America is experiencing a shortage of truck drivers, and among the reasons are young people choosing to pursue a college degree in the belief that it would be their ticket to a secure, high-paying job. While it is true to a considerable extent, truck driving as a career can also pose a brilliant future for young Americans. With lengthened experience, they can earn up to $85,000 per year.
Other concerns about truck driving are safety risks. Accidents involving trucks are unfortunately common in the United States, so it’s also understandable why young people are hesitant to include truck driving in their career options. But trucking companies are now doing their best to minimize safety hazards by thoroughly training their drivers, and giving incentives to those who consistently drive safely.
How Do I Become a Truck Driver?
If the facts stated above just encouraged you to consider truck driving, here’s everything you need to accomplish before being qualified:
- Obtain a driver’s license from your state – You can’t qualify for this job without a driver’s license in the first place, so make sure you already have one before obtaining a commercial driver’s license. (CDL)
- Complete requirements and professional training – Aside from a CDL, aspiring truck drivers also need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. They also need to complete training from either an accredited community college or a private truck driving school.
- Obtain licenses, certifications, and registrations – Candidates must pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation exam, which is composed of a physical sight and hearing examination as well as questions on federal traffic laws. If you wish to gain experience before getting hired, you may obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit or (CLP).
- Seek employment – There are truck driving schools and organizations that offer job boards and career guidance to their students or members. You can also browse online for job postings.
- Complete employment orientation and training – Once you finish this step, you’re already an official commercial truck driver. It’s an in-house training program usually called “Driver Finishing Programs,” another training program that’s directly related to the company you’re working for.
- Gain Experience – The longer your experience becomes, the higher you’ll be paid. Make sure to maintain or improve the skills you’ve acquired from the training.
The Best Things About Being a Truck Driver
Truck driving lessons greatly improve your overall driving skill, not just teach you how to drive a truck. Training programs teach you techniques on defensive driving, and how to be smart on the road. Trucking companies are looking for drivers who are highly-skilled, experienced, and cautious on the road, and you can be all of them with a good training program.
Compensation is also adequate. Entry-level drivers can get paid up to $40,000 a year, while experienced ones can earn over $65,000 yearly. As mentioned, the pay increases as you gain more experience, so you have the potential to get paid up $85,000 every year.
Like most jobs, drivers are also given benefits including dental, medical, life insurance, and vision and retirement. Bonuses and incentives are also given for excellent performances.
If you don’t like routines and predictability, truck driving suits you, because there would be times when you need to work at odd hours. You can drive long distances and have the chance to travel. If you’d rather be at home every night, there are also jobs that allow that. But in most cases, you should be open to spontaneity because your schedule will more likely be an unpredictable one.
However, labor issues tend to arise because of the complex nature of the job. But this is not a reason to back out because reliable truck labor lawyers from Washington and other states will be available should you need their help. There is nothing to fear at all about becoming a truck driver because it’s an adventurous job that offers valuable lessons every day.