Michigan is a midwestern state in the United States of America that is mostly known for its numerous lakes and thriving automotive industry. Michigan borders the four Great Lakes of North America from the West which are Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and is divided into two upper and lower peninsulas which are connected by Mackinac Bridge. Michigan is the only state in the United States that is divided into two peninsulas and happens to be the tenth most populous state out of the fifty states. Michigan is known to be the center of the U.S. automotive industry as it is number one in the production of motor vehicles and is home to the three major automobile companies in the United States often referred to as the American Big Three which are: General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Michigan is also a leader in many other manufacturing lines as well which include machine tools, airplane parts, refrigerators, hardware, and furniture.
The capital of Michigan is Lansing and the largest city in Michigan is Detroit which is known to be very diverse. Michigan is the thirteenth most economically productive state in the U.S. Some of Michigan’s nicknames are The Great Lake State (due to the numerous lakes which total up to more than 11,000 inland lakes), The Wolverine State, The Mitten State and Winter Wonderland. Michigan is known to have a continental climate with the southern and central parts of the Lower Peninsula having a warmer climate (hot summers and cold winters) while the northern part of the Lower Peninsula and the entire Upper Peninsula have a more severe climate (warm summers and colder winters). The most common languages spoken in Michigan are English, Spanish, Arabic, German, Chinese, French and Polish put in order by level of popularity. The most widespread religion in Michigan is Christianity followed by Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism.
A ‘CDL’ is a commercial driver’s license needed in order to drive heavy vehicles that are mainly used for commercial use which includes the transport of goods over long distances. Truck drivers are needed throughout the United States for the transportation of goods to and from different states. Truck drivers are usually hired by large companies who have franchises in different areas. Truck driving is a job that requires commitment yet is flexible and people who prefer jobs that are less restricting favor it.
Truck drivers in the United States must first complete a CDL training program which requires a certain number of training hours to be completed depending on the state. The CDL is necessary in order to make sure that a driver has the skills and knowledge needed to properly and safely operate a truck which include map reading, trip planning, and knowledge of the U.S. Department of Transportation laws. The test makes sure that drivers can safely perform backing, turning, and driving a trailer on the road. The test consists of two parts: a written test that consists of 30 questions and an on-the-road test that one is required to pass in order to earn a CDL and become an official and legal truck driver.
Job Market Growth in Michigan for CDL Truck Driving
Truck driving is one of those fields that not too many people dive in, therefore truck drivers are in much need in our day and time and can earn a great income by following this career track. Fortunately, Michigan is home to many companies that export goods to other states and are always in need of transportation services. That is where the CDL truck driver comes in to play. Some major truck driver employing companies in Michigan are EDP, Ryder, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Dedicated Logistics, Sky Chef Inc., United Parcel Services and Praxair. There is a documented shortage in truck drivers all around the United States and especially in Michigan state, so if you’re planning on entering the field, now is the perfect time, and Michigan is a great place do it!
CDL Truck Driving Wages in Michigan
Michigan is a well-paying state for truck drivers as are Virginia and Mississippi, and truck drivers who obtain a CDL license tend to have much luck there. Depending on the company a truck driver decides to work with, his/her level of experience and the type of job being performed, truck drivers can earn a well and stable pay in the state of Michigan. The more experienced a driver is, the more income a driver can make, and the opportunity to grow in this field is very wide and can happen relatively quickly. Unlike other fields, it does not take very long for a truck driver to become more advanced within the field after obtaining a CDL. Here is a list of the approximate average salaries of a truck driver in Michigan depending on his or her experience:
Top End Truck Driver: $29/hr or $60k/year
Senior Truck Driver: $23/hr or $48k/year
Experienced Truck Driver: $19/hr or $39k/yr
Junior Truck Driver: $16/hr or $32/yr
Starting Truck Driver: $13/hr or $26k/yr
Michigan is a great place to obtain a CDL in as there are numerous schools that provide training for this license. There are about 55 Trucking schools in Michigan in both the upper and lower peninsulas with an average tuition rate of $7,347. It is important for one to choose the best school that fits his/her needs based on the time period of the course (some schools offer faster programs for those who need it) and cost (some schools offer scholarships more than others). To help you out, we have compiled the top schools in Michigan for CDL truck driving training:
Baker College is famous for being a successful career-training college that helps students effectively prepare for their future career through intensive training and specialized degree and certificate programs. Baker College has one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, which signifies the effectiveness and success of their training programs. The college is rather large and has a reputation for being conveniently widespread helping students all over Michigan earn degrees and certificates in the fields that interest them the most and that they wish to pursue future careers in. Baker College offers programs in Allen Park, Auburn Hills, Cadillac, Class City, Clinton Township, Flint, Fremont, Jackson, Muskegon, Owosso and Port Huron in Michigan.
