Career as a Truck Driver

Institute for Career Research

Career as a Truck Driver
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Career as a Truck Driver

Institute for Career Research

ONE OF THE MOST IN-DEMAND OCCUPATIONS today is truck driver. Truckers drive heavy-duty trucks and tractor-trailers on local routes or across North America. Trucks convey more than 70 percent of domestic freight. The demand for truckers who can deliver the goods continues to grow from e-commerce vendors such as Amazon and major retailers like Walmart. The $738 billion trucking industry supports more than seven million jobs (including more than three million drivers), according to industry statistics. There may be as many as 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, hauling over 10 billion tons of freight in one year. Still, transportation companies are unable to find enough skilled, qualified drivers to meet their customers' demands. The trucker shortage is expected to worsen as more veteran drivers retire in coming years. As a result of steady demand, the job outlook and pay for truckers continues to be strong. The median salary for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is about $45,000 according to government statistics. However, a recent survey by the American Trucking Associations found the median salary for a national truckload driver exceeds $55,000, while private fleet drivers report earning as much as $85,000 annually. Employment is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decade. The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) states the industry faces a shortage of almost 40,000 drivers each year, and that shortfall could reach over 100,000. Would a trucking career be right for you? Most employers require a high school diploma or GED to get started, as well as a certificate from a professional truck driving school. You will also have to obtain a commercial driver’s license from the state where you live, which requires written and driving tests, a clean driving record, and regular physical exams. The profession requires good physical health, stamina, and a solid driving record. Most truckers work for transportation companies, but some are self- employed. Would you like to work independently, outside an office setting? Do you like to travel? Would you be able to handle the stress of long days battling traffic and bad weather? Do you prefer the solitude of working alone, or to team up with a driving partner? Would the loneliness of being away from home days, even weeks at a time be undesirable? Driving a truck is not for everyone, but if you enjoy being on the open highway, you can enjoy a financially rewarding career in this industry. A combination of training, hard work, aptitude, and positive personal traits can help you achieve the personal and professional satisfaction in the trucking field.

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