How To Get Rolling in a Trucking Career

By Jack Humphrey, Staff Writer
Article last updated on 3/10/2009

A truck driving career has lots of great rewards: high earning potential, the ability to see the country, unmatched job stability, and the opportunity to provide a better standard of living for your family. So it’s no surprise that the demand for truck driver training and entry level trucking jobs continues to rise year after year. But how do you get started on the road to a great new career? Many people don’t know where to begin, so at USA Truck Driving Schools we’ve compiled a guide that will hopefully help you make the best choices towards your trucking career!

Why Truck Driving?

As you may have already read on our site, truck driving is a great career choice. But why? There are a number of reasons why trucking is a great option for many people, but we will focus on one important factor here: job stability. According to the American Trucking Associations, nearly 70 percent of all products on store shelves were brought there by a truck, and over 80 percent of America’s communities depend solely on the trucking industry to deliver necessary items such as food, clothing, and medical supplies. Simply put, America needs truck drivers to keep the country running. Truck drivers are always in demand and the need for them will never stop. Currently, there are 3 million truck drivers in America; however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2012, increasing demand and the creation of more opportunities will cause the truck driving job market to grow by 10 to 20 percent.

Am I Ready to be a Trucker?

This is a question that we at USA Truck Driving Schools get asked almost constantly by wannabe truck drivers – how do I know if I’m really ready to start this career? The truth is, not every person who wants to be a truck driver should be one. But then again, not everyone who wants to be a doctor should be one, either. Trucking is a lifestyle, not just a career, so it’s important that before you sign up with a trucking company or start a CDL training course, you determine if trucking is right for you and your family.

The average American truck driver is on the road and away from home for 2 to 3 weeks at a time, also known as long-haul or over-the-road driving. The majority of entry-level trucking jobs fall into this category, so if being away from your family or friends is an issue, you may want to choose another career. Also, truck drivers work long hours – current Department of Transportation regulations allow up to 11 hours of driving per day – and sometimes have to load or unload their cargo. Trucking is not for the faint of heart either, as truck drivers sometimes go a day or more without a shower or a good home-cooked meal. Because of this, trucking companies have found that former members of the military do very well in the trucking industry and adapt more quickly to the trucking lifestyle.

What Do I Need to Get a Trucking Job?

One of the best features of becoming a truck driver is that it doesn’t take years of education or thousands of dollars to get started. Unlike many high-skilled, high-paying jobs, you don’t need a college degree or even a high school diploma to become a truck driver. That means you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars in tuition or spend years in school; instead, you can be out earning up to $37,000 in your first year of driving! That is certainly more money than most entry-level jobs offer in the first year of employment. All you need to get a truck driving position is a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which can be obtained from your local BMV.

Although you don’t need any type of diploma to become a successful truck driver, we strongly recommend attending a truck driver training school. During CDL training, you will not only learn all of the necessary skills involved in truck driving, but also about all of the laws, regulations, and procedures that each truck driver must follow. And trust me, there are a lot of them! CDL training schools also help you study to obtain your CDL permit and most schools provide you with a truck to use for your CDL skills test, so taking advantage of these resources will only benefit an entry level driver. Some company-sponsored CDL training programs, such as the program offered by industry leader Driver Solutions, also offer students job placement and secure driving jobs for their drivers before they even begin training!

How Do I Get Started?

Once you’ve done your research and decided that truck driving is right for you, it’s time to start applying! Doing research is important when there are hundreds of companies out there, so using resources like USA Truck Driving Schools to learn about what training school to use or trucking company you’d like to work for will get you the best results. Most company-sponsored CDL training programs offer online applications that are easy to fill out and only take about 10 minutes to complete. Among the things that may be needed on a truck driving application are your driver’s license number, social security number, work history, and references.

The road to becoming a truck driver is easy when you work with a school or company that truly cares about you and goes the extra mile to help you get into the industry. If you are an entry level truck driver who needs CDL training or just wants some help as you beginning a trucking career, check out my personal favorite, Driver Solutions, at www.greatcdltraining.com. With the right people on your side and the information you need to make the best decision for you, truck driving can be a rewarding, successful career!




 
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