The Truck Driver Certificate at Baker College prepares aspiring truck drivers to become entry level local and long-distance truck drivers who can drive commercial motor vehicles, tractor-trailers, heavy trucks, dump trucks, and tankers. Upon completion of the program a student is well and ready to take the examination for the Michigan Commercial Driver’s License that will be the first step towards gaining a fruitful career in the field of truck driving.
Pinnacle Truck Driver Training
This is an independent and employee-owned business that trains students the skill of truck driving in just six weeks. Commercial motor vehicle operator training is offered at the Pinnacle Truck Driver Training Center by former members of the Baker College of Cadillac who worked in the Truck Driving Program prior to opening this business. The main focus of this program is gaining long-term employment in the trucking field upon completing the program. Students are taught about the trucking opportunities in the area and in the entire nation before enrolling in the program to ensure that their goals align with that of the incorporation. Graduates also get help after completing the program in terms of finding the ideal job for them that fits their own and their families needs. The course is traditionally composed of 160 hours of intense training required to complete the certification program, but for individuals who do not need that many hours, a special course can be customized for these aspiring students to fit their needs and end goals. Students at the Pinnacle Truck Driver Training facility are treated like friends and staff is known to being extremely helpful.
CDL-A Training and Custom CDL-A Training are the two programs offered at Pinnacle Truck Driver Training. Both programs effectively prepare individuals for the Michigan Commercial Driver’s License Test and the student chooses the program that best fits their schedules and levels of experience. The school preaches that students should only pay for the training that they need, and that is why students with more experience can customize a program that requires less than 160 hours of training in comparison with the complete course. However, individuals who are beginners are encouraged to take the full 160 hours of training in order to be most successful when taking the CDL test. The 160 hours of training are broken down into 80 hours of classroom learning, 20 hours of driving observation, 20 hours of practical driving, 12 hours of commercial vehicle inspection lab and 28 hours of behind-the-wheel driving. In addition to the skills required to become a successful truck driver and pass the exam, other valuable skills that make one a better professional are taught at Pinnacle Truck Driver Training such as maintaining logbooks, map-reading, trip planning, and customer service. Basically, this school prepares you to excel in the world of commercial driving!
All Stars Truck Driving School, Inc.
All Stars is concerned with filling the gap of truck drivers needed in the nation by training individuals to drive and perform the test in order to earn a CDL and enter the field. According to All Stars Truck Driving Schools, students are finding jobs as soon as they obtain the license as there is a high demand in their field, especially in Detroit, Michigan where the school is located. The school is Michigan Works and government approved and is known to be cost efficient for students while providing quality training. The truck driving course includes classroom, yard, and on the road instructional training. The school provides training for a CDL-A License Certification which is a 162 hour program and a CDL-B Certification which is 80 hours.
International Trucking School
International Trucking School was established in 1990 and has been licensed and fully recognized by the state of Michigan. The school provides training for private individuals, rehabilitation clients, clients from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, MI Works participants and others. The school provides intensive training for individuals and provides help with job placement after graduation. The International Trucking School has four locations in Michigan which are in Canton, Lansing, Macomb, and Monroe. Courses offered are CDL-A Truck Driving Certification, a Basic Truck Driving Course, an Accelerated Truck Driving Course for more advanced students, a Specialized Tractor Truck Driving Course, and Refresher Courses to meet the needs of students depending on their knowledge and level of experience with truck driving. All courses should effectively prepare individuals to obtain a certification and CDL and become successful in their field.
Living and Training in Michigan
The average cost of living in Michigan is below the average cost of living in the United States overall by about 12%, making it one of the better places to live based on costs and savings. The cost of living may vary based on the different counties and cities in Michigan, however this is an estimated average of the overall state. The main factor that determined this lower average cost is housing, which has an average cost that is about 33% below the U.S. average as a whole. The lowest noted house listing in Michigan costs about $73,000 and the highest listing costs about $366,000. The average rent cost of a property in Michigan is currently almost $1,000 which is below the national average. The next reducing factor of the overall average is groceries which has an average that is about 5% below the national average followed by health which is 2% below the national average. The flat tax rate of Michigan state is only 4.5% with an added rate depending on the city or county that ranges between 1% and 2.5%. Michigan’s effective property tax rate is 1.83%.
