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Denver CDL training: Do I need endorsements?

A key part of Denver CDL training is earning an endorsement. While it isn’t typically required of someone earning a CDL to get an endorsement on their license, for someone looking to begin a career driving, having one or more CDL endorsements is just typically a good idea.

Why is it such a good idea to add endorsements to my Denver CDL training?

Endorsements are basically additions to your CDL license. Your commercial driver’s license authorizes you to drive large commercial vehicles, but that does come with certain restrictions. There are some activities and duties that the government has deemed too sensitive and dangerous to perform without additional special Denver CDL training. As a result, anyone performing these tasks must have an endorsement on their license, which indicates that they have received the necessary special training and have demonstrated that they have proven their proficiency in that area by passing a test.

While there are minor variations state-to-state, for the most part the following are the CDL endorsements:

  • Hazardous materials endorsement (HAZMAT)
  • School bus/passenger endorsement
  • Doubles/Triples endorsement
  • Tanker endorsement
  • Air brake endorsement


Naturally, each of these requires some specialized Denver CDL training, and also require the passage of an exam. There is also a fee associated with each of these endorsements. The Trucking Truth blog outlines the different endorsements in a blog post, offering an overview of the endorsements and having a discussion on how one should decide which endorsement(s) to pursue. Trucking Truth blogger Brett Aquila recommends pursuing ALL of the endorsements, and getting yourself authorized to perform all of those tasks. He even relates a story about how, even though he worked as a truck driver, he obtained the School Bus/Passenger endorsement, and how it paid off years later when he landed a job driving a shuttle bus while he was in school:

They offered me $400/week salary to come in for about 45 minutes in the morning and return for 45 minutes in the afternoon to shuttle workers in a school bus about ¼ mile – seriously. It was by far the easiest and best-paying job (for the time I put in) I’ve ever had…Do you think the 15-minute written test which cost me $15 to take was a good investment? I made over $16,000 in a period of about 40+ weeks that I worked that job.

Aquila’s recommendation to get all of the endorsements is based on the notion that it is relatively simple and inexpensive to obtain them all, and doesn’t require that much additional work, excepting the HAZMAT endorsement, which is more expensive and difficult to obtain, but, as Aquila notes, it is “certainly not a big deal” to get one.

I’m taking Denver CDL training. Why do I need endorsements?

It’s not that you NEED endorsements, it’s that the endorsements constitute an investment on your career. Assume for a moment that everyone who finishes Denver CDL training gets all of the endorsements. If you do not have them, you have already put yourself at a distinct disadvantage from virtually the entire pool of job applicants. If you are lacking certain key skills that others have, whom would you expect employers to hire?

On the other hand, if you have all of the endorsements on your CDL, while a significant amount of your peers do not, you have an advantage over them. When an employer is looking for someone to drive a double or triple trailer, or needs someone with Denver CDL training and has a tanker endorsement, you are ready and willing to jump into the fray. Look at endorsements as part of your Denver CDL training—just part of the process—and you’ll be in an advantageous position right off the bat.

If you are entering Denver CDL training, why not pursue a little extra work? There’s really no reason not to, but for a nominal fee and a little extra work here and there. As Aquila notes, it will most likely pay off several times over, and you will be in a better position for employment in virtually any job search you conduct. Denver CDL training is a challenge on its own; adding just a touch or two more to vastly improve your odds at landing job isn’t going to kill you, is it?