Truck drivers are the lifeblood of our economy and continue to be in demand across the entire country. It’s a tough, dangerous, and rewarding career that helps to build businesses and provide millions of Americans with their livelihoods, but it’s not for everyone. To work toward a career in trucking, there are some necessary steps that you need to take.
What is involved in starting a trucking career?
There are several steps needed before you can start looking for shipping work, no matter how keen you are to start moving truck loads of cargo. For instance:
Getting a CDL commercial driver’s license
The first and most important step is to find out what truck driving schools you need to apply to. Truck driving schools cover all the training that you need to be a professional driver. Depending on your location, there may be a program dedicated specifically to truck drivers, or they may have a branch that specializes in the shipping or transportation industries. To determine if it’s in your best interest to go to school, you should talk to other professional drivers to determine if this is a career for you.
Once you are fully qualified as a professional driver, you can start looking for employment. This can be done online or through driving schools that offer assistance finding work for their graduates. For example, Texas truck driving schools are popular for their emphasis on internship programs with local companies to get students working as soon as possible.
Choose a career path
There is no set pattern to follow when you start your career. However, some job roles may allow you to become a specialized driver. For example, 13-wheelers have the potential to haul heavier loads and travel longer distances than smaller trucks. On the other hand, 18-wheelers are often tasked with hauling and delivering larger loads, such as construction materials or oil equipment, while 36-wheelers are used to transport hazardous materials, such as chemicals or flammable liquids.
How much does a truck driver make?
The average salary for a truck driver is just over $62,000 per year. A specialization may lead to a higher income. For example, someone who hauls an oversized load that needs special handling can expect anything up to $80,000 or more in income. State and local laws may also determine how much you are paid on the road and at rest stops, so it’s critical to know what your local laws and regulations are when you’re looking for work.
There is no universal pattern when you’re looking to get into a career in trucking. However, taking the right steps will give you a valuable and respected position in the shipping industry. Being a dedicated and responsible driver can lead to an exceptional career that allows you to pursue your own schedule, take pride in your hard work, and improve your income over time with specializations, certifications, and experience. Starting a career in trucking requires patience and hard work on your part, but it will bring monetary gains and greater responsibility with increased experience.