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Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs

  • Trucking School or University? Which One Is Right For You?

    Truck Driver Training – The Road to Success

    How many times have you heard that in order to get a good job you must go to college? Going to college means 4 more years of studying, 4 more years of tests, and 4 more years not getting paid. On top of all that, tuition will cost you an arm and a leg. Although we were conditioned to believe otherwise, a college degree is not the only way to be successful. There are a variety of career options that offer high paying salaries and job security without a 4-year degree. One of those career options is truck driving. The truck driving industry is facing a shortage of drivers, so there are a significant amount of jobs available. Employers are willing to pay big bucks for drivers in order to keep their fleets running. To become a trucker, you will need to attend trucking school. Lucky for you, truck driver training with Advanced Career Institute only lasts around 4-6 weeks! Learn why trucking school is the right fit for you.

    Cost of Schooling

    So you’re telling me that in order for me to make money, I have to spend it…a lot of it? When attending to an instate university, you can expect to pay at least $16,000 per year in tuition and room and board. By the time you earn your degree, you will have spent around $64,000. Most times, students are required to take out loans because financial aid does not cover the entire cost of schooling. With high interest rates on these loans, students are left with crippling debt. On top of the significant debt, students are required to take a variety of courses that are unrelated to their future career. So is there an alternative? Truck driver training can be completed in a matter of months, and costs a meager amount in comparison to college. Most trucking schools cost around $3,000-$7,000 in total. During CDL training, you will gain hands-on experience, over-the-road training and learn skills that you will use every day in your career. The best part? In a matter of months, you will start receiving a hefty paycheck, unlike in college where you have to wait 4 years just to get begin your career. 

    Similar Salaries

    According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 4-year college graduates make an average salary of $50,556 per year. Similarly, glassdoor reports that the average entry-level salary for a truck driver is around $43,000. Not only are these salaries incredibly similar, truck drivers start earning a paycheck almost 4 years sooner than college graduates. Additionally, truckers are able to keep more of their paycheck each month because they don’t have student loans to pay back. As you become a more experience driver, you will have to opportunity to earn a higher salary up to $70,000 per year.

    Not Your Average 9 to 5 Job

    Finally, truck driving is not your typical job. The job setting is very laid back, and there is no dress code, so you won’t have to sport a suit and tie each day to work. Similarly, you won’t be stuck behind a computer all day. You are free to travel the open road and see different parts of the country. As you drive, you can sing along to your favorite CDs, listen to podcasts, and have plenty of time to think. Lastly, most companies pay for your gas, so you won’t have to put your entire paycheck into your gas tank for the commute back and forth to work each day. Hopefully now we have proved that you don’t have to go to a 4-year college in order to land a high paying career. Trucking school is another road to success.   Interested in truck driving school? Advanced Career Institute offers hands-on Class A CDL Training. Our campuses are located in Fresno, Visalia and Merced. To learn more about our CDL Training, check out Our Programs!
  • Solar Eclipse Causes Traffic Jams For Truckers!

    How Will the Eclipse Affect Truck Drivers?

    I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the total solar eclipse phenomenon happening on Monday, August 21. If not, a total solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, and completely covers the sun. Anyone along the path stretching from Oregon to South Carolina will be able to witness the total solar eclipse. According to NASA, the last time the entire U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979. It is important to remember that looking directly at the sun is extremely unsafe. Sunglasses are not equipped to protect your eyes from the sunlight during the eclipse. Experts suggest purchasing specific eclipse glasses for viewing purposes. You should not look directly at the uneclipsed or eclipsed sun at any time without the proper eyewear. To learn more and to find out where you can purchase eclipse glasses, visit NASA’s website.

    How Does This Affect Truckers?

