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There’s a misconception that you need to have higher-level education to earn a decent living and have a nice job. Well, that’s far from the truth.
A job as a truck driver, which is often something people don’t consider a viable career, is a stable earning option that pays more than the average American wage.
Truck drivers are always in demand and that trend is likely to continue for many years to come. Demand for goods continues to rise and the best way to get goods from point A to B is often on a semi.
If you have an interest in traveling and are good at driving, you’re in luck because being a truck driver is something that’s never going to fall out of trend. It’s a job that’s always available, and companies are always hiring regardless of which state you’re living in.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how you can become a truck driver, what the job is like, and things you know before you commit to a career as unique as a truck driver.
Let’s jump right into it.
What Is Required To Be A Truck Driver?
If you are considering becoming a truck driver you might wonder what you need to have. Do you need a specific certification? Do you have to have specialized schooling?
Being a truck driver is not about your academic qualifications. It’s more about your patience and perseverance as it’s one of the most mentally and physically tasking jobs out there.
Being on the road for countless hours each week is not something that a degree can teach. So, a truck driver does not need any schooling qualifications like a bachelors or masters degree.
However, before you actually go and become a truck driver, you will need to spend some time at a truck driving school. Even if you’re a good driver, driving something as massive as a truck is completely different, and you’ll need some training to get good at it.
Furthermore, there are CDL training programs as well, which teach a driver how to be safe on the road. Moreover, they’ll also give you skills for pre-trip inspections and defensive driving skills to ensure that you can deal with unwanted situations out on the road.
Other than that, there might be some other tests that some delivery companies may have set up for some extra vetting. Insurance costs are sky high, and no company wants to hire a driver that’s going to damage company assets.
So, to ensure that they’re hiring the best of the best, companies have developed their own testing methodologies.
How Much Can You Earn As A Truck Driver?
This is something a lot of people will be surprised by. The average salary of an American is $40,000, and that is what an entry-level truck driver earns on his first day at the job.
As you continue driving a truck and get some experience under your belt, you’ll be able to earn somewhere around $65,000 per year. Some of the more reputable companies are even willing to pay above $80,000, which is double what an average American earns in a calendar year.
Truck drivers are even getting benefits these days on things such as retirement, dental, medical, and life insurance. These aren’t available anywhere. If you’re looking for these bonuses at your job as a truck driver, you might want to consider working for a Fortune 500 company.
Three Things That Every Truck Driver Has To Know
Before you decide if driving a truck is for you there are three important things that you should consider. These things may or may not be deal breakers in your case but you should be prepared going in.
Your Personal Life Will Be Affected
This is something that a lot of people are not ready for. Truck drivers are people that spend more time on the road than in their homes.
You’re not going to be spending much time with your family when you sign up as a truck driver.
If you’re single, good for you. You’ll have the time of your life traveling all over the country, meeting new people, making friends.
But, if you’re married or have people back home waiting for you, your relationship with them is going to suffer. If your spouse is home alone with the kids, you might want to have a talk with them before starting a career in this line.
Discuss the logistics of your job and what responsibilities the spouse will have to deal with on their own. Relationships and personal lives are affected immensely, and you need to decide whether or not it’s worth sacrificing for a job.
Sometimes truck drivers will only drive locally which means they can be home every night. However even those jobs will often have odd hours so it’s still best to consider this even if driving a truck locally.
You’re Not Going To Get Super Rich
With truck driving, you’re going to be working odd hours. Your job isn’t the average 9-5, which might make you think that it’s going to pay a lot of money.
You’re working unlimited hours, putting in the time, grinding to get the deliveries done on time, but the paycheck might not be as fat as you’d think.
Truck driving is a decent-paying job, no doubt. But, it’s not going to get you rich.
The company has to pay insurance, fuel charges, maintenance for the trucks, etc., and all these costs make it very hard for them to stay profitable on their deliveries.
So, even though it pays nicely, you’re not going to get rich as a truck driver. You might be able to save some money for a week worth of vacation or a new car, but it practically ends there.
Stress Will Be Your Bread And Butter
I would be lying to you if I said the job was easy. A truck driver is put through a tremendous amount of stress every single day, and that’s part of the job description.
Any other job and some eccentric billionaire motivational speaker will tell you that you should just quit if you’re stressed. That’s just not the case with truck driving.
It’s not an unwelcome sight. It’s a part of the job.
The worst part is that you’re not going to get any leeway from your bosses. They might not care that there was traffic. They don’t care that you had to take a detour due to a closed road.
All they care about is that their deliveries are made on time. If you’re not able to deal with stress, you’re not fit to be a truck driver.
With all of that being said, I can definitely say that truck drivers are in demand, and it’s a good career path to choose. But, I cannot emphasize this enough; you need patience, determination, and the ability to deal with stress if you want to be a truck driver.
Otherwise, life in this profession will get immensely difficult very quickly.