, the higher will be your chance of landing a decent job.
Opt For Carriers Offering Different Vehicles For Driving
Don’t confine yourself to one type of vehicle. Even if you want to drive only that particular kind for a living, start off by being versatile. There are plenty of carriers that want their employees to drive trucks that aren’t tractor-trailer units. The list is quite long on the different types of trucks you can drive.
If you’re a CDL license holder, you have the qualification to drive trucks like dump trucks, plow and gravel trucks, delivery trucks, service trucks, etc. Use your license to gain experience and seat time. They also pay better in terms of hourly wages than the average on-road driving jobs.
Like mentioned earlier, certifications are a great way to have something on your resume if you don’t have any experience to show. They show your potential employer that you are, in fact, a credible applicant. A certification corroborating your work, which is well over 160 hours, is acceptable.
Apply to Mega Carriers
On the topic of applying to all the carriers and companies, you should also apply to larger trucking companies to keep your options open.
There’s No Harm In Starting Small
Just starting out in a brand-new field is not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. Chances are, the first job you’ll land won’t be something you fancy. But that’s fine; you need to prepare yourself to take on any job when starting out to take the first step towards your driving career.
Trucking companies often offer their own apprenticeship programs. If you’re a new driver with a license, try choosing such programs. You could even contact larger companies that have their own finishing schools to make novices learn the art of driving according to the company’s needs.
You could seek help from a broker to hook you up with some excellent opportunities. Or, if you’re lucky, you may find an independent owner-operator who may hire you.
Paid CDL Training Programs
If you don’t want to work as an apprentice because you’re tight on budget and want to earn some cash, you can try enrolling in a paid CDL training program where you’ll be paid as much as $700 a week at minimum as you train simultaneously.
Good Employment History
An adequate history of where you’ve previously worked, even if it’s not in the trucking business, can help you achieve the necessary eminence in the employer's eyes. Even if it’s a farmer or a mechanic, good employment history is one of the top factors companies take into account while recruiting.
Meeting the FMCSA Regulatory Guidelines
If you’re inexperienced, another thing to keep in mind is that employers also check if the contenders meet the necessary FMCSA guidelines. Make sure you’re clearly informed about the topic, and you’ll be all set.
Review of the Best Trucking Companies Hiring Inexperienced Drivers
Being an inexperienced candidate in this day and age really does make you go through a rough patch. You need experience to have a job, and you need a job to have experience. It’s a never-ending loop. That’s where we come in.
If you fall under the mentioned category, check out these top trucking companies who’s next employee might be you!
1. Millis Transfer Inc.
- Address: Millis Transfer, Black River Falls, WI 54615
- Website: https://www.millistransfer.com
- Phone Number: Local: 715-284-4384 Toll-Free: 800-937-0880
Who is Millis Transfer?
The company was founded by brothers, Jake and Ray Millis, in 1936. Initially inaugurated as a small beer distributor company, Millis Transfer rose to the occasion because of high customer demand and satisfaction.
As their services grew in magnitude, they began expanding their running areas. All this eventually led to their success as a well-reputed company. This family-owned dry-van truckload carrier is an ideal choice for newcomers. They offer regional and committed fleet services in numerous key markets across the US. It’s been a certified top pay carrier for 14 years.
The company offers a list of jobs to its employees, including company driver, truck driver, over-the-road truck driver, regional driver, regular driver, and diesel technician. Furthermore, the recruiting process is easy, and the interview phase is favorable, as reported by most employees.
The company provides a good learning experience for its workers. They teach, inculcate new learning techniques, and, most importantly, provide the necessary process actually to work towards something. Employees say that the company culture is fast-paced, relaxed, and equal parts collaborative & competitive.
Salary and Benefits
- A truck driver, on average, earns about $50,744 per year.
- A regular driver roughly earns $45,320 per year.
- A company driver usually earns approximately $57,536 per year.
The company laborers further enjoy a myriad of benefits like:
The drivers are covered through United Health Care and MetLife. The extensive coverage offered at a suitable price includes benefits like prescription coverage, life insurance, 401(k) plans, health, dental and eye care insurance, rider policy, short term disability, etc.
Drivers can enjoy three weeks of paid vacation after completing one year of service within the company.
All Millis' fleet is equipped with the latest technology. The drivers are given special amenities, so their experience on the road is safe and comfortable. These include very specific and high-quality facilities like auto-shift tractors with ABS braking, refrigerator, 24” flat-screen TV and a subscription to DirecTV paid by Millis, etc.
