According to a report, the U.S. trucking industry is valued at $700 billion and makes up the majority of the freight in the USA. There’s been a shortage of qualified truck drivers for the past couple of years, so there’s plenty of decently-paying jobs waiting for skilled truck drivers. So is a career as a truck driver worth it.
- Ease of Entry
For those who don’t have a college degree or even a high school diploma, this is one of the few relatively high-paying jobs you can get. To be a truck driver, all you need is a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to be allowed to sit behind the wheel and drive a commercial hauler. For some, the idea of taking a 7-week course to learn how to properly drive a truck then immediately earn money is better than working four years to get a degree, then having to slug it out to find a decent-paying job.
- High Salary
As there is a shortage of qualified truck drivers, trucking companies are willing to pay more. A driver with a CDL can start with a salary of $35,000 a year, and some offer signing bonuses. Some companies might offer to pay you more if you’re willing to work more days out of the week. There’s at least one company that gives pay raises to drivers and does what it can to keep them.
- It’s a Respected and Protected Profession
You might encounter the occasional legal hiccups with employers, like disputes with companies unwilling to pay back wages, overtime, or hazard pay. But in many instances, there are always lawyers and law firms like this truck labor attorney in Washington willing to take on truckers’ cases and get favorable results.
- You Get Paid to Drive all over the Country
As a truck driver, your job is to move tons of stuff across the country. While you’ll be confined to driving a truck and covering hundreds of miles, you’ll see more of America than the average citizen—and get paid to do it.
- You have a lot of Independence
Working as a driver of your own truck affords you a lot of freedom. Although you are monitored by radio, it’s you who decides what routes to take and when to go for food or bathroom breaks. As long as you’re responsible for keeping with the deadline, you’re the captain of your own ship.
- The Loneliness
With independence comes the loneliness. As a trucker, it’s mostly just you in the cab, driving solo for long hours in the most deserted areas and solitary roads. You have to be used to being alone a lot since you could be away from home for weeks at a time and not see your family.
- Bad Food Choices
Unless you pack your own healthy meals, most food choices as you drive cross-country will be local diners and fast food joints. You have to watch what you eat working as a truck driver, as the stress of the job can make you binge on comfort food like burgers and fries.
If you can take long hours of loneliness, don’t have a family of your own, and have the endurance for driving long distances, the truck driver profession might be for you. Before considering this as your career, think well about how it can change your life. When you’re set, take the required courses on safe driving and get your license.