The Truck Driving Life: Is It Right for You?
The truck driving life is one many people envy. To them, spending time on the road and seeing the world is far more appealing than being cooped up in an office job day after day. Trucking is also a stable career that allows for an enjoyable, flexible lifestyle.
But as with any job, there are pros and cons you should consider before diving into the industry. So, is truck driving worth it? Whether you’re a new high school graduate or finishing a trade school and looking for your next step, consider all of the possibilities by checking this guide on how to become a truck driver.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Truck Driver?
The length of time it takes to become a truck driver depends on the driver’s license program and truck driver training program you choose. The job you apply for may have additional requirements that could add to this time, like a background check or multiple interviews.
It takes anywhere from three to seven weeks to complete a commercial driver’s license program. Commercial driver’s licenses come in three classes, including Class A, B, and C. Class A driver’s license programs take the most time because they give detailed truck driver training. You can also drive more types of vehicles with a Class A than you can with a Class B or Class C license.
You’ll want to carefully consider your options before choosing what type of licensing to pursue. Learn about the requirements for the job you’re interested in, and think about future career options, too.
Once you complete the program, you’ll need to take the driver’s license test and then complete the truck driver training program. Make sure you plan for all of these steps when you’re calculating how long it will take for you to become a truck driver.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Truck Driver?
One of the advantages of a career in truck driving is that there are no minimum education requirements to do the job. Most companies only care that you have the skills and knowledge to be a professional driver.
Still, there are certain requirements aspiring truck drivers must follow before they’re able to get a job in the field. All jobs will require a commercial driver’s license and certification from a trucking school. The company you’re interested in may have additional qualifications, so do your research on a variety of positions before you start working toward your trucking career.
Do You Make Good Money as a Truck Driver?
Truck driving pay varies depending on the level of experience and the company. Most truckers are paid per mile driven, but some companies may pay per hour or a salary. No matter how the company chooses to pay, the average truck driver made the equivalent of $43,680 per year in 2018.
Truck drivers who own their own vehicle can make much more money, making an average of $162,000 per year. However, they will also have to pay for the maintenance and insurance of their vehicle, as well as the other costs of having their own business.
Is Trucking a Good Career?
Truck driving is more than just a career — it’s a way of life. Before you pursue trucking, make sure the truck driver lifestyle is right for you. Most truckers wake up before the sun (around 4 a.m.) and will drive until 5 p.m., then stop to eat dinner and rest for the night. Companies operate on tight deadlines and require driving hazardous materials. Truckers also need to be careful to stay alert and attentive on the road.
Trucking is a great career for those who want to avoid a typical Monday through Friday job or be in the same place every day. Especially for those who own their own truck, the job can be very lucrative and allow great freedom in a career. Truck drivers get to see the world in a way not many others get to, and they have plenty of adventures along the way.
Is the truck driving life right for you? Now that you’ve learned a few things about it, you’ll be well on your way to making the decision to pursue truck driving as a career.