If you’ve had a hard time finding products at the store or getting your online orders delivered on time, you have probably heard about the supply chain problem and the truck driver shortage. In fact, thousands of job openings for drivers are available in the states that are home to All-State Career School campuses. A quick search on the job site Indeed, for example, will result in 9,500 job ads in Maryland, 26,000 job ads in Pennsylvania, and 3,400 job listings in West Virginia.
When you’re a qualified commercial truck driver, you’ve got an open road of opportunity before you. One way to increase your potential earnings is by adding trucker endorsements to your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Like certificates, endorsements allow you to transport different types of cargo. While the requirements vary by state, here are six options.
A P Endorsement is a passenger vehicle endorsement that allows you to drive a vehicle or bus that seats 16 people, which includes the driver. Training includes steps such as pre- and post-trip vehicle inspection, vehicle loading, and trip safety practices. To obtain a P Endorsement, you need to pass a written and a road test.
If you are driving a school bus, you’ll also need to get an S Endorsement, which is a school bus transport endorsement. You’ll receive training on safety measures for children entering and exiting the bus as well as student management. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for a P endorsement, you’ll need to pass a federal background check.
A T Endorsement, also called a double and triple endorsement, allows you to drive a truck that tows double or triple trailers. Since this type of vehicle has multiple segments and is more prone to roll-overs, you’ll receive additional training specific to driving these special rigs safely. You’ll need to pass a written test to receive this endorsement.
An N Endorsement is a tanker vehicle endorsement. It allows you to drive tanker vehicles that haul liquid or gas. Hauling liquids involves special training on safety rules, since they present additional driving challenges including a higher center of gravity and movement inside the tank. To receive this endorsement, you need to pass a written test.
An H Endorsement, or hazardous material endorsement, allows you to operate a vehicle that is loaded with HAZMAT (hazardous material), which includes flammable and combustible liquids, gas, or explosives. To receive an H endorsement, you need to pass a written test, complete a TSA Security Threat Assessment application, provide fingerprints, and pass a background check. HAZMAT can be one of the most challenging CDL endorsements to earn, but also one of the most lucrative.
And, finally, an X Endorsement is a combination endorsement covering tanker and hazardous vehicles. This allows you to operate a vehicle hauling HAZMAT within a tank. Since hazardous materials are often carried in tank trucks, this endorsement can provide greater flexibility for drivers. Like the others, you’ll need to pass a written test.
The types of endorsements you can get will depend on your CDL class, which can be A, B or C. A Class A CDL allows you to drive tractor-trailers and flatbeds, livestock carriers, tank vehicles, truck and trailer combinations, tractor-trailer buses, and semi-trucks with a flatbed trailer. With a Class B CDL you can operate straight trucks, city and tourist passenger buses, segmented buses, school buses, box trucks, dump trucks with a small trailer, and tractor-trailers. And a Class C CDL lets you drive small trucks equipped to transport HAZMAT, passenger vans, and small trucks towing a trailer.
Providing you met all qualifications, Class A CDL holders can receive any of the endorsements. All endorsement except the T endorsement are available to Class B CDL holders. And Class C CDL holders can choose to pursue the H, P, and S endorsements.
You can declare which endorsements you intend to pursue when you apply for your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Some states may impose limits on the endorsements you may have. But remember, endorsements on your license may open additional career opportunities.
If you’re thinking about getting your CDL, All-State Career School can help you get started. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 834-4580 and speak to one of our career counselors.