According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the trucking industry needs to fill a whopping 900,000 driver jobs.
There’s no doubt about it. Becoming a truck driver is the pure stuff of childhood dreams. It’s just you, the open road and ultimate freedom- with a generous salary and benefits!
Let’s get into why you should consider this exciting career path.
1. Amazing Income Potential
Compensation for truck drivers continues to increase nearly every year. Most of this growth has to do with the current industry shortage coupled with the increased demand for drivers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average trucking pay for 2017 was $42,480 per year. However, working for a private fleet can spike up the earning potential, and many drivers can earn close or over six figures.
Truck drivers typically receive money based on miles driven (as opposed to hours worked). However, some companies pay regular hourly or salary wages.
The income potential grows dramatically if you’re interested in operating your own company. This opportunity allows you to build your own fleet and create direct company contracts.
Finally, truck drivers can earn sweet bonuses based on the type of work they provide. Many companies offer sign-up bonuses to attract new customers. Some companies also reward company loyalty by providing more bonuses to long-term employees.
In addition to generous paychecks, most companies offer lucrative benefits that include retirement plans, ride-along policies, and health insurance.
2. Easy Entry
Despite the generous pay, you don’t need to rack up debt or receive a higher education to enter this career.
Most companies require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. You then attend a professional truck driving school. In these classes, you will learn the laws and regulations for truck driving. You will also learn how to manage and drive these large vehicles (click to find trucking schools near me).
Long-haul truck drivers need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Qualifications for obtaining the CDL vary depending on the state.
Finally, most drivers receive on-the-job training once getting hired to a company. Most businesses provide mentorship and assistance to assure your comfort and safety with the vehicles.
3. Job Security
In a society that can be so seemingly fickle with career stability, trucking provides invaluable security for its employees.
This job security exists for several reasons. First of all, the industry of online selling and buying continues to grow exponentially. As the demand for at-home buying and shipping continues to increase, the need for drivers will continue to increase as well.
Furthermore, an aging population also drives job security. Research shows the average truck driver is 49 years old. With many older truck drivers retiring, there’s a continuous need to fill the jobs.
4. Ultimate Freedom
Does the idea of sitting in a windowless cubicle from 9-5 appeal to you? Tired of dealing with micromanaging bosses assessing your every move? If so, it might be time to consider trucking.
This is the job that represents ultimate freedom. It’s you and your truck. How you will your time is entirely up to you.
Like to listen to captivating audiobooks? Want to master a new language? Trucking makes those dreams possible.
Best of all? There’s no manager sitting next to you breathing down your neck telling you what to do. You get the freedom to be your own boss, make your own hours, and choose your own rules.
5. Get Paid To Travel
When you’re a truck driver, you get paid to travel to new locations and take on new adventures. Every day brings new scenery and experiences.
Even if you take the same route, you’ll be meeting new people and experiencing the road every day. You’ll get to enjoy all types of weather and landscape on your adventure.
If you take different routes, you’ll get to see the ins and outs of the country- at all hours of the day! If you’re someone who embraces the idea of sleeping in a new state every night, this might be the perfect path for you.
Most truck drivers enjoy some flexibility in choosing their destinations. Some prefer shorter treks. Others have no problem cruising across the country.
What’s better than having the freedom to choose where you want to go- all while earning a paycheck?
6. Autonomous Vehicles May Actually Save The Industry
We all know the buzz behind self-driving cars. The notion of mainstream use of these vehicles is controversial, and for a good reason. It’s vastly different from the kind of driving we know and understand.
That said, autonomous vehicles won’t replace truck drivers. For one, trucks will likely not be completely driverless. Drivers will always be needed for emergencies and technology deficits.
Even if autonomous technology starts booming, experts emphasize that it shouldn’t affect the trucking industry too quickly. It’ll likely be another 15-20 years before autonomous trucks even start taking a dip into the industry.
Moreover, such a change can also be beneficial in teaching drivers new, competitive skills. From learning to assess data to managing smart technology, this is a trend that could strengthen your industry knowledge.
Being scared or skeptical is normal. Technology has replaced many industries. However, it appears that trucking is here to stay awhile.
Final Thoughts On Becoming a Truck Driver
The decision for becoming a truck driver is an exciting one! There’s tremendous potential for growth and opportunity. The generous pay only makes that freedom taste even sweeter.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of open road travel? We’ve got you covered! Check out this article today!