Getting your Commerical Driver's License (CDL) often gets associated with becoming a truck driver. You may even find yourself practicing on and testing with a big rig to complete a CDL class, but semi-trucks aren't the only thing you can drive with a CDL. Let's take a look at some of the best driving careers that don't involve trucking.
- Stunt Driver
Have you ever watched a high-speed car chase in an action movie and thought, "Hey, I bet I could do that!" If the answer is yes, then stunt driving is the career for you. Most movie and TV stunt drivers make over $100,000 a year, and to drive big rigs on camera, you will need a CDL.
If this sounds like a career you could get into, look into going to stunt driving school first. Get your foot in the door, and you might end up in one of the next big action movies.
- Factory Test Driver
New cars need to get tested before they can go to showrooms around the country, and that's exactly what a factory test driver gets to do. Not only do you get to drive all the amazing new cars before they hit the market, but you also get paid to spend your day behind the wheel. You don't necessarily need to have a CDL for this position, but having a degree in mechanical engineering or automotive work is a great plus.
- Bus Driver
You see them anywhere there are kids — big yellow school buses dedicated to carrying these young minds safely to and from school. Those busses need drivers and becoming a part-time bus driver can be a great way to put that CDL to use while staying close to home.
Depending on where you live, you might not even need to get your CDL before you apply — some companies offer complete training and licensing as part of your hiring package. Whether you want to work your way up to becoming a full-time driver, or simply want a schedule-friendly way to supplement your income, driving a bus is a great choice.
- Delivery Driver
Driving a delivery truck might not seem glamourous, but with a CDL it’s a lucrative career. UPS drivers can make more than $70,000 a year once you add in overtime, and while not all positions require a CDL, many of the better-paying ones do. If you can lift packages up to 70 pounds and aren't opposed to additional training, such as Hazmat delivery training, driving a delivery truck is a great way to drive for a living without trucking.
- Construction Equipment Operator
You don't have to drive on the highways to put a CDL to use or drive for a living. Big construction equipment such as steamrollers, bulldozers and other types of heavy machinery that make construction possible all require an operator with a CDL. While it isn't the highest paying driving job, starting at around $44,000 a year, it can be a great way to put your skills to use.
- Highway Patrol Officer
Each state has their own highway patrol force, and becoming a highway patroller in your home state is one way to spend all day behind the wheel — and build a decent career in the meantime. Highway patrol officers make an average of $74,400 a year. Qualifying for this unique driving career requires good vision, a clean criminal record and some computer skills.
Start a Fulfilling Driving Career
You don't have to spend days or weeks away from home as a trucker to have a fulfilling driving career. Examine your options and see which one fits you best.