Tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles form a critical link in the supply chain, transporting goods from the factory or warehouse to the consumers. It takes a certain type of person to find loads and set out, but it can be very rewarding to do such important work. If you are thinking about pursuing a trucking career, here are some things you should know.
In May 2019, the average annual pay for truck drivers was $45,260. Some truck drivers earn closer to $60,000 per year. The average hourly wage is $21.76. Drivers who own their own trucks and operate their own businesses have the potential to earn significantly more.
Required Education and Training
You do not need an advanced education to become a truck driver. You can qualify with a high school diploma. However, you do need to earn a commercial driver’s license. This requires training that combines classroom instruction with driving practice in a controlled setting.
The demand for truckers is high and likely to remain so. Older drivers are retiring, so trucking companies are looking for newer, younger drivers to replace them. Because the need for drivers is so great, many companies are willing to offer significant perks to qualified drivers as an incentive to come work for them. This puts you in a good position to negotiate for higher pay, better benefits, a better schedule, etc.
Controlling a vehicle that can weigh between 50,000 and 80,000 pounds takes significant physical strength and stamina, so truck drivers should be in pretty good shape. As a driver, you should demonstrate both knowledge of traffic rules and a willingness to follow them. Life behind the wheel of a truck is demanding, so you should be able to manage stress well and accept criticism.
Your employers, clients, and customers depend on you, so you must be reliable and trustworthy.