This is a great family business offering an excellent training process as well. We believe that the environment will be really good for starters. They’ll find it easy to adjust and work in. Moreover, they’ll be able to enjoy flexible work times so as to maintain a positive work-life balance. Long-term employees can either choose to stay with the company due to the salary as well as the perks, or they can opt for something better if they come across it.
2. Prime Inc.
- Address: 2740 N Mayfair Ave, Springfield, MO 65803, United States
- Website: https://www.primeinc.com/
- Phone Number: +1 417-866-0001
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is Prime Inc.?
Robert Low, owner, and founder of Prime inc., initiated the company in 1970 in Springfield, Missouri. Since then, it has let innovation map out its path in regional and over-the-road trucking businesses. It has now become one of the most successful flatbed, refrigerated, tanker, and intermodal carriers in all of North America, providing dependable and secure on-time trucking services.
The immense success behind building a huge company from scratch enabled Robert to earn one of 2013’s Best Truck Fleet Innovators of the Year.
Prime Inc. offers work opportunities in a variety of different fields. These include OTR and truck drivers, computer programmers, fleet and operation managers and executives, accountants and logistic brokers, human resource generalists, web designers, diesel mechanics, system analysts, project managers, etc. The list is quite long.
The interview stage at Prime Inc. has a difficulty level somewhere around the medium. The overall experience is positive, based on reviews from employees within different departments. It’s a great company to work for, provided you have no trucking experience. The owners and higher authority remain engaged with their employees and show genuine concern.
Salary and Benefits
According to each specific job description, Prime Inc. offers salaries ranging from $34,774 to $121,558 on average per year.
The benefits it offers constitute:
Passenger and Pet Policy
Drivers are allowed to have one person with them inside the truck while they’re on the road. They can also keep one pet if it’s under 40 pounds, and the driver has paid the refundable deposit.
Company workers have the right to enjoy medical, dental, and life insurance. 401(k) success sharing plans are also on the list.
Employees have rewarded a safety bonus if they go without engaging in any kind driver-preventable accidents or out-of-service incidents.
Drivers can enjoy one day off per week to indulge in family time.
Depending on the number of miles that the motorists drive while being on the road, they can obtain as much as $2,800 of paid vacation leaves each year.
Newcomers can really achieve amazing benefits by providing optimal performance throughout the year. For someone who’s been working with the company for a long time, this is a safe and progressive place to work. Training often goes hand-in-hand, whereby the company’s CDL training programs will give you real-world experience.
3. Roehl Transport
- Address: 1916 E. 29th Street, Marshfield, WI 54449
- Website: https://www.roehl.jobs/
- Phone Number: 715-591-3795
- Email: Roehl.Drivers@Roehl.net
Who is Roehl Transport?
Started in 1962 with a single truck, Roehl Transport has now become one of the largest and top 100 trucking companies across the nation. The company holds a diverse set of services it offers to its customers, encompassing flatbed, dry-van, curtain side, reefer, and step-deck transportation. It also showcases a mixture of freight involving dedicated, local, and regional, OTR, LTL, and TL operations.
Roehl has earned quite a few distinctions, including the safest trucking company and best-managed company. Everett Roehl, the founder, believes in delivering the utmost confidence and satisfaction. Their success also carved their way out to be recognized as a military-friendly employer.
The list of jobs offered by Roehl transport includes numerous CDL-A truck driver jobs, warehouse worker; on-the-job paid CDL truck driver, regional sales manager, trailer technician, tire technician, driver employment specialist, tarp repair technician, etc.
Employees are generally satisfied with the work environment, primarily because the company gives them ample home time with flexible hours. The training programs are paid while the management makes sure their drivers are valued and appreciated. Overall, a laid-back working culture coupled with fun co-workers really makes it a nice place to start.
Salary and Benefits
- A truck driver’s average salary is about $61,717 per year
- Someone working as a company driver will roughly earn around $33,060 per year
- A local driver earns about $54,613 per year
- An owner-operator might roughly earn around $56,452 per year
The benefits cover:
This includes different types of insurance like health, dental, long-term disability, basic and supplemental, etc.
Flexible Spending Accounts:
Employees can further benefit from flexible spending accounts for certain out-of-pocket medical costs
Short-term income protection plans and long-term disability plans come as a deal, and you pay the premium as if they were one. They also offer workers compensation insurance and voluntary insurance benefits.
