How to Start a Career as a Truck Driver

It can be a satisfying career to drive commercial trucks, particularly if you like being on the go and don’t mind spending long periods away from home. It doesn’t always take much time to become a truck driver, but you need to follow a few strict criteria before landing a job. 

With a lot of versatility, truck driving is an enjoyable and satisfying profession. Truck drivers are the individuals who are responsible for taking any item you have bought to a store near you to break it down as quickly as possible. 

In this article, we provide an easy guide to learning how to become a delivery truck driver. Read on to learn more about this.

How to Start a Career as a Truck Driver
Image Source: United States Truck Driving School

Get Started: Pass Basic Requirements

Without possessing a current driver’s license, residents would not be permitted to drive family cars or trucks, let alone commercial vehicles. You may apply to begin your career driving delivery trucks while studying to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) by keeping this license. 

Many long-haul employers require candidates to have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent along with a CDL, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has found. 

Also, from an approved community college program or a private truck driving academy, serious candidates can attend and complete the curriculum. The services run from several months to a full year, and individual students can obtain tuition aid.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registration

Usually, truck driving schools teach students how to drive trucks and learn the regulatory specifics to pass licensing tests. Schools should concentrate on the basics of the CDL exam for the state. 

A “combination vehicle” endorsement can open up the driver’s qualifications to include semi-truck driving, hazardous material loads, school vehicles, and tanker trucks. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) test, which requires a physical sight and hearing examination and a written portion on federal traffic laws, must also be passed by drivers

A passing grade on a skills test and/or a written test is required for each kind of CDL endorsement. Under the supervision of a CDL-licensed pilot, you can hold a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) to acquire on-the-road experience.

Job Placement Assistance

The services of work placement boards and job counseling are provided by several truck driving colleges. Truck-driving groups and organizations offer their members work panels and career mentoring. Professional recruitment service companies are also for-pay. 

Finally, the general national job boards, such as Indeed or Beast, post vacancies based on location, driving experience, and training. For CDL holders and for those with special endorsements, Indeed currently lists more than 28,000 new jobs.

Average Salary

Based on the type of trucking work, and your level of experience, the pay can vary. Most truck drivers earn about $30,000 a year in starting wages. 

Your salary will typically rise to about $55,000 a year after five to seven years of experience in a particular sector. When you remain in the same organization, the chance of seeing a rise in your salary also increases. 

Notice that some positions in trucking pay more than others. Drivers operating with toxic chemicals, gas transportation, or other hazardous fleets usually receive more than those whose work does not require such materials.

Jobs and Experience

How to Start a Career as a Truck Driver
Image Source: US Legal Services

The BLS notes that most businesses need a proprietary, in-house training program to be completed by newly licensed workers. They will run for 3 to 4 weeks. 

Training sessions, also called Driver Finishing Programs, introduce the vehicles, products, and equipment applicable to new truckers. A licensed instructor that accompanies on-road training tracks student driving. 

Some employers should not recruit tractor-trailer drivers who do not have two years of experience, such as driving a delivery truck. And, for long-haul or semi-trailer drivers, the experience will factor into overall earnings. 

On the road experience, networking with fellow drivers on job opportunities, learning tips, upgrades to equipment, or the importance of receiving endorsements can be promoted.

Conclusion

On the road experience, networking with fellow drivers on job opportunities can help you land the gig that you want. Become the driver of a truck and begin your journey!