What to Expect After Completing Training and Acquiring a Class A CDL License in Illinois

Acquiring a Class A CDL License in Illinois requires completing a certain amount of training, and then passing a written exam and a road test. Once this has been done, the individual now has a permit and enough verified practice to drive big rigs locally, regionally or on long-haul assignments.

An Ongoing Shortage

An ongoing shortage of truckers in the United States means that employers are doing more than ever to attract new drivers. Wages are higher, benefits are substantial and the companies spend more effort getting drivers home regularly. Companies also are more likely to hire new graduates than was the case in the past.

Pay to Expect

After acquiring a Class A CDL License in Illinois, a new driver can expect to start a job at a living wage, and better opportunities will come along after he or she has a few years of experience. Estimates on the average pay rates for truckers, both entry-level and experienced, vary somewhat depending on the source.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports $44,500 as the average annual pay for all drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailer rigs as of 2017. AllTrucking.com reports that some of the best companies for new drivers pay around $40,000 per year to the rookies.


It’s important for new drivers to focus on getting a job with a reputable company instead of one struggling to get by on a shoestring. That’s where some of the lowest wages come in. Yet some of the smaller companies are very worthwhile employers. The graduate must be alert to signs that the company is cutting corners in aspects like equipment maintenance and making unreasonable demands of the drivers. Talking with other drivers familiar with the organization, in person or online, will shed light on how unrealistic the employer’s expectations are.

Job Placement Services

Graduates from a facility such as Star Truck Driving School have the advantage of superb job placement services, connecting those who complete the program with well-known companies. Their list of successful placements includes mainly trucking companies, but there also are opportunities with manufacturers, retailers and food and beverage producers.

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