Exploring the Career-Building Opportunities in Truck Driving

The skyrocketing demand for distribution is fueling demand for more extensive logistical services across the country. Today, the trucking industry remains full of new job opportunities. New truckers from all ages play an important role in meeting the relentless demand to move goods across the country.

The demand for new truckers continues despite slower growth projections in recent years, fueled by the growing and largely unmet needs of several industries for logistical support. People of all ages are finding plenty of opportunities to enter the industry because of the need to fill driving seats.

And due to the challenges of the occupation, unfilled spots remain available.

What it takes

Truck driving opportunities and jobs require both training from a specialist school and a state license to drive commercial driving. Although trucking is not the easiest of jobs, those up for the challenge can find a welcoming career with many offers on hand.

Age is just a number for truckers, who can come in a broad range of demographics. Truckers can get commercial licenses as young as age 18, though they often do not get clearance to drive outside the state until the age of 21.

Many individuals in their late forties and early fifties from all walks of life are finding second careers in trucking. Although this demographic is still largely male, women are also fast becoming a common sight as truckers.

Many older drivers are drawn to the career not just because of the opportunity but also the need to satisfy a wanderlust. Younger adults may appreciate the change of scenery and the higher-than-usual pay, especially since they may not be as tied to their homes as their older counterparts.

Although far from lucrative, truckers can make a decent amount of money in the field, especially once they’ve started earning bonuses and pay raises for long-haul deliveries.

Constant shortage

Many companies, especially in the agricultural and grocery industry, are looking to attract younger individuals to increase the available labor pool. Current federal laws bar people below 21 years of age from driving commercially across the country.

Opportunities for new drivers remain in the air as states mull over legislation allowing younger truckers to travel through interstate routes, a move supported by lobbyists in the agricultural industry.

Career challenges

Costs are a key consideration when pursuing a career in trucking. Truck driving schools can cost aspiring drivers more than $5,000 in tuition. Self-employed truck drivers must also put forward a large amount of capital to not only purchase their commercial truck but also the expenses entailed by the upkeep of the vehicle and the rising costs of living on the road.

The job of a truck driver can be very stressful, but not always for the reasons people think. The long hours on the road could certainly seem tedious for the layperson.  Meanwhile, additional stresses include homesickness and being apart from family and friends for extended periods.

Among the most stressful legs of the journey are the towns and cities, where drivers can face the daunting tasks of navigating traffic congestion. This becomes even more critical as timetables are considered. Truckers must work quickly to get their shipments delivered on schedule.

Job security and advancement

Trucker maning the stearing wheel of his truck

Finding the right job is the final hurdle in building a truck driving career. Commercial truckers must carefully consider the work-life balance options presented by each company to ensure their long-term employment satisfaction.

Besides opportunities for extra miles, truckers should also look at the career advancement options available to them within the company.

The challenging nature of truck driving – especially for long-haul drives across the country – mean that finding truckers capable of handling the job for the long run are hard to come by. Truckers who can adapt to these conditions can rest easy knowing that their skills would remain valued in the industry.