The transportation industry offers unique opportunities for job seekers. Truck driving professions have been steadily increasing over the last several decades. In fact, a 2014 study found that truck driving is the most popular career in 29 states. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts it to become even more prevalent, growing by 11% between 2012 and 2022. However, the trade is known for long hours on the road and nights away from home – so why are these careers so popular?
Resistance to Automation and Job Loss
Automation technology has put many blue-collar workers on the edge of losing a job. Many jobs are being performed by robots these days, from farming to manufacturing. The trucking industry, although not completely immune, is very resistant to this threat. While the industry is embracing technology to create more efficient fleets, completely automated trucks are still a distant future.
Even when vehicles drive themselves, truckers will still be needed. Automation technology is expensive, and the ever growing demand for delivery of goods means the industry will always be in need of real-life teamsters. Unlike other blue-collar jobs, trucking offers a secure career in an otherwise insecure job market.
You Don’t Need Extensive Education
Most people assume you need an expensive degree to get a high-paying job. This isn’t always the case. While truck driving does require training and licensing, it definitely doesn’t require an advanced degree. Truckers usually attend a training program through a trucking school or a sponsored CDL program.
These programs teach driving skills and safety compliance, and many will place students after passing a licensing test. Truck driving can be a lucrative career option from the start. Most entry-level truckers earn up to $40,000 per year. More experienced truckers can earn upwards of $80,000 a year. What’s more, many companies offer benefits like dental, medical, life insurance, and vision plans.
Flexibility, Freedom, and Skill-Building
Truckers have the freedom and flexibility to live anywhere they want and make a good wage. Usually, you set your own schedule and can take weeks off at a time if necessary. You get to explore the U.S. and get paid for it. All the while, you’re learning new skills you can use to build an even more lucrative career. Many truckers go on to work in sales, operations, training, and repair. Experience the U.S. while driving for a fleet, then use your new skills when you’re ready to stop traveling.
Technology Makes it Easier and Healthier
Today’s technology has made it easy for truckers to stay organized and in communication. Traditional truckers were required to keep logs with complex spreadsheets and bottomless piles of paper. They had to use physical maps to identify routes and destinations. Technology continues to change the way truckers drive, with GPS systems, big data analytics, electronic logs, and mobile devices.
Now, a basic knowledge of technology will make you an efficient and productive trucker, and increased efficiency and productivity means more money. Likewise, wearable tech and fitness tracking apps are encouraging healthier truckers in an industry previously known for health risks.