    This total solar eclipse has many Americans excited, and rushing to book hotels along its path. According to Quartz, in addition to an increased number of travelers, nearly 200 million people live in close proximity to the eclipse’s path. Therefore, interstate congestion is expected to be horrendous. This has many states warning truckers to be cautious and plan ahead because traffic jams are more than likely going to happen. Many state governments and trucking companies are encouraging and preparing truck drivers to take alternate routes to avoid congested areas. If you must travel through these areas, make sure to have a snacks and a tank full of gas because you could be sitting for a significant period of time. According to Transport Topics, many states are warning drivers not to stop on interstates to watch the eclipse. Additionally, Oregon is prohibiting truck drivers with extra-wide loads from being on the roads from August 18-22. Please stay alert and in contact with your carrier for new updates on the solar eclipse. Plan ahead for potential traffic jams throughout the entire U.S. during this time. Enjoy this phenomenon, but remember to drive SAFELY!   Interested in becoming a truck driver? Advanced Career Institute offers Class A CDL Training in the California area. ACI campuses are located in Fresno, Merced and Visalia. To learn more, head over to our Truck Driver Training Program! Image Property Of: www.nasa.gov.
  • Owner Operator careers are available after graduation from Advanced Career Institute.

    How Do You Know Owner Operator Is a Practical Career for You?

    It’s finally time to take the next step in your trucking career. So far, you’ve put in hard work in your CDL Training, and now its your chance to begin a rewarding career! Previously, in this blog series, we have covered OTR, Local, Specialized and Team Truck Driving. The last stop on our Truck Driving Jobs journey is Owner Operators. Whether you’re a beginner or have been in the driver’s seat for years, Owner Operator could be the right path for you! Having the freedom of being your own boss seems great, doesn’t it? According to OOIDA Foundation on motor carrier research, there are nearly 350,000 owner operators in the United States, some drive independently while others lease on a larger carrier. Typically, most owner operators have extensive experience, and begin their owner operator career around 37-years-old. However, success is still attainable for those younger (or older) owner operators with any level of driving experience. Before leaping into an Owner Operator career, it is vital to evaluate your personal desires and aspirations as well as your financial situation. Assess the 4 following areas before beginning your new career.

    Self-Evaluation

    First, take a hard look in the mirror, and ask yourself what you want from your trucking career. If you desire to create your own work schedule, be your own boss, and plan to build your life on truck driving, you may be cut out for the job. However, you must further assess your personality, current/potential health condition, family and career aspirations to see if being an owner operator is the correct fit. For further personal assessment, check out The 6 Steps to Becoming an Owner Operator.

    Finances Play a Major Role

    One of the most important factors in becoming an owner operator is financial stability. How will you come up with the funds to start this new business venture? Some of the costs to consider, on top of purchasing the truck itself, include fuel, truck maintenance and insurance, taxes, and health insurance. In addition to understanding the costs associated with being an owner operator, you must possess basic accounting and booking keeping skills (or hire someone who can help!) To further understand the costs associated with owner operators, take a look at OOIDA’s Figuring Cost Per Mile article!

    Leased Owner Operator or Independent?

    Next, you will need to decide if you want to work independently or alongside another carrier. Working independently ensures your freedom as a driver, to pick loads that suit your lifestyle and to drive your truck when you feel like it and on your own terms. However, leasing your truck with another carrier, allows you to have more consistent loads, some driver reimbursements, and trailers provided by the company. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons between the two options. Ultimately, it comes down to what you value more…having total independence or having load security.

    Selecting Your Equipment

    Finally, you need to consider what trucks you want, where you will get them from and how much you are willing to pay. Although fancy trucks look great on the road, they cost a pretty penny and may create more expenses for you in the long run. Generally, used trucks are more affordable and will still get the job done. However, before purchasing a truck, be sure to consider its mileage, warranty and fuel economy. Additionally, choose a truck that fits your area of operation. The truck you choose will directly affect the amount of money you can bring in at the end of the day. Before you begin your new journey as an owner operator, make sure you fully understand the ins and outs of the business operation.
    Warren Buffet once said, “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”
    Interested in taking the first step to becoming an Owner Operator? Advanced Career Institute is a California Truck Driving School that offers CDL Training courses in Class A CDL, Class B CDL and Ag Transportation. ACI offers Truck Driving Training Programs at 3 California campuses: Merced, Visalia and Fresno. To learn more about our CDL Training, head over to Our Programs! Have you read our other 3 articles from this Truck Driving Professions series? Check out our previous articles comparing OTR and Local Truck Driving, Specialized Truck Driving and Team Driving!
  • Specialized Truck Driving Opportunities with a Class A CDL!

