Choosing trucking as a career these days is more popular than ever. There are distinct advantages in going into this line of work, and it goes beyond a liking for adventure. Trucking is also increasingly popular among women as the work is considered not only lucrative but also safe.
In today’s economy, it’s encouraging to know that you can still obtain a stable job without higher education. Truck driving is appealing for those who crave the open road while making a living; however, there’s much more to it.
Training and Job Placement
It should go without saying that becoming a trucker means you have to be a driver but with the right training, this can be achieved. Experience is desirable but also being naturally comfortable behind the wheel is a huge plus. Nonetheless, whatever your situation might be, you still need to complete a course designed for truckers. Such a course includes lessons in defensive driving, pre-trip inspections, and hands-on behind-the-wheels experience with large trucks.
These qualifications are needed to get hired, but most companies will train you (or pay for your courses) for free. In most cases, even if a company is not paying for your training, you are highly employable if you pursue a course as most drivers are hired right after obtaining their certificate.
Due to the pandemic and the current workload, there is an ongoing demand for truck drivers. This means that new drivers are needed to fill in positions while older drivers are still kept on. In a fluctuating market, trucking is synonymous with a stable job for the long-term. With so many positions and demands in the trucking industry, as long as you maintain a good driving record, you can earn a decent living with lots of benefits.
Contrary to popular beliefs, according to which jobs like trucking are not particularly well-paid, drivers actually make a good living. Even a beginner can turn in a decent salary in the very first year. According to Indeed.com, the average truck driver salary in the United States as of November 2020, is $68,429.
This can go much higher with experience, which means not only stability but the income you can count on for the foreseeable future. This gives you the freedom to save for rainier days or even invest or pay-off existing loans. Again, without going for a degree, trucking might literally mean the road to financial independence.
Alongside the actual earnings, most trucking companies are looking for ways to keep their drivers in a competitive field. As a result, some drivers receive performance bonuses as well as benefits for safety and retention. Companies will most often pay insurance for travel-related incidents as well as health and dental. This is yet another important aspect that you should take into account before committing to any particular job. And because you do not need a degree to be a truck driver, you save on tuition fees.
Considering the advantages, trucking instantly becomes attractive to individuals with families that otherwise would have trouble accessing these benefits.
Another myth about trucking is that it’s a one-lane career; however, quite the opposite is true as there are multiple directions in which you can grow. For instance, you can specialize in specific types of loads or routes such as flatbed, Long-haul, HAZMAT, reefer, tow truck driving, hauling, and more.
With years of experience, you will also have the chance of becoming an instructor, which can be very feasible due to the constant need for new and qualified drivers. You could apply for an instructor job at a driving school, or, if you are the entrepreneurial type and want to invest your earnings, consider opening your own company. Wherever your passion lies, this is a wonderful career as it can be very hard to find better elsewhere.
Being a trucker no longer means being away from home for weeks. Or at least, it doesn’t have to. Of course, whatever company you work for, you still have to respect rules and schedules and follow hours of service. If you feel comfortable with being away for long stretches, that’s a personal decision, but you can also opt for local routes.
Some drivers even get to choose their own hours. Implicitly, this means that you can drive your truck and still be home for dinner. Sometimes flexible opportunities may arise after some years on the job, but in the end, this career path is way better than having a desk job. To top it off, in some areas, you can begin as young as age 18 — all while your friends are busting their brains in college.
Travel and Diversity
If you enjoy traveling to new places, truck driving is the way to go. Being a truck driver doesn’t make you a tourist, since it’s a job after all. However, there’s something to be said about getting behind the wheels every single day and enjoying the beauty and diversity of the country. If you happen to feel the call of the road and relish, in an almost nomadic experience, there’s no better way than seeing it from the comfort of a truck.
You will experience things and see views and landscapes not accessible to most, and also get to meet people from all walks of life. What’s more, if you get to choose your routes, you can vary them as often as you wish. From routine routes to getting lost to adventurous locations you haven’t seen, truck driving offers peace of mind.
Trucking is viewed by most as earnest hard-work, but it’s an essential job that keeps the nation going. An all-important flywheel in today’s economy, truck drivers should be valued in every aspect of life. Most individuals in this profession consider it more than just a job, but rather a lifestyle. There is also a sense of community (a tight and strong union) among drivers, stemming from mutual respect that’s hardly matched in other industries.