For CDL drivers, you usually have a few choices. First, you can stick with local routes, an option that lets you remain in the area, but that doesn’t always come with the highest pay potential. Second, there’s regional, offering moderate pay and keeping you in a specific part of the country. Finally, there are OTR CDL jobs, positions requiring lengthy stretches on the road that usually have the larger salaries. 

While the pay rates associated with OTR usually make the option enticing, many drivers wonder if the potential drawbacks make it worthwhile. If you’re curious whether OTR is worth it, here’s what you need to know. 

What OTR CDL Jobs Involve 

In most cases, it’s easy to figure out what an OTR CDL job mainly involves. The bulk of your responsibilities are simply hitting the road and keeping the truck in good working order along the way. At times, you may also assist with loading and unloading, though that varies depending on the position. 

How long you’re on the road can depend on the exact role. Some OTR CDL drivers are mainly gone during the week and back in their home territory on weekends. Others may spend weeks or months crisscrossing the country, only coming home on rare occasions. 

The Benefits and Drawbacks of OTR 

When it comes to benefits, the clearest is the ability to travel the country. You’ll get to see more of what this nation has to offer, often while meeting new people along the way. It can be a great way to enjoy some sights and get a change of scenery, all while earning a solid income. 

OTR driving can also be an exceptional fit for anyone who prefers working independently. Most of your time is spent on the open road, giving you significant autonomy. Plus, these positions often pay more than local routes. 

As for drawbacks, long periods on the road means substantial time away from friends and family back home. For some, it can also make their personal life harder to manage, as you aren’t necessarily near your preferred bank, physician, or other kinds of service providers frequently. 

OTR CDL Driver Pay 

While money isn’t the only factor when it comes to job satisfaction, it’s a critical consideration for essentially any candidate. As with any driving position, salaries vary depending on the employer, route, time on the road, cargo hauled, responsibilities beyond driving, and other factors. 

Your experience can play a factor in pay rates as well as any required specialty endorsement. Your physical location is another facet of the equation, as pay rates do vary from one state or city to the next. 

However, most OTR CDL jobs pay between $60,000 and $75,000 annually. As a result, you can use that as a ballpark for determining if OTR CDL jobs are right for you. 

Deciding If OTR Is Worth It 

Ultimately, whether OTR is worth it is a personal choice. Some love the freedom and independence, along with higher pay. Others don’t find it as appealing. 

If you aren’t sure if OTR CDL jobs are the best fit for you, consider teaming up with a transportation staffing company like PTS®. At PTS®, you’ll have the freedom to choose your routes, ensuring you can spend as much time on the road as you like while also allowing you to spend time at home more often if you prefer. 

Find Local CDL or OTR CDL Jobs in California And Beyond

For any driver interested in a new opportunity, now is the time to explore your options. If you’re ready to boost your career, the team at PTS® wants to hear from you. Contact us today or browse our career portal.

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