Vacation and Holidays
Paid vacations are offered to all employees
These include 401(k) plans and profit-sharing.
The company proffers specific jobs for both inexperienced and experienced drivers. As a result, you can easily start off as an inexperienced driver, enroll in their training programs, and eventually gain the necessary learning and experience to qualify as an experienced driver. It's an excellent opportunity for beginners.
4. Stevens Transport
- Address: 9757 Military Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75227
- Website: https://www.stevenstransport.com/
- Phone Number: 1-800-806-4917
Who is Stevens Transport?
Sticking to the philosophy ‘people are the heart of any organization,’ founder and current chairman Steven L. Aaron created Stevens transport: a family-owned temperature-controlled logistics company. It believes that its fine history as an asset-based refrigerated transport corporation has enabled it to be one of the leading establishments across all of North America.
Extremely specialized in regional, dedicated, intermodal, and 3PL services, they are sure to imbue high-level integrity in all their operations, may it be capacity-driven or revolving around their overall commitment to people, services, or results.
The catalog of job roles at Stevens Transport comprises entry-level truck drivers, truck driving trainees, OTR drivers, CDL truck drivers with different perks according to various locations, tax accountants, call center recruiters, HR generalists, mechanics, house-keeping, truckload sales executive, etc.
The company thrives on the success of its drivers. Employees claim that the organization proved to be an impeccable choice for their careers as it ensured that high-quality training was imparted to each individual candidate who was new to the industry. For someone looking for a better opportunity than what they can currently find, this is a great place to work. A variety of flexible programs are offered to cater to individual needs.
Salary and Benefits
The salary range offered by the organization is around $27,399 per year for over-the-road truck driver
It’s roughly $60,093 per year for a driver trainer.
- A driver earns about $26, 496 per year
- Average weekly pay is around $396 per week for a truck driver
- A professional driver can make about $1,700 per week
Claiming that the drivers are, in fact, the company’s most valuable asset, Stevens Transport makes sure to compensate them a lot more than what’s generally acceptable. The perks include:
Emergency Driver Assistance Fund
This is an assistance fund created by drivers for drivers. In case of any emergency or discrepancy, the drivers can apply to the program for assistance and financial support.
Health insurance is offered by the company covering the medical, eye, and dental insurance. Health savings accounts, occupational accident insurance, disability insurance, retiree health and medical., etc. are also included.
Financials And Retirement
The company offers a vast range of pension plans, 401k plans, stock options, equity incentive plans, supplemental workers compensation, stock options, performance bonuses, and charitable gift matchings.
Vacation and Time Off
Paid vacations and time-offs are provided to the drivers. Perks like sabbatical and bereavement leave are also a part of the plan.
Perks and Discounts
This constitutes various employee discounts, free lunch and snacks, gym membership, legal assistance, and a lot more.
The company further offers maternity and paternity leaves, child care, work from home, military leave, adoption assistance, flexible hours, etc.
For novices, this is, no doubt, an incredible company to work with. They make sure you’re not only trained to be successful at your current job but also your whole career.
The top-notch equipment, open-door policy, and the highly engaging & encouraging training programs by master trainers really set your ambitions straight for the ‘road’ ahead. For someone who’s been a long-term employee, we believe the place promises job satisfaction and occupational integrity.
5. Knight Transportation
- Address: 20002 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85027
- Website: https://www.knighttrans.com/
- Phone Number: 800-489-2000
- Email: email@example.com
Who is Knight Transportation?
The four founding cousins of Knight Transportation: brothers, Kevin and Keith Knight, and brothers Randy and Gary Knight, worked for Swift Transformation before starting their own trucking company in 1990. They had the experience required and a determined vision of making it a better job for a driver. The company started out with next to nothing and quickly rose to become one of the industry leaders today.
In 2004, the company made the Forbes Best Small Companies List for the 10th time in a row and, in 2012, made Forbes America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies List as well. The vision that the cousins started the company out with has proved to stand the test of time as drivers are still the heart of their business.
Driving jobs at Knight Transportation consist of Company Driver, Truck Driver, Driver, Local Driver, Regional Driver, Owner-Operator Driver, and Driver Recruiter. Meanwhile, Non-Driver jobs include Maintenance work such as Diesel Technician, Shop Technician, Trailer Mechanic, and Diesel Mechanic, to name a few.
