Truck driving is one of the most in-demand professions in the United States. According to the American Trucking Association, there is an existing shortage of roughly 80,000 drivers.
Truck drivers are critical to the nation’s infrastructure. They deliver food, supplies, and other important items from coast to coast.
The fact that new drivers are urgently needed is good for prospective employees. This will help them secure higher wages and more generous benefits.
Learn all about truck driving careers with our comprehensive guide. Explore topics such as becoming a truck driver and what to expect for salary or benefits.
How to Get Started With Truck Driving
This profession is appealing because it does not require a college degree. Prospective drivers do not need to take on any student loan debt to pursue this career. Regarding education, a high school diploma or GED is acceptable.
There are professional training programs out there that teach you how to be a truck driver. They offer courses on how to maneuver a large commercial vehicle.
These courses also teach students about state and federal regulations for the transportation industry. Overall, it will take 3 to 6 months to complete the coursework. This allows you to start earning income much faster than pursuing a 4-year degree program.
After schooling wraps up, you will receive on-the-job training as well. Most employers set you up with an experienced truck driver for a few weeks of ride-along.
What Licenses and Certifications Are Required?
In order to have a truck driver job, you need specific licenses and certifications. For starters, you need to carry a Commercial Driving License (CDL).
Each state has different rules and regulations for getting a CDL. At a minimum, you will need to pass a written exam and a driver’s test.
You may pursue specializations that allow you to operate certain vehicle types or transport special goods. Perhaps you want to drive hazardous materials, which requires an H endorsement on your CDL.
The additional endorsements allow you to earn more money. They do require you to undergo a background check and pass an additional knowledge test.
There are many possible violations that may prevent you from getting a CDL. Committing certain infractions while holding a CDL may result in a suspension.
For example, a DUI or DWI charge precludes you from holding a CDL. Any other felony involving the use of a motor vehicle will result in a similar consequence.
The best tip is to visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA has a list of motor vehicle infractions that will preclude you from carrying a CDL.
How to Become a Truck Driver
You are now ready to become a professional truck driver. There is great demand for truck drivers right now.
This means you will find stable employment with the opportunity to negotiate a high salary or secure a bonus. There are generous programs available to help you lease to own your commercial vehicle.
With training and a CDL, you can become a truck driver in short order. If you are interested in a truck driving career, contact us today to learn more.