Driving your way to a career, postsecondary education or both?

After high school graduation, a job driving a vehicle can establish or expose a student to a career in the transportation industry.

Having a driver’s license and being able to transport yourself can prepare you for your future career. There are careers in driving or transportation. If you’re interested in postsecondary education, you could possibly have a job driving a vehicle to help provide income while you’re in college or trade school. For some of the driving jobs, you can get started as soon as you finish a high school diploma.

It is good to check the requirements for jobs in driving because some of them may require a special certification, such as a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) like for bus drivers and truck drivers. There are other driving jobs that may not require a CDL, including taxi driver, chauffeur and delivery truck driver. Since these jobs don’t require a CDL, they may require some type of certification or on-the-job training. For jobs requiring a CDL, the minimum age requirement for operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) across state lines is 21. In Michigan, a person can get a CDL at the age of 18, but they cannot operate the CMV across state lines until they turn 21. If interested in a job driving a CMV, please check the rules and regulations.

Michigan State University Extension offers some ideas to ponder while having a driving-related job:

  • If you’re not in college or trade school, explore the different type of career opportunities within the company or transportation industry other than driving. You may discover other jobs that may be of interest to you. Your driving experience may help you transfer to a desired job. If the desired job requires certification, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, what are some programs at trade schools or majors in college that can help you prepare or become qualified for that job? What steps are needed to enroll in a trade school or college?
  • If you’re in college or trade school, research other jobs or careers within the company or industry that match your certificate or degree. If you’re interested in other jobs or careers, consider if you will need to change your program or major to work for the company or in the transportation industry. Also, consider how a graduate degree can assist you. (A graduate degree is any degree beyond a bachelor’s degree.)
  • From an entrepreneurial perspective, can you see yourself starting a business in driving or a business related to the transportation industry?

The benefit for having a job as a driver is the opportunity for being gainfully employed and the opportunity to learn about the company, the business of driving and the transportation industry. A job in driving gives a person an opportunity to gain experience, learn about an industry and build a career. If possible, take advantage of the opportunities provided from a driving job to help build a career.

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