Why is Truck Driving Such a Popular Career?
From the many trucks you can spot on your daily commute to even asking children what they want to be when they grow up, truck driving is a well-known occupation. In fact, it is estimated that there are at least 8.7 million truck drivers internationally and a majority of them (3.5 million) are U. S. based.
This article will be able to go into depths of the duties of a truck driver, requirements needed to become a truck driver, and what makes truck driving a popular career.
What is a Truck Driver?
You may be familiar with term “truck driver”, but if you do not think there is more to them than driving trucks, you are mistaken. According to standard job descriptions of truck drivers, they:
- Import and export raw materials and goods over land, from factories or manufacturing plants to retail stores and distribution centers
- Spend hours behind the wheel to deliver to customers
- Load and unload cargo
- Are responsible for refueling and cleaning the truck
- Perform vehicle inspections for possible mechanical and safety issues
- Have knowledge in basic repair, in case there are problems
- Report incidents to the dispatcher
- Plan which routes to take, usually through a GPS system
- Have to be punctual with delivery schedules
- Constantly update an activity log
Requirements You Need to Meet To Be a Truck Driver
Although often underestimated, this job comes with much responsibility. In order to be a truck driver, you must have the following:
- Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL)
- Active Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
- A passed alcohol and drug test
- Medical certificate
- Has a clean driving record
- Provides Motor Vehicle Record
- Has at least a high school diploma
What Makes Truck Driving a Popular Career
Now that you know what it takes to be a truck driver, you may probably be wondering why truck drivers have made it to the list of common occupations. As estimated by the U. S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the demand of truck drivers will almost double over the next decade. In fact, the American Trucking Association has reported that truck driving is so in demand that they do not have enough truck drivers to fill in roughly 25,000 slots.
1. E-Commerce Growth Affects Trucking Industry
Because of the fairly accessible job requirements, people are getting into the trucking industry. However, truck drivers are not limited to the traditional truck that hauls commercial goods around, they can even include deliverymen like UPS and Fedex.
With the rising popularity of online shopping, the e-Commerce industry provides a tremendous growth in delivery considering that nearly half of packages delivered every day are from retail stores, Amazon, and more. It is then the deliveryman’s duty to get packages where they need to be.
2. Job Security is Ensured
Being a truck driver makes your job secured. As stated earlier, the trucking industry is a solid market because there is a lack of truck drivers in the industry. Because of this, there is always going to be an available task for you to fill.
3. They Earn a Sufficient Salary
No questions asked, it is only right to offer great pay to those with jobs that require much responsibility. According to PayScale, the average truck driver in the United States earns an average of $17.19 an hour and a total of $29,000 – $63,000 a year. This is more than double the average of what an American employee earns on minimum wage.
Although the occupation of being a truck driver requires at least finishing high school, they earn more than a majority of college graduates. In fact, your salary can expect to get larger the longer you stay with a company.
4. Receive Bonuses
Depending on your trucking company, they usually provide bonus pay in regards of extra loads or the amount of miles travelled. Also, they may give bonuses to commend you on outstanding performance, like having a great safety record or for your loyalty to the company. Some trucking companies even offer paid vacation and holidays.
5. Benefits are Provided
If the pay and bonuses are insufficient for you, those are not the only things you will be receiving. Unlike with a majority of jobs, trucking companies look after their employees to make sure they can continue working. This includes dental, medical, life insurance, optical, and even retirement plans.
6. Travel and Experience New Places
Truck drivers get the opportunity to drive to places they have never been before and probably would not have visited in the first place if it was not for their career. They are given a fresh experience with the constant change of scenery, while getting paid.
7. Sense of Solitude
Work places are often hectic and cause anxiety. Truck driving allows an individual to spend a healthy amount of time alone. You can also jam out to your favorite songs if you prefer working with background noise. It is not always solitude though, since you will be able to communicate with all kinds of people on your route.
0As long as there is need to transport goods from place to place, there seems like an indefinite growth to the trucking industry. The occupation of being a truck driver requires simple requirements, making many people eligible to become one. However, just because a large population can be qualified for the job does not mean this occupation should be taken lightly.
Truck drivers should be appreciated for the amount of work they put up with every day. From traveling long distances to possibly dealing with mechanical problems, truck driving is not an easy job. However, without them, local stores would not be as stocked as they are now. Because of them, people are able to enjoy their purchases made either online or in stores.
Although the work of a truck driver may seem difficult, it does not mean that they are not acknowledged for it. Truck drivers are paid a sufficient salary including benefits and bonuses. They earn more than double the pay of the typical American worker. Additionally, they get to enjoy the scenery while basking in a healthy amount of solitude, compared to busy work places. With all that in mind, being a truck driver seems like a secure job that will only continue to rise in demand for years to come.