Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs

Check out this selection of articles below to learn more about career choices and how to prepare for in-demand job opportunities.

  • image of lined paper, text reads "6 steps to help you study for your CDL exam" with ACI logo at the bottom

    A Study Guide for Passing the CDL Test

    Like any test, the Commercial Driving License (CDL) exam requires study and preparation because you will be tested on a lot of information. However, simply trying to memorize the entire CDL manual, which is typically around 180 pages long, is not the best way to prepare for the exam. Instead of wasting countless hours becoming tired and frustrated, study smart. Here are six study steps to help you prepare for and pass your CDL exam.

    Plan Ahead

    Cramming a day or two before your CDL exam will not yield the best exam results. Besides causing sleep deprivation and trouble focusing, you won't retain important material that you need to understand as a responsible, safe driver. Pick a day to take your exam and start studying ahead of time so that you are fully prepared. If you are new to the exam, consider taking a training course online or in-person, which some states require. There are a number of programs you can choose from, so shop around for a course that works best for you. For example, at Advanced Career Institute, we offer Class A and Class B CDL training courses as well as CDL refresher courses for experienced drivers in California.

    Find Out What to Study

    Are you wondering what exactly is on the CDL exam? Take a look at the DMV CDL study guide, which breaks down the test section by section in terms of the CDL manual. For a detailed, free, comprehensive guide, check out Study Guide Zone's CDL Test Study Guide. No matter what kind of CDL you are studying for, you'll have to know General Knowledge. Based on the type of CDL you wish to receive, you'll have to study specific topics, such as School Buses and Hazardous Materials.

    Take a Diagnostic Exam

    It doesn't make sense to study what you already know. To find out what you do know and what you don't know, take a diagnostic exam. allows you to select your state and take a free, full-length general knowledge practice exam. Taking a diagnostic test will also help you get a feel for the exam so you'll be better prepared on exam day.

    Collect Your Study Materials

    Make sure that you have everything you need to help you study. The most important tool will be the CDL manual, which you can download on your state's DMV website. You can also pick up a hard copy from your local DMV. The DMV endorses, which provides a number of cheat sheets with a money-back guarantee if you do not pass your CDL exam after using the service. Consider purchasing a CDL test prep book, downloading an app from the Apple App or Google Play stores, and saving helpful websites with study guides and other prep tools.

    Study What You Don't Know in an Effective Environment

    Using the results from your diagnostic exam, review the material that you don't know in the CDL manual. If you have purchased a test prep book, you can find the sections that you need to review using the table of contents. When studying, make sure you have a distraction-free space. Remember to take breaks and have some snacks nearby to refuel.

    Test Your Knowledge

    After reviewing what you need to from the CDL manual, test your knowledge through flashcards and additional practice questions. Union Test Prep offers free CDL flashcards and practice tests based on specific subjects. There are a number of apps that can also help you study on the go. You can also ask your family and friends to help quiz you on the sections that you have trouble with. Using these tips and tricks can help you pass your CDL exam. Of course with your training at Advanced Career Insitute, we will help prepare you for this exam by going over every little detail. The goal is, by the time you go in for the test, all questions should be second nature to you. For more information about passing your California CDL exam and our training options, contact us today!
  • image of person welding up close

    4 Reason to Begin Your Welding Career

    April is National Welding Month, and there has never been a better time to consider a career in this industry.  Welders play an integral role in such areas as retail infrastructure and home improvement.  As automation integrates with the welding field, it creates more opportunity for specialization. The good news is employers are looking for qualified Welding professionals! If you are thinking about changing your career, there are many reasons to investigate and research the welding industry.  Let's take a look at 4 undeniable reasons to become a welder:

    1.  Welding is used in many industries

    You can find welders in the aerospace, construction, mining, automobile, and shipbuilding industries. As the global economy continues to grow, Welders can rest assured they will have job security and more opportunities.

    2.  Automation will continue to integrate with the Welding field

    As technology is used more widely than ever before to improve and streamline processes, Welders will have additional specialization openings. Individuals who transition to this professional field will learn the latest methods of mechanical welding.  The materials and processes used will continue to evolve, making it an exciting time to get involved.

    3.  No degree is required to enter the job market

    With the rising cost of tuition at colleges and universities nationwide, a career in welding provides students with a greater return on investment.  Trainees are ready to work in their field after only 480 training hours. This means having the ability to earn a competitive wage faster than 2-4 years with a college degree.

