Truck drivers keep our nation supplied with food, materials and finished products. They are the backbone of the country and without them, many of our basic needs simply would not be met. Although being a truck driver is not one of the most glamorous careers, there are many benefits that may not be readily known. For those seeking a new, rewarding career, trucking may well be the answer. Some of the benefits of obtaining a commercial driver license or CDL include a limited education requirement, excellent pay, ample opportunities, flexibility and independence.
Unlike many careers, becoming a commercial truck driver does not require a four-year college degree. In order to prepare to take the CDL exam, most new drivers choose to complete a very short training program with a truck driver training school. This training is then followed by on-the-job training which gives students real-life experience. Keep in mind that the length and depth of training depend upon the state and locale in which the program is offered. That said, most training programs last no longer than six weeks, making it attainable for those that do not have the time or resources to attend traditional college courses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a commercial truck driver is right around $41,000. This salary, of course, is dependent upon both the experience of the driver as well as the company they are employed by. However, even a beginner can expect to make somewhere around $30,000 a year, not including any additional benefits. As a driver gains experience, they can earn $50,000 or more per year. In addition, some trucking companies offer substantial sign-on bonuses for new drivers, making it a very attractive option indeed.
Companies of all sizes have been decreasing their labor force in order to reduce costs and bolster profits. This trend, however, does not apply to the trucking industry. In fact, the opposite The American Trucking Associates (ATA) Chief Economist, Bob Costello, says there is a shortage of qualified drivers in the United States. He estimates that somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 drivers are needed to fill the void at the current time. Furthermore, ATA predicts that the shortage could be as high as 200,000 by the end of the decade. In other words, there will always be a demand for drivers.
One of the major benefits of obtaining a commercial driver license is that drivers have a great deal of flexibility. People that work in factories, offices and other static facilities have little flexibility in terms of where they live. Truck drivers, however, are not under the same types of restrictions. Many companies have no residency requirements for their drivers. What that means is that moving to a new city, or state does not mean having to find a new job. In addition, drivers can choose from full-time, part-time, seasonal, long-haul, short-haul and local jobs.
A career in truck driving has an additional benefit that most people will never experience. They do not have the traditional restrictions of having to sit in the same desk, or stand at the same work station day-in and day-out. Rather than spending 40 hours a week in a building, they get paid to travel. It’s a great way to see the country, meet new people and make a living all in one. There really is no other career that offers so many perks and so much freedom.
If you are looking for a career that requires very little in the way of education, pays well, has potential for growth, is flexible and offers you the ability to travel, truck driving may be the answer. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about obtaining a CDL, or anything else related to the trucking industry. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.