Ohio ranks number 5 in the top five states with the highest employment level of truckers. There are more than 70,000 truckers in the state. Even the most successful industries lend themselves to trucking (SOURCE):
Because of easy access to glass, steel, and rubber, Ohio is home to auto assembly and auto parts plants. Looking toward the future, jobs are forecasted to increase 19 percent and who is going to move all these newly assembled vehicles and parts? Truckers, of course!
Thanks to increased domestic oil and gas drilling Ohio’s steel producers are in high demand. New pipeline installation has created the demand for more steel throughout the state.
Delivering food grown locally is a perk of profitable agriculture and in Ohio it’s almost 12% of the total economic output.
Small Appliance Products
Whether it’s Kitchen Aid mixers or other small kitchen appliances, Ohio has a robust manufacturing industry that helps keep truckers employed.
A few of the largest employers in the state are Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Cleveland Clinic. Two out of three employ thousands of truck drivers.
Ohio Trucking Salary Information
If becoming a trucker has always been your dream, Ohio is a fantastic place to find a job doing just that. You may choose to drive local, regional, or over-the-road depending on the type of work you enjoy.
You’ll get to experience a great deal of the country’s natural beauty if you drive regionally or over-the-road. Ohio’s bordering states include: Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan.
It’s often best to look for jobs in the more populated cities because there’s more opportunity, but remember opportunities exist throughout Ohio so don’t get discouraged. The state has approximately 284 people per square mile with the top 5 most populated cities being:
- Columbus: 787,003
- Cleveland: 396,815
- Cincinnati: 296,943
- Toledo: 287,208
- Akron: 199,110
When looking at potential salaries, yours will vary depending on your experience and the type of driving you are hired to do. The average wage for a truck driver in Ohio is $44,110 and the average hourly rate is $21.21.
Median salaries differ from average wages because the median is the number that’s exactly in the middle with 50% higher and 50% lower. The median truck driver salary in the U.S. is $41,340 and for the state of Ohio it’s almost exactly the same $41,740. Median salaries by city are as follows:
- Columbus: $46,400
- Springfield: $44,730
- Cincinnati: $43,570
- Youngstown: $43,180
- Cleveland: $42,170
- Lima: $42,120
- Dayton: $41,030
- Akron: $41,000
Growth for future trucking jobs looks pretty good for Ohio at 5% growth from 2014 to 2024. The U.S. is 6% for that same time period. So once again Ohio is keeping up with the nation in growth (SOURCE).
CDL Requirements and Insights for Ohio
To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), you must be 18 or older, have a valid Ohio driver’s license, and provide proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the United States.
- A CLP holder can only operate a commercial motor vehicle on a highway when driving with a CDL holder properly endorsed for the vehicle being driven.
- A CLP is valid for six months and may be renewed once before it expires.
- Drivers seeking to obtain a CDL or CLP must self-certify their class of driving: A, B, or C.
- To earn a CDL, add any endorsements, upgrade, or remove a restriction; you must pass knowledge tests and skills tests – in that order.
A knowledge test is a written test required for each class of vehicle. If you are adding any endorsements you will need to take tests for each of those. If you want to remove the air brake restriction, you’ll need to take a knowledge test for that, too. If you fail a test, you’ll need to wait one day before you can retest.
The driver must show up and test in a vehicle appropriate for the class of license he or she is applying for, including a bus if you’re applying for a passenger endorsement. It’s possible that third-party testing sites may have vehicles available to rent for tests. Be sure to ask. If you fail any part of the skills test you will need to wait one week to retest.
There are three parts to Skills Testing:
- Pre-trip inspection (30 minutes to complete)
- Basic maneuverability test (40 minutes to complete)
- Road test
Renewal or Upgrade
When applying for a CDL renewal or upgrade, you must provide any updated information and pass any additional testing needed. If for some reason you surrendered your CDL or any endorsement you will need to pay applicable fees and retake the written and road skills test(s) to get a new CDL.
If you want a hazardous materials endorsement, you should complete the TSA’s Threat Assessment Program before you can receive your CDL with endorsement. You will be fingerprinted and have a background check.
Ohio Medical Requirements for a CDL License
You must have vision in both eyes with a minimum acuity of 20/40 in each eye with or without lenses. Your visual field must be at least 70 degrees. If you do not meet the minimum standards you could be eligible for a restricted CDL.
CDL Vision Waiver
If a driver has a K restriction (intrastate driving only), he or she must obtain a vision waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to drive for a company regulated by the Public Commission Utilities of Ohio.
Out-of-state applicants are allowed to take the Ohio CDL skills test with an out-of-state CLP if the driver possesses a valid out-of-state driver’s license and a certificate of completion from an Ohio truck driving school.
Ohio Trucking Related News
Ohio state Representative John Boccieri (D-59th) met with local and regional trucking industry leaders to discuss a growing problem for freight haulers: a lack of qualified workers. He claims the truck-driver shortage, if left unchecked, could mean a labor shortfall of almost 175,000 drivers by 2024.
This driver shortage would negatively impact the whole economy, since 70% of U.S. freight is shipped by truck. Trucking industry execs attribute the decline in workforce to a combination of high turnover rates, a lack of quality candidates, and a general stigma that’s associated with the industry.
How might this issue be fixed? Boccieri plans to introduce legislation that would make commercial driver’s licenses less expensive (the average cost is $6,500), give trucking companies tax incentives to expand their workforces, and pressure insurance companies to lower premiums for covering a driver.
Tom Balzer, the president and CEO of the Ohio Trucking Association, said the increased reliance on regional carriers versus long-haul carriers – has helped improve working conditions for drivers. “Now is the perfect time to get into the industry precisely because you can pick and choose who you work for,” Balzer said (SOURCE).