New Articles

More Than Just Trucks: 5 Diverse Career Paths With A Cdl

global trade cdl healthy

More Than Just Trucks: 5 Diverse Career Paths With A Cdl

A commercial driver’s license opens the door to numerous career opportunities. These five diverse career paths offer great earning potential for CDL holders. 

Being a truck driver is a potentially lucrative career path in the US. The demand for drivers is high as shortages have plagued the industry since 2011, and this outlook is not improving any time soon. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the last decade, there were over 200,000 openings annually for heavy-duty tractor-trailer operators, and filling these spots is hugely challenging. 

Read also: Digitalization Helps to Simplify Daily Tasks for Truck Drivers

It’s clear that the demand for reliable, licensed truck drivers has skyrocketed, and this has prompted many people to apply for their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). But while trucking remains one of the most consistently popular ways to utilize a CDL, the list of career options doesn’t stop there. 

There are numerous ways to leverage this type of license and commit to professional driving that doesn’t involve trucks at all – or at least not in the way most are familiar with. 


A CDL is simply a commercial driver’s license – not a truck driving license. Truckers need them in order to legally perform their duties, but there are several options beyond trucking worth considering, especially if you’ve been in the business for a while and are looking to switch things up a little. 


Being a driving instructor is a rewarding experience that can help you impart your knowledge to those around you. As long as you have your CDL, you can receive training to specialize in instructing adolescents, seniors, or people with disabilities how to drive. 

Driving instructors earn an average of $44,800 per year. It’s a career that is easy to balance as a side hustle with its flexible hours and consistent demand across the country. 


Although transport drivers are similar to truck drivers in some ways, there are some key differences worth exploring. Mainly, transport driving doesn’t always require truck transport driving or the moving of heavy loads—it also often requires operating smaller vehicles, such as regular cars. 

Moreover, transport drivers are sometimes responsible for transporting people, not just packages or goods. Transport drivers earn an average of $64,700 per year. 


A driver’s helper is responsible for assisting truckers or other commercial drivers in managing their various duties. It’s a good starter career option for people who have recently received their CDL and want to gain experience and confidence before manning the wheel independently. 

Some of the duties a driver’s helper may be tasked with include loading, unloading, navigation, and occasionally driving when the main driver is tired or unavailable. Driver’s helpers make approximately $47,000 annually. 


Being a bus driver is a great career option for people who are more socially inclined or prefer a slower pace on the road. As the job title suggests, bus drivers are responsible for driving passengers to various locations via bus. It can be long or short distance, depending on the company you work for. 

In addition to the driving part of the job, bus drivers may also be required to perform traffic monitoring, bus maintenance, and tending to passenger needs. Bus drivers make an average of $45,000 per year. 


A chauffeur takes passengers on pre-arranged trips, such as those to and from their airport or from one city to another. Chauffeurs are often required to drive a variety of vehicles, including limousines, private cars, and vans. 

There is a refined serviceman element to the chauffeur profession that sets it apart from other CDL career paths. They are often hired by high-end luxury passengers or government officials. Because of the extra skills required, chauffeurs earn an average of $58,000 per year. 


If you are a truck driver or owner-operator, you probably already have your CDL and are familiar with the process of applying for one. But laws change over time, and keeping your finger on the pulse of new road rules and trends is crucial for maintaining credibility in the trucking industry.

CDL application and approval laws are subject to individual states. Make sure your understanding of CDL requirements is up to date with your region so that your license is always credible and valid. 


Whether you are a trucker, a truck owner-operator, or simply a curious driver, embarking on new adventures is a healthy choice for any career path. CDLs are valuable licenses that can extend far beyond just trucking and can help you adopt a broader range of driving skills. 

Other benefits include the ability to upgrade your resume, as adding more experience is always a good idea. Working as a chauffeur or transport driver for a bit will make you a more attractive hire. Plus, you never know when a sector or business is going to take a hit. Having experience in multiple professional driving contexts gives you job security. You’ll also become a better truck driver as driving in different circumstances or for various clients requires you to refine and expand your skill set. In turn, this helps to reduce your chances of an accident, as you’ll be better equipped to handle hazardous or difficult situations.

Additionally, if you plan on operating within the trucking or driving industry for the foreseeable future, expanding and diversifying your client base is a huge advantage that can result in a more profitable and sustainable career in the long run. 

Obtaining a CDL opens many doors for anyone who wants to make a living from their driving skills. Between trucking and the above-listed career path, there are many incentives to have a CDL. 


Life on the road is great when you have a CDL. These days, you can use it to work not only as a trucker but also as a chauffeur, driver’s helper, driving instructor, transport driver, or bus driver if you decide that’s what you’d like to pursue. There are many options, and many are worth exploring. 

Maintaining awareness of CDL rules and requirements will help you achieve greater success in the commercial driving industry and give you more career freedom in the future.