    4.  The California Welder Program is completed in just 24-weeks

    Students are prepared to transition to an entry-level welding position, where they will gain additional practical experience.  Skills obtained through training are applied to a variety of growing industries that provide personal and professional growth.  Advanced Career Institute offers their training program at two campuses--Visalia and Fresno.   It doesn't have to be National Welding Month for you to take control of your career.  If you love to design, create and fix things with a variety of materials, Welding may be the perfect next step for you. Contact Advanced Career Institute to begin your career in welding.
  • image of yellow square, text reads "trucker's guide to time management"

    Tips to Staying on Schedule While on the Road

    Now that you have your CDL license and an exciting new career on the road, you will want to learn some time management techniques so that you can do your best job and be as safe and efficient as possible. Like any job, there is a learning curve to driving trucks. You will learn little tricks as you gain more experience, but here are a few time-saving tips that may help you out quite a bit as you hit the road!


    Traffic is out of your control, but you can plan your route with the intention of avoiding the biggest cities and roads when they will be the most densely populated and traffic will be at it's worst. We all know that rush hour is the worst time to be driving in and around any large city. The best thing you can do to manage your time is to work your routes around this knowledge and make sure you aren't driving into LA, Houston, Atlanta, etc. during the peak traffic hours. This will save you a lot of time sitting in your truck.

    Load and Unload

    A part of route planning is loading and unloading your cargo. If you can plan your routes with the intention of dropping off and loading your cargo as early as possible, you will save time and make your customers very very happy. The more consistent you are in pleasing customers, suppliers, dispatchers in this way, the more likely they are to give you better jobs in the future and it can lead to more money earned for you.


    Just because you are trying to work ahead of schedule does not mean that you get to forget about rest. You need to sleep every night in order to provide the best service and be the most efficient driver that you can be. The key to time management is planning. Plan your sleep times and rest periods as stringently as you plan your routes and your load and unload times. Planning is the key to time management, there are apps like Apple's calendar on iOS and Google calendars that are great organizers. These apps will buzz and make a noise like an alarm clock if you set them. Ultimately, you need to be in control of yourself. Calendar tools will help you stay organized and remind you when to stop resting or driving etc, but at the end of the day, you will be as organized as you want to be. Planning and organization are the cornerstones of time management. What time management tips do you have for truck drivers? At Advanced Career Institute, we don't just prepare students for CDL Training, but all aspects of trucking. Interested in entering this in-demand industry? Contact us to learn more about our training programs.
  • image of cloudy sky, a silhouetted truck driving on road

    CDL Related Jobs that aren't Over the Road

    Many people begin pursuing a Commercial Driver’s License with the intent of becoming over-the-road truck drivers. Why not? It’s a common profession that is in high demand. There are plenty of jobs available! However, it’s not the only show in town. There are also non-trucking jobs you can get with a CDL. A CDL is a surprisingly versatile document, and while driving is almost always on the docket if you are getting a CDL, driving a big rig is far from the only occupation you can hope to pursue. Indeed, there are many vehicles you can operate and an equal number of potential employers who will look at hiring you if you depend on your level of experience. These jobs can each bring their nuances that offer commercial drivers a surprising level of diversity to their daily work experience.

    Highway Maintenance Technician:

    Highway construction and repair projects often require the use of large vehicles, which means people are needed to drive those vehicles. Everything from dump trucks and skid steers to concrete mixers and paint trucks are used for highway maintenance, so if you want this job, you’d better put your work boots on. Often a Class B CDL is the minimum requirement for this position.

    Engineering Equipment Operator:

    As an Engineering Equipment Operator, you will operate a variety of heavy machinery, including dump trucks and trash compactors, and will help prepare the terrain for upcoming construction projects. Depending on where in the country you are working and the geographical structures around you, and the nature of the business that employs you, you can work in any number of environments up to and including bodies of water.

    Construction Equipment Operator:

    Few fields have as diverse a set of big vehicles as the construction industry. Skid steers, dump trucks, knuckle boom loaders, track hoes, loaders, flatbeds, bush hogs, cranes, and steamrollers. You name it, the construction guys use it. All of them require an operator who possesses a CDL.

    Tractor Trailer Technician:

    While not required in most states, having a CDL is a big plus for most tractor-trailer technicians. It stands to reason that it is better to be qualified to drive a vehicle you are working on. Tractor-trailer technicians don’t haul loads with their trucks, but they certainly are good at fixing them. Maintaining fleets of trucks is a big job that is usually performed by a team of semi-truck techs, and is a vital part of the trucking industry.

