Few people understand the full facts about a career as a truck driver: the hard work, the long hours, the physical labor, and the potential success. Trucking is one of the most essential industries in the world, let alone the United States. The reason for trucking’s importance is not the industry itself, but its interconnectedness with hundreds of other industries.
Degrees and Experience Needed
To become a truck driver, you do not need a master’s degree or a PH.D.: all you need is a simple Commercial Driver’s License. To get a CDL, you must have a valid driver’s license for passenger vehicles. With these two licenses in hand, you can begin a career as a truck driver. Many companies not only hire workers coming directly out of trucking school, but these companies also provide training themselves. Other companies require a couple years trucking experience before applying for a job with them.
How Much Does a Truck Driver Make?
Trucking is a layered industry. This means that truckers are although trucking is referred to as a whole, its many sectors are as distinct as entire industries. For a typical truck driver, a year’s wages will total to slightly more than $40000 a year. At 40 cents a mile, most drivers attempt to achieve 120,000 miles per year. As a driver gains experience and expertise, he or she can expect greater pay.
With more experience, a trucker can transfer from an LTL or FTL hauler to expedited, heavy haul or even ice road trucking jobs, three of the highest paying trucking job sectors. Many of the top paying trucking jobs require additional risk. Whether that risk is related to climactic conditions, hazardous or delicate loads, or equipment requiring additional skill, top paying trucking jobs are hard to come by, but excellent for those who fill them. With one of these top-tier trucking jobs, a driver can easily gross up to a quarter million in income.
In reality, the trucking industry is not disappearing any time soon. Currently, hundreds of thousands of unfilled trucking jobs exist, and many more are expected to open up as the economy progresses. However, the trucking industry is changing steadily. Increased regulations and advancements in technology are transforming trucks into machines with greater gas mileage, more aerodynamic styling, fewer emissions, and technological features such as on-board recorders, GPS, satellite communication systems, and electronic log books.
Further innovations in truck design such as trailer side skirts, emission control systems, and single drive and trailer tires did not exist only a few years back, and fleets are switching to even more drastic measures to curb fuel costs. Recent fluctuations in fuel prices are causing companies to look for alternative fuel sources such as natural gas. At this moment, some fleets are running their trucks on compressed or liquefied natural gas.
As the trucking industry progresses, vehicles will improve, driver comfort will increase, automation will replace manual labor, and, with these other improvements, driver performance will increase as well. The facts in this article will help you start your research about a career as a truck driver so that you can begin the journey down the road to success.