Knight Transportation provides various sorts of opportunities for drivers who already own their trucks and drivers who want to own their own trucks, such as the Lease Purchase Program.
Other office jobs may include Sales, Administration, and Logistics Support jobs such as Driver Manager, Terminal Manager, Scheduler, Personal Assistant, Port Logistics Transportation Analyst, Payroll Associate, and clearinghouse processor.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary of a Company Driver is around $59,717 per year
- Heavy Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver’s salary range is around $26k-$61k per year
- Owner-Operator Drivers make around $660 per week, on average, while Independent Contractors earn about $68,395 per year
- OTR Truck Driver’s salary range around $33k-74k per year
Other benefits may include:
Retirement & Financial Benefits
Knight employees have a 401(k) Plan and a Defined Contribution Pension Plan to have a reliable source of income later in life. Many employees participate in these employer-funded retirement plans.
Health & Insurance Benefits
Their Insurance packages may reportedly include Health, Life, Dental, Vision, Temporary Disability (for accidents and illnesses), and Long-term Disability Insurance.
We feel like this particular business will prove to be a great working environment for newcomers because of the perks and salaries mentioned. In addition to this, they can avail of the flexible working hours to experiment and make use of additional online training programs to enhance their skills, knowledge, and, hence, their careers.
6. Swift Transportation
- Address: 2200 S. 75th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85043
- Website: https://www.swifttrans.com/
- Phone Number: 1-800-800-2200
Who is Swift Transportation?
Swift Transportation is one of the largest trucking companies in the US, with over 22,000 skilled drivers and operates over 14,000 trucks. Jerry Moyes founded it, but the history can be traced back to his father when he initially started a small trucking company in the 50s with his wife, Betty Moyes. After his father's passing, Jerry bought out his other two partners, Ronald Moyes and Randy Knight, becoming the sole owner.
In 2017, Swift Transportation partnered up with Knight Transportation, resulting in Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. Today, Swift generates over $4 Billion in revenue and has spread beyond North America to Mexico, also owning 100% of a Mexican carrier, Trans-Mex.
We can loosely categorize career paths under three headings of Driver, Mechanic, and Office. The jobs under driver may range from driver, truck driver, and owner-operator driver to company driver.
Mechanics may include titles such as fleet mechanic, diesel mechanic, trailer mechanic, and also technicians.
Under Office roles, we may include sales titles such as Driver manager and Sales representative while also encompassing administrative and logistic support roles such as office coordinator, service writer, operations assistance and dispatcher, load planner, and transportation coordinator.
It should be noted that even though this industry is male-dominated, Swift Transportation puts emphasis on providing ample opportunities for women in all departments, and has over 1,300 women truck drivers.
Salary and Benefits
- An average salary of a truck driver may be around $42,336 per year
- Company Driver has a reported salary of $38,236 per year
- The average driver earns around $46,424 per year
- An Owner-Operator Driver may earn around an average of $64,750 per year
Swift Transportation provides ample flexibility, such as work-from-home opportunities and flexible schedules. Other reported benefits that employees receive may include:
The company covers several types, such as Health, Life, Dental, Vision, and Disability insurance.
Performance and Incentive-based compensation may include performance bonuses, paid time off, referral program, weekly bonus, yearly bonus, signing bonus, and tuition reimbursement.
Development and Retirement plan
Swift offers an employee assistance program, employee stock purchase program, and even a fully-paid college tuition program. Their retirement plan has a profit-sharing feature and includes the 401(k) plan.
Swift is a good place for beginners who are looking to experience how rigorous the trucking career is. It offers pay according to experience, so the pay will increase as experience does. More experience and maturity will also bring the benefits packages we briefly went over above.
7. R. E. West Transportation
- Address: 14 Bluegrass Dr, Ashland City, TN 37015, United States
- Website: https://www.rewest.com/
- Phone Number: +1 615-792-1526
Who is R. E. West Transportation?
With its reputation as an interstate and intrastate truckload carrier, R.E Transportation essentially redefines freight transportation. The roots of the company are situated in the small town of Livingston. Founder Bob West had a vision where he would spend ample quality time with his father. These humble beginnings led to the establishment of a huge corporation as well as a lifelong journey.
Now, the company provides top-class freight services throughout the US and Canada with the aid of its premium fleet and a highly dedicated team of personnel.
