Job titles: Delivery driver, bus driver, construction driver
Wages: $25 – $40 per hour
Qualifications: Commercial driver license
Transportation is one of the fastest-growing job sectors, with 1.8 million more jobs in 2021 than 10 years earlier, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median age of private fleet drivers is 57, meaning a wave of retirement is on the horizon.
“These are good jobs,” says Baltazar de Anda Santana, executive director of the Latino Academy for Workforce Development.
Most transportation jobs aren’t long-haul, over the road jobs, and allow drivers to stay close to family. Many transportation jobs are in the retail sector, delivering beverages and other groceries to retailers.
Many transportation jobs are also in the government, working for city or county governments in road repair, construction, utility or public transit jobs. “Delivery, everything that has to do with logistics, and many folks in construction are looking for jobs that require the commercial driver license,” de Anda Santana says.
Government jobs often come with the best benefits, though most private employers offer good benefits to full-time drivers as well.
It can take weeks or months to get a CDL, depending on the program and whether or not you can commit to a program full time. Many employers will pay prospective drivers while they earn the CDL. Training includes federal and state regulations, safety procedures, loading and securing freight, air brake systems, and driving practice.
De Anda Santana said you can get a CDL even with a spotty driving record, though employers will run background checks and it will be hard to get a job if you have a DUI or similar infractions within the last three to five years. City bus departments will often be more stringent.
Many technical colleges and private companies offer CDL training. More information on the Latino Academy of Workforce Development’s CDL training is available here.