Your Guide to CDL Endorsements

A class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) gives you the ability to operate most types of commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks. However, some specialized types of trucks or varieties of freight require additional certifications. CDL endorsements can be added to your license; to earn one, you’ll need to pass additional written exams.

Our schools cover material for the following endorsements:


The Hazardous Materials (hazmat) category includes a variety of substances that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has labeled as potentially harmful. Hazmat haulers can earn more per mile, although these jobs come with additional responsibilities and strict requirements for routes and procedures. This endorsement also requires a background check through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).


Tank vehicles, also called tankers, transport liquids or gases. Some tankers transport dry bulk, although these do not require an endorsement to operate. You will need to understand the unique considerations for hauling fluids, including surge. In many cases, jobs will require both tanker and hazmat endorsements. This combination is known as the X endorsement.


Long combination vehicles (LCVs) have two or three trailers attached instead of the single trailer of a typical semi-truck. Since it is possible to transport more freight at a time with these trucks, the doubles/triples endorsement may help you earn higher pay after graduation.

Passenger (Fort Bliss Campus Only)

A Passenger endorsement allows you to operate a vehicle with more than 16 passengers, including the driver. Examples include buses, airport shuttles, and limousines. However, the certification does not cover school buses. Our Fort Bliss campus is the only Phoenix Truck Driving School location that covers material for the Passenger endorsement. Having one might open up more local driving opportunities and many passenger-carrying drivers are able to return home daily or nightly.

Benefits of Adding Endorsements to Your License

Endorsements show potential employers that you have additional skills and knowledge about different areas of the trucking industry. Earning these certifications before you start your career gives you more flexibility to pursue a specialized job later. Although it is more common for jobs with hazmat, tankers, or LCVs to require prior experience, not all of them do. If you are particularly interested in one of these options, you may be able to find companies hiring recent graduates. Otherwise, you can get experience with a more standard type of trucking and then work your way toward your goals over time.

Because jobs requiring endorsements involve a higher level of responsibility, they typically also pay more. Some companies will include a mix of specialized and more general freight and will pay you more per mile based on your endorsements, whether you use them on a specific haul or not.

The Road to Your Truck Driving Career

Phoenix Truck Driving School can help you earn your CDL as well as endorsements. We give our students valuable skills and have a job placement assistance team to help them find an opening that matches their needs and desires.

To learn more about our CDL training programs, contact us today

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