There are plenty of fantastic things about being a truck driver. While the trucking lifestyle is not without its challenges and drawbacks, there are many reasons to love being a truck driver.
Trucking is one of the best careers for those looking for job security. After all, why go into a field that will not provide you stable work? Professional truck drivers are constantly needed by companies large and small to ship goods locally and across the country. There never seem to be enough licensed drivers to fill the needs of the industry.
There are numerous ways to become trained as a truck driver, with various organizations and schools offering training programs. Many truck drivers had previous careers but wanted something with more stability. With the right licensing, you can operate as a truck driver in practically any part of the country. There are always thousands of trucking jobs available across the country, meaning you could also pick a local route and live where you choose.
Trucking is an industry that is known to pay quite well. Truck drivers can often start around $40,000 per year but can quickly reach $70,000 or more in a few years. The money you make depends on several factors, only some of which you can control. These include aspects of your resume, like where you were trained or the route you drive. Regardless, on average, a career in trucking pays well for most drivers.
Trucking is like any other industry in the sense that you need to show knowledge and experience. Top trucking companies only hire truck drivers from accredited schools, while smaller companies are less prone to care which specific institution taught you. However, companies want drivers who have experience driving, not just the skills needed to pass a certification test. The more skills you can prove you have, the more money you will be offered. Your route will also affect your pay. Many routes are about 600 miles and can take five out of seven days of the week. Local drivers are paid hourly, and their fees can range from $16-20 per hour. The amount of physical labor they must perform on their route is also a factor.
The load you haul also affects your expected pay. Some cargo pays more than others do. Oversized loads and hazardous chemicals take more skill and experience to haul. That means higher pay. New drivers usually are not hired for jobs like these, because these tasks require very experienced drivers.
An Expanding Career
Becoming a professional truck driver can open new career paths you may not have imagined. You can do far more with a trucking resume than long haul driving with a large trailer. You can become an instructor for a trucking company or training program. As you gain skills and experience, you can haul different loads for a better paycheck. There are several load types, including:
- Oversized loads (houses, large equipment, other structures)
- Tanker trucks carrying fuel, explosive gases, or milk
- Flatbed trucks (anything from scaffolding to airplanes)
- Grain hoppers
These are just some of the best things about being a truck driver. There are many more wonderful benefits, there are also, as mentioned many challenges. Put in the time and do your research if you are thinking about becoming a truck driver.