Hitting the open road is typically what travelers want to do, but being a truck driver means you can actually get paid to do it.
Truck driving is a rewarding career, but there are pros and cons. You’ll make good money, but you might get lonely on the road because you might be away from home for quite some time.
There are many openings for truck drivers on TravelJobs.com, including positions with LSG Sky Chefs, Avon Rent-a-Car and Millenia Aero. Depending on the job, you can drive a truck across a specific region or drive across the country loading and unloading freight between airports, resorts and other travel destinations. You should have time to explore your area, even for a day or a few hours, before you get back into the truck and head to your next destination.
Some truck driver positions pay more than others. For example, if you are traveling with hazardous chemicals, you may earn more than those who are not. Starting salaries can be around $30,000 per year. Some of the travel jobs listed for truck drivers offer a starting salary of $2,000 per week with performance bonuses as well as a sign-on bonus. Additional experience will also bump your salary as well.
So what qualifications do you need to become a truck driver? Some trucks do not require special licenses to drive them, while others do. To become a commercial truck driver, you will need to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) within your state. You can take a course to obtain your license. Ask your local DMV where the courses are being held or contact a local driving school, where you’ll learn about the laws and regulations of driving a truck and then get real-life practice.
You’ll then have to pass the written and the road skills test in order to obtain your license. If you are driving hazardous materials you will also need to pass a background inspection by the TSA.
Depending on the state that you live in, you may need to be at least 21 years of age or older to drive a commercial vehicle and have a clean driving record.
Some companies require that you have experience driving trucks with other companies before you will be hired with them, so you might need to gain experience with a smaller company before you apply to another job.
When it comes to how the industry is doing, keep in mind that according to Trucking Truth, the trucking industry has a definite shortage of drivers and an exceptionally high rate of turnover. This is a result of poor training and preparation, drivers who are not prepared for the lonely lifestyle and, depending on the company, the low pay.
However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average of all occupations.