A truck driving career offers wide opportunities for professional growth and enjoying a competitive compensation package. In the past years, truck drivers are considered to be close to extinct profession owing to the shortage of truck drivers in the trucking industries. Amidst the economic downturn where unemployment becomes a rising problem, people are ready to take a job, but it was apparent that there were still about 200,000 job vacancies as a truck driver in the past. There is an increasing rise in the demands for long haul truckers and there are good reasons why pursuing a truck driving career can be a promising employment consideration.
A promising employment for truck drivers
Trucking companies, in order to meet the growing demands for trucking and hauling services and low supply of truck drivers, are willing to offer attractive compensation packages for employment. A truck driver is usually paid per mile and they can potentially earn an annual salary between $40,000 and $70,000 on the average. Bigger trucking companies pay higher and truck drivers can earn a more competitive pay that can reach to more than $100,000 every year. Heavy truck drivers earn more than the light truck drivers. A truck driver for tractor trailers can earn a much higher salary annually and depending on your qualifications, you can also pursue a career as a truck driver supervisor that can pay as close to $80,000 or higher. Trucking companies also offer a competitive retirement plan and other bonuses for their loyalty employment programs to retain truck driver services which can provide security for you and your family.
What are a truck driver’s job responsibilities
A truck driver’s job responsibilities will depend upon what type of a truck driver career you are pursuing. Trucking companies always define a particular job description for their employees and it helps that you understand the terms and condition of your employment. The job responsibilities involve will typically depend on the position title of a truck driver within the organization. Light salaried truck drivers are usually engaged to transport cargoes within a specified destination while driving a truck of less than 3 tons. Those driving trucks of more than 3 tons are called heavy salaried truck drivers.
The work responsibilities involve loading, unloading and securing the cargo. Drivers are also in constant contact with a dispatcher through a radio communication in order to track down their progress and to ensure the timely delivery of the cargoes. Reporting is also an integral part of a truck driver’s job responsibilities such as maintain a log of their travel and the information about their cargo while on transit. This is a part of state regulation that trucking companies need to comply and impose among their truck drivers to perform. Most of the time, a truck driver is also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle.
Getting yourself qualified as a professional truck driver
If you are considering to pursue a truck driving career, it is important to have the proper credentials that are requirements for employment with a trucking company. Truck drivers with high qualifications have the potential of landing a job from higher paying trucking employers. Getting employed as a truck driver is not difficult as it may seem but a basic requirement is to have a commercial driver’s license to be considered for the position.
Trucking companies often hire drivers who have no experience in the trucking industry and are willing to provide the necessary trainings to help you qualify for the job. However, every trucking company varies in terms of the qualifications they are looking for from a truck driver. Aside from the CDL requirement, which is important in meeting the state regulation for driving a commercial vehicle within the United States, employers usually look at the past work history of an applicant and verifies the credentials submitted by them. There are also certain disqualifications for employment as a truck driver, such as a criminal history and drug or alcohol related violations.
Companies are often very critical about scrutinizing a truck driver applicant’s driving record in the past three years. Heavy trucking, commercial and cargo industry is impressed with public safety and every truck driver is required to show a good driving record to ensure their reliability in terms of safety driving. A pattern of over speeding, traffic violations and vehicular accident involvement, appearing on your records may not be good for your truck driving career. Truck drivers are also required to take a physical examination prior to qualifying for the position and your fitness and health can become a barrier to getting a job in the trucking industry. Health problems like diabetes, history of seizure, high blood pressure, vision problems and a heart condition will likely disqualify you from an employment in the truck driving industry.
Getting certified from a reputable truck driving school will give you more advantage over other applicants. Some private truck driving schools are even suppliers of truck drivers for employment in various trucking companies. This is an easier way of getting yourself employed, but the caveat is that they can be a bit expensive. You can explore taking a government grant or look for financing programs, however. Alternatively, colleges offer a cheaper alternative for a driving school where you can be certified, but it make take longer to finish the course, like months instead of weeks in some advanced truck driving schools.
Expecting the Cons in your profession
While a truck driving career offers a promising employment, there are also some cons that truck drivers need to be prepared of embracing. These disadvantages are manageable, however, and may not be a problem for some truck drivers. One barrier for a career longevity as a truck driver is being away from your loved ones. Expect to travel miles away from home, which means you may be away for a few straight days from your family. Depending on your destination, you may spend long hours of driving, sitting and becoming idle strapped behind the driver’s wheel. It is best to keep yourself fit and healthy during your off hours from work to avoid health implications later on. These common complaints from truck drivers are manageable and the pay may sometimes be worth it.