Depending on how much you like being behind the wheel, driving for 8 hours or more every day may sound enjoyable or torturous. For those who do like to drive, truck driving is a popular career choice, and it does have its share of benefits. Here’s why many people end up taking to the roads and becoming truck drivers:
- The Job Pays WellWhile pay can vary from job to job, entry-level truck driver jobs typically pay anywhere from $40,000 to $45,000 per year, which is far more than most entry-level positions pay. There are often bonus opportunities, including:
- Mileage bonuses for reaching set mileage thresholds
- Fuel efficiency bonuses for using gas-saving techniques
- Longevity bonuses for reaching a certain amount of time driving for one carrier
Pay goes up with experience like it does with any other job, and some experienced truck drivers end up making over $80,000 per year.
Truck driving positions also typically include a full package of insurance benefits, including dental, life, vision and medical insurance, along with a retirement package. Of course this mostly hinges on completing a qualified program at a truck driving school.
- There’s Minimal TrainingNow, don’t worry next time you see a semi-truck next to you on the freeway. Every truck driver needs to demonstrate the necessary driving skills to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL), but the time it takes to get a CDL is significantly shorter than the time it would take to complete most degree and certificate programs. The standard CDL training course takes anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks. You can definitely get your CDL much faster than you could get a bachelor’s degree.The combination of a fast training process and high entry-level wages makes truck driving a popular career choice.
- You Get to See the CountryIf you like to travel and see new places, truck driving can be like taking a road trip every day. Your route will likely take you through plenty of cities that you haven’t seen before, giving you the opportunity to discover more of the United States. You’ll see everything from beautiful places on the outskirts of civilization, to bustling downtown areas of major cities. You’ll get to drive through mountain passes that you’d only read about in schoolbooks. It’s an exciting experience to check out somewhere new, and as a truck driver you’re doing it every day.
- There Are Plenty of Job OpportunitiesAmong truck drivers, the average age is over 50, which means the average driver is closer to the end of their career than the beginning. This lack of young drivers also means there is and will be significant demand for drivers. While finding a job can be difficult in most professions, you may have a job lined up as a truck driver before you even finish your CDL course.While there is currently a high demand for drivers, truck driving tends to have more demand than typical jobs in general, because it’s a career path that requires a unique individual. It’s harder to find good truck drivers because many people can’t handle the lifestyle. Veterans apprenticeship programs help fill this demand.
- Opportunities for AdvancementAs you gain experience, not only will your salary go up, but you may also be able to advance to another position. Possible advancement opportunities for truck drivers include terminal managing, dispatching, recruiting and supervising, to name a few options.
- The FreedomTruck driving may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy it, there’s no better way to spend your day. Instead of being cooped up in an office at a desk, you’re on the open road passing through different towns and cities. It’s an adventurous lifestyle, and many people love that. There’s also plenty of flexibility to being a truck driver, as some carriers let you team drive with another person or bring your pet along in the passenger seat.
Everyone has their own reason for choosing a truck driving career. For some, it’s the money and the quick training process. Others enjoy the lifestyle, getting to drive and see new places all the time. The profession has plenty of perks, and for the right person, it can be an amazing experience.