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Where to Start Your Search for Heavy Truck Technician Training

The United States is facing a heavy truck technician shortage. Even though the need for certified technicians is growing, most younger people in the job market are looking in other areas, and that means potential technicians have the perfect opportunity to create a high-value position for themselves with less competition and less of a waiting period in entry-level positions. Here's how to stand out in the market:

  • Get your CDL. No matter what job description you pull up, employers are looking for people who either have their CDL or can get it quickly. If you show up to the interview with a CDL as proof you can operate the vehicles immediately (especially over-sized vehicles), you're more valuable, which either gets you a position faster or a higher salary when you're hired.
  • Find a company that's willing to pay for your certifications. Certifications and training programs aren't free. If you go through ASE and classes independently, you could be facing a bill before you even find work. But because of the shortage, large corporations such as Penske are offering certifications and on-site training as benefits. Working through your employer for additional certifications can get you partial to full discounts, and asking about it demonstrates long-term dedication to the field.
  • Go for the additional certifications no one else has. Entry level technicians might start with a $25,000 salary, but adding on certifications for heavy trucks and diesel gets you a bump in salary, job security, or both. Taking training courses in specialized areas that have fewer experts or in new areas (such as ELD maintenance) gives you an additional advantage.

If you're not sure where to get started, get your ASE certification through an entry-level position. With the high demand for technicians, you can take advantage of heavily discounted training programs and ASE exams through employers.