    Terminal Manager:

    Another job that doesn’t require most workers to have a CDL, but it greatly helps, is a Terminal Manager. Terminal Managers are the field managers of a trucking company and are responsible for organizing, planning, and implementing transportation solutions. In other words, they manage trucking company workloads.

    Delivery Driver:

    Delivery drivers don’t have the prodigious time on the road that perhaps an over-the-road hauler does, but the two occupations are close cousins. Businesses as diverse as furniture companies and medical equipment suppliers often provide delivery services and often employ workers with commercial driver’s licenses. Interested in one of these non-trucking jobs you can get with a CDL? Advanced Career Institute can help you start your career in trucking. Check out our programs and the opportunities available to you.
  • image of person welding

    How to Ace Your Welding Interview

    Job interviews are always nerve-racking. There's a lot of pressure to perform your very best and show off your skills so that the interviewer shortlists you for the job. Welding, in particular, requires a very specific set of skills, and you need to come prepared for the job interview to show off these skills. Here are four secrets to acing your welding interview so you can land your dream job:

    Know the Company

    The key to any successful job interview is preparation and research. Learn about the company you are interviewing with by taking a look at their website and reviewing their ratings online. Be able to answer basic questions about what the company does and how welding fits into the company's business.

    Study the Job Description

    Find out specifics about the job, such as what type of welding processes you'll be asked to do, by studying the job posting. Make sure you are not only familiar with these processes but also prepared with stories about how you have used these processes in training or at your current or previous welding jobs. Be prepared to answer questions about your training and experience with specific welding processes. For example, be able to answer questions like "What is turnkey integration?" and "What's the difference between MIG and TIG welding?".

    Rehearse Your Answers

    While you won't know exactly what the interviewer is going to ask, it helps to practice your answers to some basic interview questions, such as "Tell me about yourself" or "How do you deal with working under pressure?". With the first question, you have the opportunity to pitch to the interviewer why you are the best candidate. Emphasize your strengths, work ethic, training, experience, and anything else that might be applicable to the job. The interviewer might ask you other questions about your temperament, working with others, and safety habits. Make sure you have strong answers to all of these questions. In addition, prepare some questions for the interviewer about the company and the job to show your interest and preparation.

    Dress the Part and Bring Your Materials

    Come to the interview dressed for the job. Instead of a suit, wear work gear like a long sleeve shirt, heavy-duty pants, and quality work boots. Since you are likely to be tested in your interview, your clothes should be protective and comfortable to work in. Make sure you bring the necessary materials and equipment to do some welding, such as work gloves, a helmet, grinders, weld treatment, and whatever else is necessary for the specific welding processes. While welding is an in-demand skill, you still need to prepare for the interview to increase your chances of landing your dream job.   What are you waiting for? Advanced Career Institute is ready to help you get started with your welding career. Check out our welding blog posts and contact us today for more information!
  • Image of agriculture farm machinery in a field with blue skies and wind turbines in background

    The Importance of Ag Transportation

    In celebration of National Ag Day on March 20th, let's give a nod of appreciation to the Ag Transporters who do the hard work within the industry. If you are curious about the job and considering joining the ranks, you should definitely ask these three important questions...

    What is Ag Transportation?

    Ag Transportation is the community of men and women who drive the country's farm-fresh food from where it's grown to wherever it needs to go. Advanced Career Institute's training will give you all the skills needed to learn the basics of truck driving. Students will also learn how to transport the important agricultural products grown in California.

    What is the importance of Ag Transportation?

    Truck drivers transport around 500 million tons of grain produced in the US every single year. California's farms and ranches produce over one-third of those vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts for this country. The most efficient system for transporting these fresh and healthy goods are the highways and truck drivers of the state. Goods often need to be transported more than once before they reach their final destination. Those that do these important jobs of ensuring the quality and safe delivery of these products are Ag Transporters.

    What are the benefits of being an Ag Transporter?

    The benefits of being an Ag Transporter are vast. Ag Transporters are the first point of contact for receiving and transporting the agricultural products and livestock vital to the food industry. All you need to qualify is a high school diploma and the CDL Certification we provided with our 20-week Ag Transportation training. It's also important to consider that the current future outlook for work as a truck driver is extremely promising. As a Ag Transporter, you will have several job opportunities with competitive pay and great benefits. Are you interested in joining the Ag Transportation field? Advanced Career Institute can help you get started! Contact us today to learn more about our training options and the opportunities available for you.