Considering an AZ Licence?
In the event you’re considering a career in commercial trucking or heavy vehicle operation, you have a lot of choices and opportunities ahead of you. One of the most important of these choices is which commercial driving licence to aim for. This can make a difference, because -generally- the better the class of licence, the more expensive both training and certification will be.
In most cases, it’s best to aim for an AZ Licence in Ontario. Let’s look at why, and how it can pay off once you have it.
Understanding Why the AZ Licence Is an Excellent Choice for Commercial Drivers
The top licence you could get is the AZ licence. An AZ certifies you as qualified to drive a wide range of vehicles with or without airbrakes. It allows you to drive vehicles including tractor-trailers, fire-equipment, cranes and even light duty trucks with heavy trailers!
In other words, with an AZ licence, you have the most options in what jobs you could possibly get. It’s also possible to pick up other certifications for heavy machinery alongside that licence. Now, for making a solid wage, good benefits and limitless job prospects, you’d want to go into trucking – but it’s good to know you have other options if work gets slow or you need a break from the road.
However, the price tag does sometimes put people off. Training and certification costs are generally in the area of $6,000-$9,000. This can cause them to go for lower-grade licences instead such as DZ . This really isn’t the best long-term plan, though, particularly since an AZ licence-holder has all the same driving privileges as both D or G licences get! If you can find the funding required, the extra investment will pay for itself in no time.
So what sort of pay rate are you looking at with an AZ Licence?
How Much Money Can an AZ Licence Make?
It’s important to know that truck driving pay is somewhat fluid at the moment. Since it’s such an in-demand job, with a serious deficit of drivers, some outfits are willing to pay well above the average for talent. But, of course, as a new driver, you might not be able to command the best wages either.
A good estimate for first year wages would be between $45,000 – $55,000. You have to put be ready to put in the hours and miles to make it and earn your stripes. That’s already well above the minimum wage in most areas, and assuming you maintain a good record they’ll only go upwards from there. Highly-skilled drivers who have earned a reputation for making deliveries on time, or have the certifications for specialty jobs like hazardous materials (for example) could potentially be looking at $75K+ per year.
Not to mention, an increasing number of shippers offer a wide range of bonuses to their drivers. Safe driving, high gas mileage, or driver referrals can all pad out your pay even further. Many companies now have incentive programs that will pay you back your tuition if you stay with them for a year or more!
With that sort of money on the line, $9,000 for training really doesn’t sound like that much, does it?