Connecticut CDL Truck Driver Salary Information
Known as the Constitution State, Connecticut is one of the smallest states land-wise in the U.S. so it’s pretty likely that as a trucker based in Connecticut you may venture into some of the surrounding states of New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
If you are just starting out in your career, let this be your mantra “experience is where the money is”. Just like an entry level position in any company the beginning salary is always going to be less than average. The longer you are on the job, the more money you can command. Do your research to find reputable companies.
It can be a difficult position to be in when you first gain your CDL and try to find a company that hires drivers without experience. The average yearly salary for for drivers in Connecticut is $46,460 (SOURCE). Compensation will be challenging to gauge when median salary can vary widely even between cities within the state of Connecticut. You should also try to consider the benefits you might receive as a part of your overall compensation which may or may not include things like:
- Choice of medical plans – no pre-existing condition exclusions
- Dental, vision and prescription coverage
- 401(k) retirement plan
- Paid time off
- Basic life insurance paid by the company
Con-way Freight is arecognizable name if you travel on the highway for any length of time or stop at any of the nation’s roadside rest stops. Con-way hires novice drivers for many positions from expedited freight van drivers to tractor-trailer drivers.
Salaries vary depending the position and other factors, but the average van driver earns $800 – $1,000 per week. Con-way Freight has strict delivery deadlines and a fast paced environment. As a driver you must be alert, a self-starter, follow best practices for safety and be highly dependable.
Swift Transportation touts itself as North America’s largest full truckload carrier, which may be why they hire rookie drivers. Large companies will always have more positions. Swift has a driving school and once you pass the schooling and training, you can start working for the company.
If you don’t have the funds for school, Swift allows student drivers to pay back their tuition and schooling costs over 26 months while employed with the company. That’s a great way to get started. Pay increases gradually year by year and it’s based on safety, performance, and experience.
It’s important to note that as a first-time driver you might have to go to a different state, but this is also a good way to get a higher salary. Also, you’re more likely to get hired by a large company. Even after you’re hired it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Once on the job you’ll experience situations that can only be learned on the job and not in school. So have patience with yourself and be open to criticism so you can learn how to be successful.
What might you expect salary-wise in Connecticut? Pretty darn good according to statistics. Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned driver it will vary, but the overall average hourly wage is $22.80.
The median salary for a truck driver in the U.S. is $41,340 while the median for the state of Connecticut is $46,460 and you can make more depending on where you’re located:
- Median Bridgeport/Stamford $50,800
- Median Hartford $47,080
- Median New Haven $46,150
- Median Waterbury $46, 370
The only statistic that might be a bit of a downer is the fact that projected employment for 2014-2024 is only 4% in Connecticut and 6% nationwide. Don’t let statistics stop you though. Get out there, get on the road, and follow your dreams.
Connecticut CDL License Information and Insights
A Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) is required for the operation of a commercial vehicle while under the instruction of a licensed CDL operator and also for anyone between 18 and 21 years of age.
Once you’re ready to apply for your commercial driver’s license (CDL) you need to bring certain documents with you to the DMV Hub office where you are doing your testing. Testing is only available at Hub offices now. However, according to the website, you may be able to make appointments for your road test in the near future. The documents include:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of Social Security number
- Proof of legal presence in the United States. Undocumented individuals will not be issued a CDL or CLP
- Proof of Connecticut residence. Need two sources
- Name change documents (if applicable)
If you’re not a U.S. citizen you will be asked to show proof of legal presence in this country to be eligible to earn a CLP or CDL. If you’re not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, your CLP or CDL document will have the words “Non-Domicile” on it and you are not eligible for a hazmat endorsement.
When you come in to take your CDL knowledge testing bring the following documentation with you.
- A valid Connecticut Driver’s License
- Your Social Security card or most recent W-2 form
- You must have a current, legible medical certificate completed by a Certified Medical Examiner on file with the DMV prior to renewal
- Printed confirmation notice of self-certification with DMV. Self-certification is done through the DMV website and once finished you print the confirmation notice
Important to note: As of December 2016, Connecticut DMV requires proof of U.S. Citizenship, lawful permanent residence or temporary legal presence, plus proof of Connecticut residency for holders of commercial driver licenses and permits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates this requirement. This requirement applies to:
- New applicants for a commercial driver’s learner permit (CLP).
- Existing commercial driver license (CDL) holders when renewing licenses.
- All out-of-state CDL holders transferring to Connecticut.
Once a DMV representative accepts all documentation, you will take and hopefully pass, a general knowledge test geared to the type of commercial motor vehicle you intend to operate. Endorsement testing is something else you can add to your license. You will need to pass a test for each endorsement that you select (SOURCE).
Trucking Schools in Connecticut
Although Connecticut is a small state, surely you can find a CDL license training program to suit your needs. Connecticut is one of the top states in the nation that exports goods more than they import along with California and Illinois (SOURCE).
Due to the nationwide driver shortage, companies will be eager to hire on new drivers. There are lots of different types of trucking companies you can choose from to work for in Connecticut.
Local Trucking Companies Based in Connecticut
There are many trucking firms located in Connecticut that would make a great place to call home as an employer.
Connecticut Trucking In The News
To find and keep drivers, Connecticut trucking company has started to give more perks and benefits. Trucking-company operator John Pruchnicki uses every tool he can think of to recruit and retain commercially licensed truck drivers. Many of the semis in his fleet at Coastal Carriers of Connecticut are newer and equipped with automatic transmission, power steering, cruise controls, ergonomic seating, and anti-lock brakes.
His drivers are paid well; receive medical and dental benefits, performance incentives, and the possibility of returning home each night to sleep in their own bed. A BIG perk among truckers. Pruchnicki and others in the trucking industry say despite good pay and working conditions, it’s exceedingly difficult to find and keep good drivers.
So what’s causing this issue? Some believe it is tightened state and federal compliance obligations for trucking companies and their drivers, plus increased competition for immediate delivery of online goods that have helped to worsen the issue.
Joe Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut (MTAC) said, “The truck-driver shortage is real. Trucking companies just cannot find enough candidates.”
Even with 3.5 million licensed truckers in the U.S., drivers are always in short supply. But the intensity of the shortage oscillates with the economy. Currently the shortage seems to be the worst yet. So is that good news for our economy? (SOURCE)