Roaring down the open roads—the highway-tendons crossing the nation—truck drivers keep the pace, assert control, and skillfully transport various goods. That sense of freedom and the thrill of driving a mammoth-vehicle are major pulls for those drawn to truck-driving jobs—an expression of grace through heavy machinery. Are you big on mechanical know-how, and can you maintain focus for extended periods of time? Do you have a robust work ethic, and can you be reliable for the long haul? Then truck-driving jobs may be for you.
Although many transportation companies have dispatchers providing specific routes, independent truck drivers can plan their own journeys, enjoying the challenge of figuring out what roads allow large trucks and making time for mandated rest periods. Tasks you can expect to perform as a truck driver include loading, unloading, and recording cargo deliveries; refueling and cleaning your vehicle; and keeping your dispatcher updated and reporting any incidents.
If driving generally lifts your spirit, you should scout the many options you have in the broader category of transportation jobs. Or you can tailor your search to the following related roles:
To become a truck driver, you'll first need your high school diploma (or equivalent), and it's important that you have a clean driving record. Then, you'll need to attend a professional truck-driving school, where you'll learn how to steer a large truck through busy streets; how to handle accidents or any difficulties on long-distance routes; and federal regulations on interstate truck driving. After that, you can obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL)—those requirements will vary, depending on the state you live in.
High-level hand-eye coordination and self-motivated responsibility are critical elements for you to succeed as a truck driver. You also want to be self-sufficient. Plus, if you don't have personal obligations that tie you down and can spend prolonged stretches away from home, you'll have a leg up on finding better-paying truck-driving opportunities. Get an insider's view before you hit the road with Monster's truck driver job description sample and this article on how to become a truck driver.
Itching to hop into your semi and start delivering freight or consumer packages? Then rev-up your resume to spotlight any truck-driving experience and track record you may already have, along with relevant schooling and licensure details. You can zone in on any specializations too, such as your ability to work with hazardous materials (HAZMAT) or to maneuver pneumatic bulkers. Review Monster's truck driver resume sample for additional suggestions. Then, take a look at this example of a truck driver cover letter to ensure a smooth ride when you have to write one.
Salaries for truck drivers differ based on the kind of truck-driving job you qualify for. As an example, the median pay for an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver is $64,353. Those truck-driving jobs pay more because they involve long-distance freight runs, where you'll potentially be gone for weeks at a time. A flatbed truck driver should make around $63,290, while a general tractor-trailer truck driver averages about $46,717. For details on truck-driving in any particular location, make use of Monster's handy Salary Tools, then go over our other resources on salaries and benefits.
Monster knows how powerful it can feel behind the wheel of a semi, and we want to make sure you find the trucking or transportation company that fits your needs. To help you roll out, we have company profiles that highlight:
Let freedom reign when you score the truck-driving job you've always wanted on Monster. First, create a profile so that you can crush the competition and get noticed by the big boys of transportation.