Thinking of a Trucking Career? Here’s What You Need to Know.
You may be considering a trucking career if you’re reading this article, and there’s great news for you if you are: your economic prospects are very high if you pursue a job as a truck driver in the $650 billion a year trucking industry.
You can have a very lucrative trucking career making great money doing rewarding and important work as a truck driver, working in an industry that is one of the back bones of the United States wholesale and retail industries, and literally driving the U.S. economy with the work you do delivering goods from points of origin to their destination in American communities across the country.
Despite the importance and high demand for long distance operators of tractor trailer vehicles to ship freight across the United States, and despite the fact that being a truck driver is the most common job in a majority of the fifty U.S. states, with around 3.5 million truckers in the United States, there is still a shortage of truckers to meet the high demand for moving all the goods that need to be moved every day.
That’s another reason your decision to join the trucking industry as a semi-truck operator might be one of the best career moves you’ve ever made. The trucking industry is booming and will only continue to do so. The economy for retail and wholesale goods, for business to business sales and for end use by consumers, can only grow as fast as the logistical infrastructure to move those goods.
This inherent constraint on the growth of not only the U.S. but the global economy puts an incredible demand on the trucking industry to grow, add units to its fleet, and find more drivers to operate them. By the year 2020 in fact, the number of truck drivers in the U.S. is expected to grow 21% from the current number of 3.5 million. That means if you are a trained truck operator you will have job security, a trucking career and not have to be worried about getting laid off. You can always find loads to haul using load boards.
On average across the United States, truck drivers will earn a salary of around $40,000 annually. Whether your salary is below, right at, or above the average trucker salary will all depend on your level of experience, your trucking company’s location in the country, and the company itself. For your own economic security, your personal safety, and your peace of mind, you should seek out and work for a reputable, established, professional trucking company, not a shady, fly by night operation.
Now one reason why there is a shortage of truckers despite the overwhelming demand for more and the great economic prospects of being one, is that it is a demanding job and requires a lot of skill and responsibility. Not everyone has the essential qualities necessary to be a career truck driver.
You must be able to drive a large, heavy vehicle at interstate highway speeds for hours at a stretch and implement the best driving practices for these vehicles along the way. To learn these skills, you will need to attend a truck driving school and obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) from your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV).
You will need to maintain a safe driving record, be professional, on time, responsible, honest, hardworking, a team player, easy to work with, and be able to exercise good judgment. You will need to have a high degree of physical and mental endurance to make long trips on the highway and be away from home most nights throughout the year.