    An Overview of Specialized Truck Driving

    Are you currently enrolled or interesting in enrolling in Class A CDL Training? Advanced Career Institute’s Class A CDL Training Courses only last 4 weeks. So if you haven’t already, it’s time you do your trucking career research. In order for you to kick-start your trucking career, it is vital that you weigh your options and choose a trucking path that suits you! In the previous article of this series, we compared Over the Road and Local Truck Driving Careers. We learned that OTR consists of extended travel and higher pay, while local jobs deal with shorter trips and more home-time but lower pay. Today, we will delve deep into Specialized Truck Driving Careers.

    What Careers Does Specialized Truck Driving Offer?

    According the Fueloyal, there are various careers in the Specialized Trucking Industry.
    • Oversized Freight – This type of trucking can include transporting cranes, pre-built homes, containers or construction elements.
    • Car Hauling – There are various types of car haulers. Open Car Haulers are normally meant to haul a single car at a time, similar to when a car is towed. A second type is Enclosed Car Haulers which transport classic cars or racecars in an environment meant to protect the cars from open air. A third type is a Commercial Car Hauler which stacks and transports multiple cars at a time.
    • Water Hauling – This type of trucking deals with transporting large amounts of salt water or fluid waste away from fracking or drilling sites to approved disposal areas. Truckers in this field deal with less volatile materials.
    • Livestock Transportation – These truckers are often referred to as Bull Haulers. This is the transportation of cows for the purposes of beef, dairy, breeding, or farm relocation.
    • Hazardous Materials – Also referred to as hazmat, this type of trucking includes the transportation of gasoline, diesel, propane, flares and various other materials. Hazmat transportation has higher regulations and each truck is labeled with symbols to indicate its transportation conditions.

    What Qualifications Are Needed for Specialized Truck Driving?

    For starters, all truck drivers are required to hold a Class A CDL which can be obtained through a CDL Training Course. On top of your permit, Specialized Truck Drivers are required to possess a variety of other skills. Whether you are transporting cars, livestock or hazmat, you must be familiar with the product you are hauling. Many of these specializations come with a longer list of safety concerns that each trucker must be prepared for. Specialized Truck Driving may also require additional training because oftentimes, the trucks or tankers sit differently than your average truck, making it more difficult to drive. Lastly, specialized truckers are often required to do more legwork than the typical truck driver. You are required to be educated in tying down materials, hooking up hoses or properly caring for livestock.

    Why Should I Choose Specialized Truck Driving?

    Since truck driving specializations often require extra training or additional permits, companies typically offer higher pay than the average local driver. Not only do specialized truck drivers earn more money, but they are faced with bigger challenges. Each day is new for these truck drivers. Although it may require continual training and hard-work, specialized truck driving is very rewarding.   Interested in earning your Class A CDL? Advanced Career Institute is a California Truck Driving School with campuses in a variety of locations. Our campuses are located in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. For more information on how to obtain your Class A CDL, visit Our Training Programs. Check out our previous blog in this series covering Over the Road and Local Truck Driving Careers, and stay tuned for the continuation of our Truck Driving Jobs series. Our next blog will cover Team Driving.
  • Advanced Career Institute trains students for OTR and Local Truck Driving Jobs!

    An Inside Look at OTR and Local Truck Driving Jobs

    When deciding which truck driving job to pursue, you must consider two questions: how long do I want to be away from home and how much money do I want to make? The answers to these questions will help you to determine which truck driving career path is right for you. This series will highlight a variety of truck driving careers. This article compares Over the Road and Local Truck Driving Jobs. Keep reading to learn more about the truck driving job opportunities available to you after training.

    Over The Road (OTR) Truck Driving Careers

    OTR is also referred to as Long Haul Trucking. OTR is considered an entry-level position, so most drivers right out of school will be hired on for the long-haul. After 6-months to a year, you may have the option to explore a variety of other truck driving careers. OTR is more of a lifestyle than a job. OTR truck drivers typically drive a few hundred miles a day, and can spend days or weeks out on the road. However, the pay compensates for the hours. Typically, the more time you spend driving your truck, the more money you can make. Since most trucking companies pay by the mile, the more miles you drive will lead to a heftier paycheck. According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average truck driver makes $41,340 per year. The top 10% of truck driver make around $58,000 a year. The top 10% typically consists of over-the-road drivers. OTR truckers spend a significant amount of time out on the open road, traveling the country. As an OTR truck driver you have the opportunity to visit places that you may not have gotten to see otherwise. Although OTR trucking has many upsides such as higher pay, better benefits and the ability to travel the country, there are also several drawbacks. Drivers must spend a significant amount of time in a small, confined area. Additionally, drivers are also away from home for an extended amount of time, which can be hard both on the driver and their family.

