An endorsement is an authorization placed on an individual’s CDL permit that allows the individual to operate certain types of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Every endorsement is an opportunity at a subset of truck driving jobs, so when taking your CDL test, you’ll want to decide which (if any) endorsements you want to obtain.
Drivers who operate the type of vehicle described in the endorsement are required to take and pass a specialized test. Certain states have slightly different variations and restrictions on their CDL endorsements though you will typically choose from the following:
- Hazardous Materials Endorsement
- School Bus/Passenger Endorsement
- Doubles/Triples Endorsement
- Tanker Endorsement
- Air Brake Endorsement
To make the most of your career, experts recommend getting as many CDL endorsements as possible, as each will increase your employability and flexibility. Getting CDL endorsements will expand your career options because not only will you qualify for more jobs, you will have an inherent advantage over otherwise similarly qualified job candidates.
In the short term, CDL endorsements may seem like a waste of time and money as they may not necessarily directly relate to your current job. And while it’s true you may not ever use these endorsements, to an employer you will appear more responsible and mature for going through the trouble and expense of getting all of the endorsements in which you are eligible. Which in the end, could be the key to getting your ideal job and an extra couple hundred dollars on your paycheck.