Colorado Job Opportunities for CDL Holders

Colorado is a state with a great number of opportunities for those looking to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for Colorado truck drivers in 2017 was $42,480 per year. This is higher than the national average of $39,500 per year, and is expected to increase.

As of 2016, there were 1,871,700 heavy, tractor-trailer, and light, delivery driver truck jobs. Though there is no work experience in a related occupation to become a truck driver, drivers are expected to have a high school diploma and graduate from a professional truck driving school.

In 2013, the state of Colorado alone provided 99,590 truck driver jobs. The wages that year was more than $4.8 billion, with the average salary at a high $48,114, or approximately $4,000 a month.

Job growth in Colorado is higher than the national average. A reported 25 percent increase in truck driving jobs in the state is expected by the year 2022. Colorado reportedly has over 12,660 trucking companies, many of which are small businesses.

With all this in mind, it’s understated that Colorado takes CDL training seriously. Because trucks are a major asset to moving goods around the state (according to the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, a reported 79 percent of Colorado communities depend on trucks for goods transportation), the state has invested in its schooling system to train would-be truck drivers.

Our CDL training school, Commercial Vehicle Training Center, not only prepare our students to begin truck driving immediately after completion of our CDL program, but also provide job assistance.

Truck Driving Job Opportunities in Colorado

There are many large companies offering opportunities to CDL holders. Many job listings can be found through association with Colorado trucking organizations, such as the Colorado Motor Carriers Association. Affiliation with an organization can provide valuable networking opportunities and early job search info.

Here are just a few of the top companies ready to hire Colorado CDL school graduates.

J.B. Hunt

J.B. Hunt is a household name for good reason: it’s one of the largest transportation companies in the US. Currently, the company has close to 125,000 employees, and are looking to add more. The average yearly gross pay for drivers is $70,000, and the company offers competitive benefits, matched 401K, and various driving opportunities for Colorado truck employees, from local to regional.

Beco Inc.

Beco Inc. is a highly-respected trucking company in Colorado, historically known for its decades of delivery service for the United States Postal Service. This family-owned trucking company gives drivers the option to be at home with their family as often as they like. On average, their drivers are home every three days. They offer a competitive benefits package, which includes dental, vision, 401K, and paid holidays and vacations.

Fleet Car Carriers

Based in Commerce, Colorado, Fleet Car Carriers’ fleet consists of 615 trucks and drivers. This company specializes in full truckload auto shipments, with local, regional, and national routes. FCC also boasts being the recipient of the 2017 General Motors Quality Carrier of the Year Award.

FCC is an owner-operated company, which also allows drivers to drive new vehicle models from the top automotive companies. Salaries for drivers vary, but worker reviews for the company are generally high.

CDL Driving Age Set to Go Lower?

Major changes are now set to hit the truck driving world, and will inevitably affect CDL driving age requirements.

In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed changes — which are backed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of Washington’s Department of Transportation — to lower the age of truck drivers, in particular for purposes of driving across state lines.

Now, two years later, the program is set to go into effect.

What the new proposal means for truck drivers

Historically the age allowance to drive large trucks across state lines was 21 and over. But because of a current significant truck driver shortage in the US, the federal government is promoting a new policy to lower this age in order to help the economy and trucking industry.

According to statistics, the shortage of US truck drivers are in the range of 51,000 and is expected to increase to a whopping 63,000 this year.

In a July 2018 article in the New York Times, it was reported that “The lack of available drivers is rippling through the supply chain, causing a bottleneck of goods that is delaying deliveries and prompting some companies to increase prices.”

The article went on to report that the Trump administration is working towards getting non-traditional truck drivers to sign up for job placements in the truck industry, including women and minorities, since (according to the Times) the industry has been historically dominated by white men.

The effort to bring in younger truck drivers, under the age of 21, is currently a pilot program with some major push. Known as Section 5404 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the program is designed to allow drivers under 21 years old with certain military occupational specialty experience, or national guard experience, to begin driving large trucks across state lines.

The pilot program is expected to begin later in the year.

Another proposal, the Drive Safe Act, will allow all 18-21-year-olds to operate a large truck. This bill has yet to take effect but is being supported by organizations such as the American Trucking Association.

Controversy Surrounding the Plan

But of course, no proposal regarding CDL driving age range is without debate.

According to sobering statistics, drivers below the age of 20 are three times more likely to be involved in fatal vehicle accidents. In 2010 alone, 33 percent of deaths among 13 to 19-year-olds were due to motor vehicle crashes.

According to a Center for Disease Control study, in 2013 drivers between the ages of 15-19 represented only 7 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 11 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.

Though there are many factors related to these statistics (such as teens having a higher rate of not wearing seatbelts while driving, as well as drunk driving, according to the CDC), organizations who are pushing for the lower age truck driving bill are adamant that CDL training programs will become more stringent, going above and beyond current requirements in order to ensure driver safety.