On the topic of enumerating a list of R.E West job positions, it’s open to applicants seeking roles as CDL-A truck drivers. There is a vast range of specific jobs within this category, differentiated on the basis of hourly or weekly wages, various experience levels, and regions. Heavy haul truck drivers, etc. are also part of the list.
The small, family-like atmosphere is what makes this company a nice and healthy place to work. The equipment provided is fine in shape and efficient in performance. All in all, this is an excellent place to polish up your skills and gain the necessary competency.
Salary and Benefits
- The average salary of R.E employees is $30.41/hour
- A company driver earns around $60,000 per year.
- A truck driver earns about $37k-$53k, depending upon the level of experience.
The benefits and perks are as follows:
Insurance, Health, and Wellness
This covers numerous plans like supplemental life, dental, vision, disability, accidental death & dismemberment, and much more.
Retirement Plans and Financials
The list is very considerate of the valuable drivers the company holds. Some of the perks are retirement, pension, and 401k plans, and supplemental workers' compensation, etc.
Employees can enjoy paid vacation leaves to obtain sufficient work-life balance.
Beginners who are scared for their careers because they lack experience need not worry! This company offers great employment opportunities for drivers of all experience levels. The diversity in terms of recruitment is why we especially recommend this to our readers.
Of course, employees serving the company for years experience excellent benefits and compensation, aiding in overall employee satisfaction throughout the company.
Truck Driver Salary and Career Outlook
A truck driver earns a good amount of money, which is enough to be able to afford a sustainable livelihood for himself and his family. In addition to this, the added perks and benefits ensure excellent job security and financial aid in case it’s needed.
Furthermore, as far as the job outlook is concerned, employment for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers is expected to expand about 5% from now till 2028. As supply chain operations continue to rise at a rapid pace, so will the complementary employment opportunities tied to it. As a result, demand for truck drivers will continue to increase, guaranteeing reliable prospects for this particular industry.
How Much Does an Entry-Level Truck Driver Make?
Truck drivers earn different amounts of average salaries, depending upon their experience and qualifications, so let’s see what an entry, mid, and master level candidate is expected to earn.
- Entry-Level: It’s estimated to be around $38k per year
2. Mid-Level: Approximately $55k per year
3. Master-Level: For highly experienced personnel, it goes as high as $77k per year
Recent technologization and the genesis of many different fields has opened a whole new world of work opportunities across the globe. What were once believed to be unreliable professions have now clawed their way into the list of most recognized careers in the world. Truck driving is one similar business.
With such promising job prospects, a dependable salary, and a myriad of benefits, this sphere is getting bigger by the day. And because it’s so welcoming for inexperienced drivers, you just can’t go wrong.
People Also Ask
If there’s still some ambiguity, have a look at our carefully formulated list of frequently asked questions. We've included some of the most common answers people ask. We hope you find your answer as well.
Is Being a Truck Driver Worth It?
A truck driver in this day and age is definitely worth it. It’s no longer an unreliable profession. You can actually start small and build your way up to earn quite a splendid salary in addition to the vast range of perks and benefits. The job prospect showcases that it will continue to expand as the years come, and so, we would classify it as a stable occupation option.
How Much Training to Become a New Truck Driver?
For employers, a training certificate indicating that you have trained for at least 160 hours is acceptable. Without it, it’s highly unlikely that companies will hire you. So focus on getting the mentioned amount of hours before you opt for a job out in the market. You can even opt for a company providing training programs of their own so you can get paid while you train and then hop on the road once you're ready.
Do Trucking Companies Pay You to Become a Driver?
Yes, in the sense that you get to enroll in a paid training program. Companies offer paid CDL training programs where they train you for all the required skills and competencies before they hire you as a regular and qualified employee. You are paid for this program, so it’s a win-win situation.
Which States are Easier to Find a Trucking Job Without Experience?
The best states for us would have to be:
- Rhode Island
Can You Get a CDL Without Truck Driving Experience?
Yes, you can. Getting a CDL license requires you to take a test, so you can study and sit for your CDL test without going to a driving school or having any experience. Obviously, if your answers are accurate, you’ll acquire the license. But knowledge is not enough for employability. You need to have real experience. Hence, even if you own a CDL, chances are companies won't hire you.
Can You Get a Class A CDL Without Going to School?
It is possible, but your chances of landing a stable position and being employed by a reputable organization will be narrow. A CDL license is not enough to guarantee reliable working opportunities; you need actual experience to confirm your credibility in the eyes of your employer.