How to Become a Line Haul Driver?

Are you thinking of becoming a Line Haul Driver or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Line Haul Driver, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Line Haul Driver job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become a Driver

Companies task drivers with transporting cargo or passengers. A successful driver has excellent time management skills, organizational skills, and navigational skills. Drivers who transport passengers should also have good interpersonal skills. Keep in mind that whether you decide to transport cargo or people, both situations will have you out on the road for long stretches of the day, which can be pretty stressful. However, if you can handle the stress, enjoy driving, and have a good driving record, you're ready to take the following steps.

Apply for a commercial driver learner's permit.

If you choose a driving career that involves operating a large motor vehicle, you'll need to obtain a commercial driving licence (CDL). With a CDL 1 (or A in Ontario) licence, you can legally operate a tractor-trailer, also referred to as a semi-truck or big rig. The other CDL classifications vary by province or territory.

To undergo your CDL training, you'll need to have a commercial learner's permit (CLP) so that you can practise driving a commercial vehicle under the supervision of an authorized CDL holder. To gain your learner’s permit or endorsement, you must already have a valid full driver’s licence and you'll need to study for and pass the knowledge test. In most provinces/territories, the knowledge test is multiple choice and you have to score at least 80% to pass.


Begin the driver licensing process.

While you can self-study for the knowledge test, most companies won't hire a driver who hasn't attended truck driving school or participated in a company-sponsored training program. Which program you choose depends on your budget.

Most experts recommend that you attend a driving school if you can afford it. If you participate in a company-sponsored training program, you might have to travel for your training, and you'll have to commit to working for that company. Attending a driving school gives you more flexibility in your career path. Make sure that whatever program you choose is authorized by the province or territory you plan to work in.


Take the commercial driver licensing exam.

After you complete your training program, you can take the CDL road test. When you take the road test, the examiner will evaluate how you manoeuvre the vehicle and handle stressful driving situations.

Once you pass the road test and have your licence, you can start searching for the driver job that's right for you.

Line Haul Driver Career Path


8+Years of Experience
$40K - $62K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior Driver

2 - 4Years of Experience
$45K - $65K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Driver IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$42K - $66K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Line Haul Driver Career Path

Driver I
Senior Driver
Driver Manager
Driver IV
Driver V
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Related careers in the Transportation Industry

Interested in other Transportation careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Line Haul Driver skills. Discover some of the most common Line Haul Driver career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Bus Driver
50% skills overlap
8% transitioned to Bus Driver