Georgia CDL Truck Driver Salary Information
Georgia is a great state for getting your commercial driver’s license because there’s an abundance of truck driving training. There are about 72 truck driving programs in the state and many of them take place in dedicated truck driving training centers.
Earning your CDL is also affordable in Georgia. The average cost is about $2,400. Many of these programs are eligible for financial aid, so you might be able to get loans, grants, or scholarships to help cover the cost of your schooling.
There are already more than 56,000 truck drivers in Georgia. The average salary for the state is $40,870 and an average hourly rate of $19.65. Bordering Georgia are five states: Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida so you have plenty of opportunity to drive the southeast and enjoy the weather. These days trucking companies provide extras like signing bonuses, benefits, 401K, paid days off, and more to entice drivers because there is a shortage of good drivers. The projected increase for truck driver jobs in Georgia is 9%, which is 50% higher than the 6% projected for the U.S. as a whole.
Georgia’s most populated cities are Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Savannah, and Athens. In these cities and others you will notice a fluctuation in median salaries (SOURCE):
- $40,150 GA
- $44,210 Savannah
- $43,070 Gainesville
- $42,580 Columbus
- $41,620 Atlanta
The difference from cities within the state of Georgia show how so many different factors can influence average salaries greatly. And when you take into account cost of living and other factors, that can sway your ultimate take home pay even more.
Trucking Companies With A Presence In Georgia To Consider
There are so many trucking companies around the country that you can start to feel overwhelmed trying to compare them all. Following are some of the top US trucking companies that take care of their drivers.
Costco and Wal-Mart
Some drivers forget that trucking jobs aren’t only at truck driving companies. Retail companies rely on truck drivers to move their products. Retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart are consistently listed among the top 50 truck driving companies in the country.
Costco is very popular in the trucking industry because they have extremely competitive benefits, a fair pay structure, and they want to hire quality drivers. The only drawback? If you’re new it may take awhile. Costco only hires Class A drivers with a minimum of five years’ experience.
FedEx and UPS
Shipping companies are another source of stable employment. FedEx is consistently ranked in the top 100 as a great company to work for and they get high marks from their employees, too. UPS is the single largest package delivery company in the world. These jobs require drivers to stick to a strict delivery schedule meaning you need to enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and know how to budget your time.
- J.B. Hunt employees say the company offers a positive workplace culture and strong workplace values.
- Old Dominion Freight Line employees give high marks to this company because of the variety of hauls and schedules available.
- Schneider is reliable and has more than 80 years of industry experience. The company owns other trucking firms and has a strong internal training network for new drivers.
Before you choose a position at any company, determine what’s important to you in your career and find a company that meets your needs.
Georgia CDL License Information and Insights
To get your commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Georgia, you can transfer your current commercial license from out of state or apply for a learner’s permit. All applicants must complete an application and pay the fees. First-time commercial drivers must pass a written knowledge test and driving skills tests. If you’re moving to Georgia from another state, you have 30 days to transfer your CDL to the state of Georgia.
What You Need To Get Started
A Georgia CDL manual, which is available online or at any Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) office. Study it.
Personal documents. You must present original forms of the following documents to prove your identity and your residence in Georgia.
- A current driver’s license, identification card, or your commercial driver’s license from another state.
- A Social Security Card or a document from the Social Security Administration that states you aren’t eligible to receive an SSN due to alien status.
- Two items that prove you are a resident of Georgia. Acceptable documents include a lease or rental contract, utility bills, or bank statements issued within the last 60 days, or a pay stub that shows your name and address.
- Proof of identity such as your birth certificate, passport, military identification card, marriage license, or immigration identification card.
Take the above documents to any Department of Driver Services office location, pay the necessary fees, and take the written knowledge test. After you pass the knowledge test you’ll receive your CDL permit.
Schedule a driving skills test that will evaluate your knowledge about inspecting your commercial vehicle, your knowledge on using the controls on your vehicle, and your ability to drive and maneuver your vehicle on the road (SOURCE).
Trucking Schools in Georgia
Choosing a truck driving school will have you considering many factors; The cost, the program length, the location, behind-the-wheel training, instructor-to-student ratios, and job placement assistance. The costs in Georgia are in the range of $2500 to $4500.
The program length depends your choice in full time or part time training. CDL schooling can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months depending on what you choose. Location is important. There are usually a good choice of schools in more populated areas or major cities. If you live in a rural area, you may be able to find a nearby school, or you may have to travel a little further to obtain your CDL training.
There is a plethora of truck driving schools in Georgia which we’ve broken down by some of the more populated cities in Georgia:
Georgia Trucking In the News
Steve Owings is the co-founder of Road Safe America. He and his wife founded the Atlanta-based non-profit organization to promote road safety after their son was killed in an accident with a speeding truck.
So when The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a notice 10 years after Road Safe America filed their original petition, Steve and his wife were outraged when they found out these agencies will apply the proposed rule of setting speed governors but ONLY to large trucks manufactured in the future. Huh??? Owings said truck manufacturers have been putting the technology into their vehicles for decades but drivers haven’t been required to use it.
“It’s as if the government looked and discovered that seat belts saves lives so they required everyone to wear them but only in the future,” Owings said in an interview. “Obviously the government should require these big-rigs that already have the capability to use it.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a trade group representing small-business truckers, isn’t as keen on this ruling as Road Safe America however. They said the rule would limit a truck’s ability to keep up with traffic, which could be dangerous, and that sometimes truckers need to speed up to avoid certain obstacles. Drivers are not in favor of it either knowing that most of the time it’s other vehicles that usually cause the accident.
In the meantime statistics for fatal truck crashes continue to rise (SOURCE).