PAM Blog Article 2

Just Got Your CDL? Your Guide to Great Paying, Class A Truck Driving Jobs

If you just got your CDL or you are currently in CDL school, you are probably aware that you have a lot of choices when it comes to your first job. The options for Class A truck driving jobs may seem overwhelming. Many promise “great pay” with high cents per mile (CPM). But many of these companies don’t back up their claims when it comes to overall net pay in terms of safety and performance incentives, fuel efficiency bonuses, a per diem program, or a truly competitive benefits package.

Unlike companies that don’t walk their pay talk, PAM Transport offers numerous pay incentives, bonuses, and great miles for truck drivers who are looking for real pay and career growth opportunities.

“Pay per mile is a measuring stick for all of us,” PAM’s CEO, Joe Vitiritto explains. “But just as crucially important is what is in my paycheck each and every week. You must understand your net pay each week because that is what pays the bills.”

Questions to Ask Recruiters About Pay

At PAM, we encourage new driver candidates to conduct a “net pay check.” When you are ready to apply for your first Class A truck driving job, check for specific bonus opportunities for both solo and team drivers, fuel and safety incentives, and find out if they have more types of jobs to help you grow your career

  • Do they offer paid training, along with a mentorship program to help you learn how to avoid mistakes that can impact your net pay? 
  • Do they provide enough miles per lane and a per diem program for higher net pay?
  • Do they have lease-to-own options, if your goal is to become your own boss someday?

Keep these questions in mind as you apply for that first job. Of course, you also have to decide what type of truck driving opportunities are right for you. Here are just a few options to consider.

Solo & Team Company Truck Driving Jobs

Company drivers are the most common types of Class A truck driving jobs. They are directly employed by a company and drive company-owned trucks. Almost all truck drivers start out in one of these positions. At PAM, the biggest benefit of being a company driver is that you don’t pay out of pocket for things like fuel, repairs, or maintenance, as do owner operators. You can get even more pay perks as a PAM team driver, including the most miles, a great $.50 CPM team rate, and a $10,000 teaming bonus!

Additional PAM company driver benefits include:

  • Great health and dental insurance, plus a retirement plan with company matching
  • Newer trucks with a fleet that averages one and a half years old, keeping our drivers safe and comfortable
  • A true work-life balance, with more dedicated and OTR options to fit each driver’s needs and lifestyle

OTR vs. Local, Regional & Dedicated

Not all trucking companies are created equal when it comes to offering more options for Class A truck driving jobs. You’ll want to ask recruiters if they offer Over-the-Road (OTR) and dedicated lanes, and if those jobs come with bonuses and other pay incentives, as we noted above. Check to see if they have regional and local lanes available, so you can weigh the pros and cons of each. If you join the PAM family as a solo OTR driver, you can get two pay increases in just nine months! 

Dedicated Truck Driving Jobs

Dedicated truck driving jobs offer one of the most predictable routines for a career. With a dedicated job, you would be assigned a regular route that you drive each week. The route could be somewhat local or could involve overnight or multi-day trips, but it is consistent each week. Plus, you get to be home weekly and can count on a fairly predictable level of pay since you get paid for the same route each week.

Local Truck Driving Jobs

Local truck driving routes are in a local “home” area. While each day’s route may be different, local drivers stick to the same area and are able to get home each day. Pay is typically a bit lower for local truck driving jobs, since they offer a more traditional daily schedule. Compensation for each local position can fluctuate slightly, as each driving assignment varies.

OTR Truck Driving Jobs

OTR refers to Class A truck driving jobs that require you to spend anywhere from two to three weeks on the road at a time. During that period, you may haul freight for numerous companies and cover a considerable amount of ground. Because truck driver pay is based on the number of miles driven and OTR jobs feature high miles, OTR positions are generally better compensated than other types of truck driving jobs. The tradeoff is that OTR drivers don’t get home as frequently.

Regional Truck Driving Jobs

A regional driver hauls freight within a specific region only. They may drive for multiple companies or could work for a single company. Regional truck driving jobs will include longer hauls than local routes. And regional truck drivers will be able to return home fairly regularly, although not as predictably as dedicated drivers.

Team & Solo Owner Operators: Lease-to-Own Opportunities

After you’ve started your first truck driving career and you’ve put plenty of miles under your belt, you may decide it’s time to become your own boss. This is where PAM’s lease-to-own program may offer you the chance to take the wheel of your career.

Owner operators own their own vehicles and can contract to trucking companies. PAM offers multiple contract opportunities for owner operators, as well as lease-to-own options for drivers looking to make the transition from company driver to owner operator. Of course, this obviously requires a substantial investment. But once you take that leap, you’ll find that working as an owner operator can earn you a significant amount of money.

Let PAM Help You Find the Right Fit

Once you get your new CDL and you’re ready for your first Class A truck driving job, you may want to try out some of the different types of PAM assignments, so you can find the best fit for your career and lifestyle.

The important thing to remember is that the trucking industry offers drivers a lot of ways to work. In other words, if you feel like you aren’t satisfied with a particular position, you have options! Finding the right job will come down to balancing your schedule, location, family responsibilities, and desired income. But there will certainly be an option at PAM that fits your needs.
To find the right fit, browse our current job openings, which includes dedicated, local, and OTR positions across the country. Or talk to one of our recruiters by calling 1-888-820-7795.

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