Updated: Jun 14, 2019
Every day, approximately 90 per cent of all consumer products and foods in North America are transported by truck. It’s for this reason that transport operators are so vital to our economy. Without commercial truck drivers, access to certain commodities - such as milk, wheat, meat and even petrol - would be extremely limited. With that said, the commercial driving industry is experiencing both a demographic shift and a major shortage of drivers. That leaves tens of thousands of job openings and a vast array of different opportunities for prospective drivers.
The role of a commercial driver doesn’t come without significant responsibility. Drivers are expected to deliver large loads without damages, perform extensive inspections, adhere to industry standards and adapt to several changes in technology. As a result, training is essential for new drivers looking to enter a career in truck driving - and that’s where we come in! We are a private career college that offers elite training programs and lifetime career support for people looking to turn their career prospects into reality.
The minimum requirements to write your AZ license are:
> You must be of at least 18 years or older (for most long-haul and cross-border positions, the age requirement is usually 21 years of age)
> Have a valid G license
> You must pass an MTO medical examination
Since 2017, new training standards have been put in place to improve road safety and risk management. In order to obtain your AZ license in Ontario, you must complete a Minimum Entry Level Training (MELT) program of at least 103.5 hours and pass your AZ road test. Though this is the standard set by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), most employers would prefer to see eligible drivers who have gone through a reputable commercial driving school that offers training beyond the minimum requirement. This could include one-on-one in-cab training, Airbrakes training (Z license) and other certifications, such as Transportation of Dangerous Goods, WHMIS, and First Aid & CPR.
At KnowledgeSurge Institute, we have a program specifically designed for those students looking to acquire training that goes above and beyond. Our EliteStart Pro course offers 200 hours of versatile training that includes one-on-one in-cab lessons, extended practice on a driving simulator, and those mentioned certifications that will give you an extra leg-up in the industry.
Even better? You could complete our program and have your first gig as a driver in just eight weeks! Salary depends on where you were trained, the level of training you received, the type of route you drive and the load you haul. In 2018, Glassdoor estimated the average annual base income for transport operators in their first year was around $60,000.
David Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, reported that drivers who take on long-haul tractor-trailer positions can earn around $70,000-75,000 a year. This varies from province to province. In Alberta, for example, where the trucking industry is experiencing a serious labour shortage, long-haul drivers could receive up to $100,000 annually.
This all goes to show that there’s a driver’s seat waiting for you to fill it – it’s just patiently waiting for you to take that next step! As a truck driver, not only will you secure a wide-open career path, but you’ll also gain increased independence and variety in your career. As a registered private career college, we can help get you there. Just call (705)-730-1130 and ask for our enthusiastic Commercial Driver Solutions Manager, Samantha, for more information. She can assist you in getting on the road as soon as possible.