More than just a job, truck driving is a way of life. As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, a dearth of truckers has wreaked havoc on supply chains and, by extension, the economy, resulting in unprecedented industry opportunities for those who are interested in satisfying the heightened demand. Here, we explore 11 of the most compelling reasons to join the commercial truck driving industry.
1. Hands-on Training
For those who learn best on the job, truck driving offers a dynamic mix of behind-the-wheel and classroom training. With driving schools like the Truck Driver Institute granting Commercial Driver’s Licenses after just three weeks of training, trainees gain a comprehensive understanding of the technical and operational aspects of the job, enabling them to gain their license and graduate with confidence.
2. Good Pay
As the number of truckers declines, truck driving is becoming increasingly lucrative, with trucking companies increasing wages and incentives.
In the United States today, the national average wage ranges between $35,000 and $45,000. Truckers with a clean license and good working record can earn impressive sums, particularly those prepared to drive difficult loads for long hauls. Today, the average U.S. truck driver’s salary is $60,000 per year, equating to almost $31 an hour. With entry level candidates starting at just over $45,000 and experienced workers making anywhere up to $85,000 annually, many truck drivers command very attractive rates of pay.
3. Job Security
The logistics and transportation industry is currently experiencing an unparalleled uptick in demand. With many baby boomers retiring and insufficient numbers of millennials entering the industry to replace them, the U.S. is seeing an ever-increasing shortage of truck drivers.
According to the American Trucking Associations, the trucker shortage surpassed 63,000 by the end of 2018, and it anticipates that that number could swell to 174,000 by the end of 2026 if current trends persist, placing skilled, experienced truckers in high demand.
4. Job Benefits
Many truckers benefit from excellent 401(k) retirement options, as well as receiving sizeable bonuses, paid vacations, fitness memberships, and medical, life, dental, and vision insurance.
With truckers often spending long period of time out on the road, truck driving isn’t easy. Nevertheless, the best transportation companies are more than willing to reward truckers for their hard work, providing a good balance of pay and personal time, enabling them to enjoy a happy, healthy career, both on the road and at home.
5. Career Advancement
Truckers have ample opportunities to advance, including by training that can facilitate their advancement to a management role or result in certification that enables them to teach at a truck driving school. Truckers who are interested in becoming their own boss can become an owner-operator who runs their own trucking company.
Trucking is an ideal occupation for those who crave independence at work. When they are out on the road, they call the shots, enjoying considerable freedom between points A and B. Truckers can listen to their favorite music and take breaks whenever they choose. Lone truckers do not have a boss looking over their shoulder all day, but are trusted to complete their job without constant supervision.
For a truck driver, every day is different. The only certainties are that the sun will rise and set. Truckers often switch routes, traveling through different cities and meeting new people, keeping the job fresh and interesting.
One of the main benefits of trucking is the sense of family, with truckers encountering many other truck drivers along the way. Truckers often share similar routes, meeting up with the same people in service areas, enabling them to socialize together before they sleep and providing them with a feeling of community when they are far from home.
For people who enjoy seeing new places, truck driving enables them to cover massive tracts of the country, seeing far more places than they would in other vocations, enabling them to spend their free time visiting interesting landmarks and other attractions.
Drivers typically set their own schedules, giving them the ability to achieve a healthy work-life balance. For example, many truckers opt to work weekdays only, freeing up the weekends to spend with their family and friends. They can also choose whether they want to work days or nights, depending on their preferences, without being confined to a rigid, 9-to-5 schedule.
11. Supporting Your Country
Truckers are the backbone of the U.S. economy, transporting vital goods across the nation and beyond every hour of every day. With 72 percent of all U.S. goods transported by truck, truck drivers are a critical link in supply chains, collectively traveling 450 billion miles annually, carrying 11 billion tons of produce, supplies, merchandise, and electronics.