Maybe you’ve heard that CDL truck drivers can make more money with a Hazmat endorsement. While wage is determined by individual carrier companies, Hazmat endorsements open the doors for extra pay!
What is a Hazmat Endorsement?
Driving hazardous materials requires special attention and care, and the pay rates are typically higher for CDL drivers with a Hazmat endorsement. The Hazmat endorsement is a certification that tells officials you have proven yourself qualified to transport hazardous materials. Not everyone is qualified or capable of handling such a large responsibility, but there are opportunities to earn extra money for those that obtain a Hazmat endorsement.
Why do Hazmat drivers make more money?
Transporting hazardous materials is a lot more dangerous than transporting traditional goods and necessities. Hazardous materials* (or as Trucking Truth puts it, “explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo”) include things like:
- Flammable and combustible liquids
- Flammable solids
- Oxidizers and organic peroxides
- Radioactive materials
- Corrosive materials
Because CDL drivers are entrusted with this big responsibility, it’s important that they are tested for competency and level of potential threat before being certified. While you go through your state to earn a Class A CDL, the final word on Hazmat endorsements come from the federal government. According to the TSA.gov: “The Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program conducts a threat assessment for any driver seeking to obtain, renew and transfer a hazardous materials endorsement on a state-issued commercial driver’s license.”
According to TruckingTruth.com, “Some companies will give a driver a per mile bonus for hauling HAZMAT as well as additional safety bonuses.” Driving a vehicle that can transport hazardous materials requires a certain specific skillset, since the vehicle type is unique. Beyond the actual care of the materials, Hazmat CDL driving “includes the responsibility for pumping their cargo out of the tank, as well as arranging for and waiting for the empty trailer to be professionally washed out.”
Covenant, one of Roadmaster’s preferred carriers, pays their drivers an extra rate for being Hazmat endorsed CDL truck drivers. Hazmat drivers at Covenant**
- Are guaranteed a minimum of $1000/week with at least one year of experience
- Earn 52 (cents) per mile with 5-24 months of experience
- Earn 54 (cents) per mile with 2-5 years of experience
- Earn 56 (cents) per mile with 5+ years of experience
This is just one example of the extra pay that you can earn as a Class A CDL truck driver with a Hazmat endorsement!
How to Get Hazmat Endorsements
As we stated earlier, Hazmat endorsements require an approval from the federal government, specifically the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can apply for the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program “if you are a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, naturalized citizen or a nonimmigrant alien, asylee or refugee who is in lawful status and have a CDL issued by a U.S. state.”
To receive Hazmat endorsements you must also pass the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test at a state level. For more information on the knowledge test, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Common Hazmat endorsement requirements include
- You must have a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) for the state in which you’re applying. It must be valid (not currently suspended or revoked) and not checkered with serious road violations.
- Provide proof of your full legal name. Photocopies will be rejected.
- Furnish proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent legal presence.
- Provide proof of identity and date of birth.
- Show proof of Social Security number.
- Present a valid medical examiner’s certificate (DOT medical card).
- Present, if applicable, a medical waiver.
- Pass the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test.
- Pass a vision screening test.
- Pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) criminal background check.
Requirements may vary from state-to-state, so it’s important that you check with your local DMV for the most up-to-date Hazmat endorsement requirement information.
Get Your CDL Career Started With Roadmaster Truck Driver Training!
A career as a Class A CDL truck driver has many promising opportunities to earn great money! Experience, proven safety on the highways, longer runs, and additional endorsements such as the Hazmat endorsement are just a few ways CDL truck drivers can maximize their earnings.
If you’d like to get your career as a Class A CDL truck driver underway, contact Roadmaster to see what options you have for local truck driver training in your area! Chat now with a representative or leave us some contact information here to get a conversation started. Opportunities to earn excellent money in the truck driving industry are available today!
*Hazardous materials provided by FMCSA, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/enforcement/nine-classes-hazardous-materials-yellow-visor-card
**Covenant info supplied by the 2016 Covenant Transport Student Program brochure