Top 10 Reasons Gen-Z Should be CDL Drivers

It’s no secret that truck drivers may not have the best reputation. Decades of misleading stereotypes have disregarded the importance of drivers to our economy and life as we know it. The industry is changing every day, and now’s the time to jump in! Gen Z, the youngest generation of adults, is preparing to join the workforce. While trucking might not be at the top of their list, it has potential to be a perfect career for a young person. Here are the top 10 reasons why Gen Z should consider truck driving as a career.

10. Get Started Quickly

No need for a college degree here! Drivers are just required to have their CDL license, which can be obtained through a class that takes weeks. The outlook for truck driving jobs for new graduates is bright due to demand for new drivers, so there’s potential to start working right off the bat. Melton has a convenient pre-hire process – If you graduate on a Friday, you could be in Melton’s orientation as soon as Monday with one of our pre-hire letters!

Flatbed driver sitting in flatbed truck giving thumbs up

9. Cheaper than College

It’s no secret that college is expensive. At a traditional 4-year institution, prepare to spend an average of over $100,000. If a student can’t work during school, that’s more potential money lost. Graduates are also saddled with debt as soon as they leave school, which isn’t a great way to begin a career. CDL classes can run anywhere from $2,000-$6,000, which is a fraction of the price of tuition at a university. There are several trucking companies that offer company sponsorship programs that can help you pay for CDL school or tuition reimbursement. Melton currently offers up to $10,000 in tuition reimbursement for recent CDL graduates!

8. The Industry is Transforming

Gen Z has been at the forefront of lots of change in the past few years, and trucking is no different. Younger drivers can start as young as 18 years old, although current regulations maintain that they can’t cross state lines. However, due to a shortage of drivers, trucking requirements are starting to change. Currently, legislation is working on trying to lower interstate driving age from 21 to 18, meaning those who are planning to join the industry in a few years’ time may be jumping straight into interstate trucking, which means higher pay and more sights to see.

7. Travel the Country

It’s a dream of many young people to travel the country once they have enough money saved. However, those with over the road trucking jobs don’t have to go through the hassle of saving pennies and getting time off; in fact, they get paid to travel! America’s highway system is one of the best, and routes can take you through all sorts of beautiful landscapes, from rolling hills to towering canyons, and beautiful forests.

6. Income

The overall average salary for high school graduates is $42,000 a year. The average over the road truck driver salary? That sits at almost $70,000 and is only increasing as demand for drivers increases. Many companies, including Melton, pay their drivers in cents per mile (CPM). This means being rewarded for hard work and miles driven versus being paid a flat salary. Melton gives their drivers numerous opportunities to earn additional pay on top of their base pay, so there’s no telling how much a driver could potentially make!


5. Benefits

The list of truck driver benefits is a long one. While it varies from company to company, benefits may include 401(k) matching, health insurance including vision and dental, as well as life insurance. For a young person trying to lay down some roots and start a family of their own, these benefits are vital. Some companies (including Melton) offer pet and rider programs, which allow you to drive with a loved one or your favorite four-legged friend!

Flatbed Driver's dog sitting in the window of a melton flatbed truck

4. Room for Growth

Drivers never have to worry about being stagnant in their career. Companies offer plenty of opportunities for raises and bonuses in exchange for taking more difficult routes, carrying delicate cargo, or getting certifications. Experience pays – Truckers can also be rewarded with routine raises just for sticking with a particular company, even if they don’t take on any additional responsibilities.


of drivers are between ages 20 and 30

3. Job Security

As previously mentioned, OTR drivers are in higher demand than ever before. The average age of the trucking workforce is 55 and retiring, so now’s the time to take advantage. Companies may offer competitive salaries, better benefits, bonuses, and more! Trucking is an essential line of work, therefore, layoffs are also slim to none when working for a stable trucking company.

2. Technology is Improving

Imagine being in the driver’s seat of a self-driving commercial truck. Crazy, right? In a number of years, that could be reality. Developments are being made in autonomous vehicles, which could make for a safer, more comfortable experience for everyone sharing the road. In the meantime, truck manufacturers continue to improve their equipment by adding features to help create a safer and more comfortable ride for drivers. Melton operates a fleet of impeccably maintained, late-model trucks equipped with automatic transmission, oversized bunks in the interior, and more!

1. Making a Difference

Truck drivers are some of the most underappreciated workers in the country. Without them, the economy and life as we know it would be much more difficult. Drivers transport 70% of all freight in the United States, and most communities rely on them for essentials like food, water, and medicine. There are plenty of career opportunities for Gen Z out there, but for those looking to make a real difference in the world, trucking may be just what they’re looking for.

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