    Local Truck Driving Careers

    Local Truck Driving is often referred to as Pick Up and Delivery (P&D.) Typically, this career is for a driver with prior experience on the road. Additionally, P&D is geared more towards a family-oriented person who desires to see their family nightly/weekly. A typical day for a local truck driver consists of picking up your load, loading and unloading your freight, and driving it from one place to another. Most often, local drivers deal with intrastate transportation. However, they may travel to surrounding states if required. Since P&D comes with more home time, drivers are often paid less. Don’t get me wrong. Local truck drivers still receive a substantial paycheck. However, when you’re paid by the mile, you must travel more miles in order to bring in more money. Whether you want more family time or more money, you must complete CDL Training in order to become an eligible truck driver. Advanced Career Institute offers Class A CDL Training in the California area. Our campuses are located in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. For more information on our CDL Training courses, head over to Our Training Programs! Stay tuned for the continuation of our Truck Driving Jobs series. Our next blog will cover Specialized Truck Driving Jobs.
  • Truckers must complete DOT physical exam in order to continue their trucking career!

    What Every Trucking Student Needs to Know About Sleep Apnea

    Due to recent legal issues, some truck driving companies may begin to increase their regulations for sleep apnea. Various carriers throughout the country may begin requiring truck drivers to participate in sleep apnea screening in the near future.

    What is sleep apnea?

    Sleep apnea is extremely common, and tends to show up more in men than in women. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing involuntarily while they are asleep. These periods of lost breath can last for over a minute and can occur hundreds of times each night without the person’s knowledge. Growing obesity rates in the truck driving industry, have left drivers more disposed to acquiring sleep apnea. Truck drivers are prone to obesity because of the inability to exercise and unhealthy meal choices while on the road. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, OSA. One of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. Snoring happens because the airway becomes blocked and the flow of air becomes obstructed causing vibrations to occur.

    How is sleep apnea treated?

    If you believe you may have sleep apnea, the first step is to talk with your doctor about getting a sleep apnea diagnosis from a sleep specialist. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the next step is CPAP Therapy. CPAP Therapy consists of a humidifier and a face mask to assist and guide your breathing. The CPAP machine pumps air with enough pressure to keep your airway clear.

    What does this mean for truck drivers?

    According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA, reports show over 28 percent of truck drivers have sleep apnea. FMCSA explains that drivers with mild sleep apnea are still qualified for truck driving jobs. However, they recommend seeking medical attention with a medical examiner to determine a truck driver’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle. Disrupted sleep can decrease a truck driver’s cognitive function and can cause increased daytime sleepiness. This leads to more truck driving accidents. Drivers with sleep apnea are affected during working hours in terms of function and focus. Sleep apnea may lead to unsafe working environments and roads. Dr. James Metz, Doctor of Sleep Apnea for Metz Center in Columbus, Ohio, shared with Overdrive Magazine that he grew up around the trucking industry. He witnessed first-hand the unhealthy lifestyles of truck drivers. He sought out to work with fleets to promote healthy eating for truck drivers in the hopes of reducing chances of sleep apnea. Currently, many trucking companies are requiring truck drivers to get tested for sleep apnea. Oftentimes, this comes at the expense of the truck driver. However, since there is an ever-growing need for drivers, fleets may begin to work closely with drivers to help cover costs. Advanced Career Institute is a California trucking school with campuses located in Visalia, Fresno and Merced. ACI offers truck driver training to help students obtain their Class A CDL, Class B CDL and Ag Transportation CDL. ACI offers tuition assistance and job placement assistance to help CDL training graduates find a career in the truck driving industry. Interested in learning more about CDL Training with Advanced Career Institute, visit our website: www.advanced.edu.