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Jobs In Trucking - Information About Jobs in Trucking

drivers industry opportunities cdl

Each year, there are over three million people throughout the United States who hold jobs in trucking. Almost every product sold or shipped spends some time in a truck. To meet the need for moving goods from one point to another, trucks are used for transporting everything from produce to hazardous waste materials. As a result, future job opportunities in the trucking industry are projected to remain strong for many years to come.

There are as many different types of jobs in trucking as there are different types of trucks. Fifty-six percent of those employed in trucking jobs are heavy truck or tractor-trailer drivers. These people generally are over-the-road or long-haul drivers who have regular regions or routes that span long distances across several states at a time. Another thirty-one percent are employed as light or delivery truck drivers who deliver goods within a metropolitan area or small region. An additional thirteen percent in the industry are drivers/sales workers who have sales responsibilities in addition to covering defined routes. For example, many of these drivers sell, deliver and arrange products on shelves that are commonly sold in grocery stores like bread, potato chips or specialty items. There are also a small number of truck drivers who specialize in areas like the safe transportation of hazardous materials, oversize loads or hauling goods over ice-roads.

Most jobs in trucking require that drivers hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). This qualification is mandatory in all states to operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more. While a CDL can be obtained without formal training, most drivers in the industry take truck driving courses at a vocational or technical school to prepare for the CDL test and to learn the nuances of the trade like driving a large vehicle through crowded traffic. In addition, employers usually have 1 to 2 days of training for new drivers that cover topics like company policies, company record keeping requirements, product handling and designated routes. Federal regulations also require that all employers test drivers for alcohol and drug use prior to hiring and periodically give random drug tests of drivers while they are on duty. Because of the nature of the job, most employers seek drivers who are self-motivated and work well with little supervision.

Working in the trucking industry can be demanding both physically and mentally. Despite the many advances in technology that have added more comforts while driving a vehicle, operating a large truck still requires strength, endurance and a sharp mental focus. Most jobs involve long hours on the road, the loading and unloading of cargo at numerous stops and the ability to handle a heavy vehicle safely in all kinds of weather. Long-distance drivers often face boredom, loneliness and extended periods away from home and family; sometimes including holidays and weekends. Drivers with local routes usually have evenings off at home, but normally have a higher number of stops per day and are more likely to have schedules that include very early morning hours. Local truck drivers can frequently work fifty or more hours per week.

The job opportunities and wages in trucking are expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future. Due to both an increased demand in the transportation of goods by trucks and the high turnover rate in drivers due to the demands of the job, those seeking jobs in trucking usually have many good opportunities from which to chose. This is especially true for long-haul drivers. As with any occupation, those just entering the industry often need to start with part-time or temporary positions. Once experience has been gained, the advancement opportunities for truck drivers rise considerably.

There are numerous resources available for seeking and obtaining jobs in trucking; especially on the Internet. Applicants can find employment directly through trucking companies, through employment recruiters or by placement assistance through a school that offers a CDL certification course. One of the great aspects of having a job in trucking is that the career field is as varied and ever-changing as the feeling one gets from constantly traveling the great open road.

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