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What Career Opportunities are Available for Truck Drivers?

When it comes to careers in truck driving, you will probably find that job opportunities are fairly abundant. However, the best jobs are available to those that have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and then even those jobs typically face stiff competition.

Not every truck driver is a long-haul driver. That is to say, not every truck driving job requires the driver to be on the road for weeks at a time. In fact, there are also local truck driving positions that might even operate on a pretty typical 9 to 5 schedule.

Local truck drivers might find that they have a fairly consistent daily routine that consists of driving to the same businesses on a regular schedule. They might have to go from one city to another, but they will rarely, if ever, have to travel out of state. There are also delivery drivers that might also have regular routes and dependable routines that will hardly ever differ from one day to the next. These types of truck drivers will normally work for a large organization or company. They could work for a supermarket company, for instance, or a delivery service such as UPS.

Of course, long-haul truck drivers are probably the truck drivers that come to mind when you first envision the career choice. These drivers travel long distances and might even find themselves going from one coast to the other. They might be gone for days or even weeks at a time. They may deliver products ranging in everything from food to automobiles.

Advancement within a company is usually limited to getting more lucrative routes with better schedules, working conditions and superior pay. Sometimes, local truck drivers will go on to become long-distance or even heavy truck drivers. It is also possible for truck drivers to gain positions as dispatchers, managers, and delivery planners.

Some long distance drivers go into business for themselves and buy their own trucks. These are called owner-operators and they tend to be experienced drivers who have good business wisdom and have more than likely taken courses in accounting and general business matters.

For the most part, truck drivers tend to find the best jobs in large metropolitan areas or near towns that have major interstate access. However, some truck drivers also work in rural areas where they specialize in delivery services.

There are many companies that hire truck drivers as part of their staff. Grocery stores, furniture stores, automobile dealerships, and “box” stores all have truck drivers on hands to move their products from one location to another. Some drivers work in the retail business while others work in manufacturing and construction.

The job outlook for truck drivers depends greatly on the economy. When businesses are doing well, they simply tend to move more products which call for more drivers. However, when the business is doing poorly they do not require the movement of products as frequently which can result in decreased work for the truck driver.

Those drivers that are self employed make up about 10% of the total truck drivers out there. They tend to be long-haul drivers and on average make around $23 per hour. However, the majority of the time wages are not calculated on an hourly basis for long-haul drivers, but are instead based on the number of miles that have been driven.

In the future, those candidates that have their CDLs and have gone through training programs will have the best career opportunities available to them. There is a fairly high turnover rate in truck driving, simply due to the fact that as drivers find themselves with family obligations they tend to want to spend less time on the road.