This is for those of you thinking about becoming a driver. It's time y'all learn the truth about this industry, before you waste thousands of your own hard earned dollars getting a CDL. What if I told you: The pay scale is not stagnant. The standards of the industry have not declined in the last 15 or so years nearly as much as expectations have risen. That's right. Pay has kept up with inflation. Barely, but it has. Here's the problem: do not think you're going to get rich driving a truck. You will NEVER get rich working for someone else, no matter what industry you work in. In essence, do not think you're going to own a 750LI and a Taj Majal style mansion. It won't happen. Hollywood may portray such, but this is reality and no the movies. With that being said, less address the "students can earn up to 50,000 a year" advertisements. Can you make 50,000 a year within your first year? Yes you can, however you'll NEVER be home. Do the math. If an employer pays 28 cents a mile, that truck needs to be rolling 24/7/365 for you to make 50,000 a year. And this is gross pay, not net pay. If you've already been working another job and make close to 50,000 a year on a 40 hr weekly schedule, DO NOT BOTHER DRIVING A TRUCK, BECAUSE YOULL HAVE TO WORK TWICE THE HOURS TO MAKE WHAT YOU MADE BEFORE! Truck driving is a trade, even though the department of labor says it isn't. Because it's a trade, you're going to start off at the bottom of the pay scale. No company pays top dollar for new hires..... Ever.... This holds true for any company in any industry. You work when they want you to work. Not when you want to work. Also, just because having that CDL in your pocket doesn't mean you're entitled to drive a CMV. It's the same as having a college degree. Neither a college degree or a CDL will guarantee you that you'll have a job, much less a good paying job. There is no freedom in this job. That's one of the biggest fallacies of this industry. You will always be watched by someone. Your dispatcher, the customer, the DOT, the FMCSA, special interest groups, etc. Your dispactcher and customer will try to push you to run outlaw to get that load there, and you'll have the DOT, FMCSA, and special interest groups watching you like a hawk waiting to catch you slipping and nail you to the wall. As new drivers experience the job for what it's really like and drop like flies because the job doesn't meet their unrealistic expectations, other drivers are standing by waiting to fill the seat you vacated. Welcome to the reality of trucking. If you're lucky enough to make it passed your first year, congratulations! You accomplished what many others before you couldn't do. However, you still do not have enough experience to land a job with the better employers. Let's say you made it one divorce and 3 years later. You kept your records clean, and submitted an application to UPS to drive a feeder. UPS hires you. Guess what? All that hard work and determination from your OTR days are now gone out the window. You're with a new company now, who doesn't know you. Once again, you find yourself at the bottom of the barrel. All that OTR experience did was get you in the door at UPS. Now you have to prove yourself all over again. Yes, you're driving a daycab with the big boys now. Yes, you're no longer a bottom feeder driver. However, you're just a casual worker. You're working rotating shifts doing nothing but fillin in for the regular drivers on vacation and/or sick leave. It may take you up to 5 years to have a permanent run, if you're lucky enough to survive the 90 day probationary period. If you think driving OTR was demanding, buckle up you're seatbelt Dorthy, because Kansas is going bye-bye.