InTrans / Nov 19, 2010
posted on November 19, 2010
The primary duty of truck drivers is to move goods both regionally and nationwide in an efficient and safe manner. Truck drivers transport everything from automobiles to livestock to paper towels efficiently and quickly over both long and short distances. Hauling many of the nation’s imports and exports from seaports, international hubs, and manufacturers, truck drivers are responsible for the availability of many of the products on store shelves around the country and the world.
A resident state-issued Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required for all individuals operating trucks carrying more than 26,000 pounds of cargo (most large semi-trucks and tractor-trailers). Many public and private vocational schools offer short training courses in driving tractor-trailers, ranging from 3 weeks to 3 months, depending on student time availability.
As a truck driver, you can work for a company or own your own trucking business. Twenty-seven percent of truck drivers work for trucking companies or services, while another 26% of truck drivers are employed through wholesale or retail companies. Truck drivers are also frequently self-employed and own their own semi-trucks. Competition is expected to be high in the future for truck drivers, in spite of the expected 13% increase in the number of jobs between 2008 and 2018. The median hourly wage for heavy truck and tractor-trailer operators in 2010 is $18.14, or a median annual wage of $37,730.
Links to schools with these programs
Check with community colleges in your area. In Iowa, the Des Moines Area Community College offers training in truck driving: https://dmacc.edu/truckdrivingschools/Pages/welcome.aspx
American Trucking Association: https://www.trucking.org/
Truck drivers and Driver/Sales worker. In Occupational Outlook Handbook (Ed. 2010-11). Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm
By Bennett Stone, Go! Staff Writer