As we have spoken about before in this article, Michigan’s shores meet four of the five Great Lakes which are Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie. These lakes are fascinating in their size and beauty and are a great getaway spot when one needs a break from the industrialized world. Lake Michigan, which is the only one of the great lakes that is located entirely in the United States, is especially popular for fishing as it comprises of some rare underwater species that fishers aspire to catch. The major commercial species in Lake Michigan is the Lake Whitefish or Coregonus Clupeaformis with other popular species amongst sport fishers which include salmon, smelt and lake trout.
Lake Erie is also known for its popular fishing destination and is a popular tourist attraction in Michigan. Sterling State Park is located on Lake Erie in Michigan and has many tourist sites such as beach and lake front sites, trails for hiking, biking, skiing and camping sites. Lake Erie Metropark is nearby Lake Erie and is famous for its astounding wildlife also being a major tourist attraction. Lake Huron in Michigan is home to 30 light-houses on Michigan’s beaches which often attract boaters.
The Henry Ford is both an indoor and outdoor museum located in Dearborn, Michigan and is a non-profit organization that depends on visits and memberships for financial support. It holds more than 300 artifacts of American history and aims to inspire and spark curiosity in the future innovators of the world. It gains about 1.7 million visitors annually and hosts a public charter school ‘The Henry Ford Academy’ that educates 515 students every year. The Henry Ford also premiered an Emmy Award-Winning series that helps educate the public on artifacts and unique guest experiences within the museum.
When visiting The Henry Ford, one is exposed to many educational and inspiring venues within the museum. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation showcases the stories of American innovators and their paths to success. The Greenfield Village showcases American traditions, ingenuity and resourcefulness. The Ford Rouge Factory Tour Showcases modern manufacturing concepts and one can get an inside look of the making of one of America’s most iconic trucks which happens to be the Ford F-150. One can also get the ‘Giant Screen Experience’ at The Henry Ford which screens some of the most enlightening stories of America’s past, present and future to be shared through a magnificent larger-than-life experience. For those seeking even more at The Henry Ford, there are many educational opportunities which can be explored by becoming a member or joining various volunteering programs.
Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts which is one of the top six museums in the United States, is located in Detroit, Michigan and is known to owning some of the most significant art collections in our world today. Though it has not been a museum for too long, the Detroit Institute of Arts has had a major impact on tourism in Detroit and is often the preferred tourism location in the area. With over 100 galleries and numerous exhibitions for interested and inspired tourists to explore, the Detroit Institute of Arts has something for everyone. Some famous exhibitions at the institute are Degas and the Dance which is an exhibition that showcases over 100 pieces of art by artist Edgar Degas, Magnificenza which displays art of The Medici, Michelangelo and The Art of Late Renaissance Florence. Other exhibitions include Yoko Ono’s Fright Train, Dawoud Bey which is a display of Bey’s various artworks along with artworks of other selected students of his and Gerard ter Borch which contains paintings of the 17th century Dutch life painted by Borch. Many more incredible exhibitions and art pieces lie in the Detroit Institute of Arts making it the perfect place to go to for an enriching educational experience with friends, family, and even the kids!
Belle Isle Park
This beautiful 982-acre (larger than Central Park in New York City!) island park located between the United States and Canada in the Detroit River and is definitely a place to visit when in Michigan. Not only is it a magnificent site that will help calm one after a hectic week, Belle Isle Park has many interesting sites that one can explore within. Some of these sites include the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, the James Scott Memorial Fountain, the Detroit Yacht Club, a municipal golf course and other fun things to do at the park. Some interesting events often occur at the park as well such as auto racing, musical events such as festivals and concerts, and sport events such as soccer.
The porcupine mountains are yet another beautiful natural site in Michigan that attracts tourists all year long. They are known to be overlooking the Lake of the clouds while being parallel to the Lake Superior shore which make them a great getaway spot between two breath-taking lakes. They are located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and are home to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park which was established in 1945 and is also a major tourist attraction on its own. With the thriving truck driving field, reasonable living expenses, great truck driving schools and amazing fun things to do in Michigan, the state basically has it all. It is important to make sure that you are moving to a fitting location for your learning and career goals and we highly encourage you to further look into Michigan state as a location to learn truck driving in and begin a potential thriving career. More extensive research can be done regarding the truck driving schools that we have presented in this article, but we surely believe that in Michigan you will find the most suitable school that will fit your needs. Good luck!