How to Transition into a Career as a Truck Driver
Changing careers can seem like a daunting task in any industry. The thought of learning something new and getting hired all while meeting personal and financial obligations can be downright scary. However, transitioning into a truck-driving job is much easier than many other careers. Due to the high demand and shortage of truck drivers, the industry is continuously making it more attainable and attractive. Whether you’re 20 or 50, if you’ve been considering a truck driving career, what better time than now?
There are many ways to prepare for this new career path and the profession has lots of rewarding benefits. Keep reading to learn some tips that will help you get started and gain insight on a few of the perks truckers enjoy.
Complete Your CDL Training While Still Working
With most career changes, there’s usually a gap between paychecks, which is often a major deterrent when there are family and mortgage responsibilities. Even if you’re on your own, most people can’t afford to skip a paycheck – let alone miss a handful of them. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case with truck driving.
The first step in becoming a truck driver is getting a CDL license. The initial book training is available online, complete with sample tests, which help prepare for the actual exam. The flexibility of e-learning can easily fit in with most work schedules and family time, so you can continue earning your normal paycheck instead of having to quit your job before entering your new career.
Following the completion of your written CDL exam, you’ll obtain a CDL permit and begin on the road training. Many training schools offer evening and weekend hours, where you’ll have the opportunity to drive on public roads alongside a licensed instructor or vetted driver. This means you can continue learning while working your day job, and you can do everything on your own schedule.
If you’re concerned about schooling interfering with your routine, don’t be, because most CDL training courses can be completed within 5 weeks. Of course, you can take longer or zip through it faster, depending on how quickly you learn and how much time you’re able to commit to the program. To sum it up, starting a career in trucking is a low-pressure, highly flexible move that you won’t regret.
Finding the Best Truck Driving Career Path
Due to heavy reliance of the transportation industry for goods and services, along with many drivers retiring, truck drivers are in high demand. Whether you prefer to drive locally or want to see the country on long-haul routes, once you’ve logged some miles on the road, there are several driving opportunities available.
Learn from the Experts
There are also options to drive solo or as a team. Although driving solo provides a lot more independence than teaming up with someone, when just starting out, that companionship can be advantageous. For example, long hauls can get extremely lonely as you clock hundreds of miles on the highway. In a team, drivers can switch off and remain compliant with the hours-of-service limits. Also, if you team up with an expert driver, you’ll gain lots of knowledge and advice that may prevent costly or dangerous mistakes along the way.
After all, driving a semi-truck comes with a lot of responsibility and in order to advance, it’s imperative to keep a clean driving record. Receiving advice from seasoned drivers could make a positive impact on your driving skills and future.
Benefits and Rewards Truck Drivers Enjoy
Without question, a career in truck driving offers several benefits and rewards. Of course, one of the best perks is traveling to different places while earning an income. Truck drivers not only enjoy financial rewards, but it can also be especially satisfying for individuals who prefer a flexible schedule and working independently.
The trucking industry is in dire need of motivated drivers, so benefits packages are being enhanced. In an effort to gain attention to truck-driving recruitment efforts, companies are offering everything from sign-on bonuses and increased wages to medical, retirement, and paid time off benefits.
Bottom line, transitioning from one career into driving a truck is affordable, fast, and has the potential for several career advancement opportunities.