Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another, making deliveries over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states. Most drivers are assigned routes by a dispatcher, but independent drivers map their own routes. In addition to driving long distances, a truck driver’s duties include keeping the truck and equipment in good working order and following traffic laws. Carrying certain cargo like hazardous materials requires drivers to adhere to additional safety regulations in case of an accident.
Truck Driver Job Education Requirements
A truck driver must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Most companies require their truck drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent and attend a professional truck driving school, which usually lasts between 3 and 6 months. During these classes, drivers learn the federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving and receive a certificate upon completion. Once hired by a company, drivers normally receive between 1 and 3 months of on-the-job training.
Truck Driver Job Market
With e-commerce on the rise and the demand for goods increasing, employment for truck drivers is projected to grow. Trucks transport most of the freight in the U.S., so as households and businesses increase their spending, the trucking industry will grow. Specifically in the oil and gas industries, more drivers will be needed to transport materials to and from extraction sites.
Truck Driver Job Salary Information
Truck drivers are usually paid by how many miles they have driven, in addition to receiving bonuses. The per-mile rate varies from employer to employer and may also depend on the type of cargo and experience of the driver. Truck drivers typically earn anywhere between $26,240 and $62,010, with the median annual wage for truck drivers being $40,260.