A truck driving career after military retirement: answers to your most frequent questions
Posted: April 2, 2019
Transitioning to civilian life after a career in the military can be challenging. You know what being part of a team looks like and what it means to work hard. You’ve learned valuable skills during your military career, but you might be unsure of how you can put those skills to use in a civilian setting. Although you have many options to choose from, some veterans find that a truck driving career is a great option for employment. There are several things you should consider if you’re looking into driving a truck after your military retirement. Here are some of the most common questions we’ve heard from veterans as they explore the possibility of a driving career:
I already have my CDL from my position in the military. How will that affect my transition to trucking?
If you obtained your CDL-A in the military, many companies will take a look at your driving experience and factor it in to your starting pay or to adjust your initial training time. The exact impact of your military driving experience will vary from carrier to carrier. At Averitt, we can put you to work with as little as one week of training.
I don’t have a CDL. Is trucking still an option for me?
You can graduate from a CDL school in as little as three weeks. Not only will we help you find a good CDL school nearby, but Averitt also offers a $4,800 tuition reimbursement. If you qualify for Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits, those payments can start as soon as you begin school. After graduation, we’ll help you transition to your new career with Averitt.
I’m not sure I can afford it. Are there any programs that help pay for training?
If you qualify for the G.I. Bill, this can help you pay for driving school and/or provide you with up to 12 monthly payments while you go through on-the-job training. During training at Averitt, you will receive six weeks of behind-the-wheel training at $800/week. You will work with a mentor and leadership for follow-up training and communication during the remaining 46 weeks. Additionally, you might be eligible to earn up to $1,140 per month tax free using your available G.I. Bill benefits, plus your weekly pay from Averitt and up to $4,800 from the tuition/transition bonus we offer.
Can I use my military driving experience in lieu of driving school?
If you were employed in a military position that required you to operate a military vehicle equivalent to a civilian commercial vehicle, then it’s possible that you may qualify for a waiver for the skills test portion of the CDL test. You’ll need to meet certain requirements, including a safe driving record and applying within one year of leaving your military position that required commercial vehicle operation.
How can I learn more about different trucking companies and training programs?
It’s important that you discuss your plans with your career counselor and take advantage of the resources available to you as current or former military. Trucking companies often participate in hiring events, so plan to attend one near you and spend time asking questions at each booth.
Averitt Express is nationally recognized as a Patriotic Employer by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program and as a Military Friendly Company for our commitment to military veterans. We’re proud to offer veterans a military-friendly environment where you can thrive in your new career. Give us a call at 888-675-7337 to learn more about why Averitt may be the best fit for you.