Let’s face it. Trucking isn’t considered a glamorous career. Parents don’t think about encouraging their children to grow up to become truckers. The last time trucking was portrayed as glamorous was sometime in the 1970s. However, despite the rough exterior of the trucking industry, a job seeker who looks beneath the surface just might discover that trucking as a second career can provide the income and stability they need.
This is especially true in today’s economy, where globalization and automation continue to fundamentally disrupt and change the economy. Many people are finding themselves downsized or outsourced and thrust into an increasingly chaotic job market.
For a lot of these folks, driving semi-trucks is a good career move for those in need of a career they can quickly enter and advance in earnings. Is your current job situation not making the cut? Here are four reasons why trucking as a second career might be the best move for you.
2. Ease of Entry
Many careers require years of training, education, and experience before being considered a full-fledged member of the profession. However, someone who chooses a trucking career can become a qualified trucker in six months at most. Many community colleges and truck driving schools offer courses that will prepare you to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in three to six months.
Even better, some companies offer on-the-job training, so you can generate an income even while you’re learning to operate a tractor trailer. Transportation companies often partner with driving schools; some even reimburse fees for training and obtaining commercial licenses. Such a program can save you a lot, so whether or not a potential employer has a reimbursement program is a good consideration before accepting a job offer.
2. A Competitive Salary
Another reason to become a truck driver is that, once you get your feet wet in the industry, you can quickly begin earning more money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers’ median pay in 2016 was $41,340, but many drivers earn more than this. According to a 2021 poll taken by the job search site Indeed, truck drivers can expect to make over $67,000 a year. Truckers with over 10 years of experience can earn over $75,000.1
The American Trucking Associations found pay rates have been increasing. Between 2013 and 2018, its survey found a $7,000 increase in the median salary for truck drivers. The median salary for those working a national, irregular route was over $53,000. That’s a 15% increase, while private fleet drivers saw an 18% increase in pay over that time period, from $73,000 to $86,000.2
If you have your own rig and act as an owner-operator, you can expect to earn even more—about $141,000 a year. Additionally, you should also think of the money you’ve saved that would have otherwise gone to pay for a two-year or four-year degree. The financial aspect is, therefore, one more reason to think about trucking as a second career.
3. Strong Job Outlook
Unlike many careers in the past year, trucking is a stable industry with solid prospects. A driver shortage has taken hold in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, so trucking companies are looking to hire. Also unique to the trucking industry are abundant opportunities for retirees. With an increasing number of Americans over age 65 employed part-time or full-time, truck driving affords consistent work once you receive a CDL and are hired by a trucking company.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects over 163,000 truck driving job openings each year for the next decade. As if a driver shortage isn’t enough, many workers will need to be replaced as they retire, choose different occupations, or move out of the labor force.3 Autonomous trucks may one day cut into trucking career opportunities. Nonetheless, the technology and legal framework that would allow this to happen is still at least 10-20 years away, by most estimates.
4. Job Flexibility
One of the perks of being a truck driver is the flexibility the job offers once you get established in the profession. Truckers can live just about anywhere, and well-established professionals can often choose how much or how little they work. A flexible work schedule plus competitive pay and projected job growth? Trucking as a second career doesn’t sound so bad!
Truckers will also have the opportunity to see the United States of America in a way that few other people get to do. You’ll be able to drive through the country’s national parks and observe country and city landscapes. A trucking run can take you cross-country, and then you may get a week off at home before going back on the open road. Even better, with the right commercial truck accessories, you’ll be almost untouchable by road fatigue even during a long haul.
Contact Suburban Seating & Safety to Optimize Your Ride
If you’re thinking about careers, don’t overlook trucking as a second career. Driving a truck offers a combination of salary and flexibility that many other jobs just can’t match. It’s also very easy to enter.
Suburban Seating & Safety is ready to help new members of the transportation industry with great deals on truck seats and truck accessories. Shop today to find the equipment that will make your new working environment comfortable. Feel free to start browsing our online catalogs; if you need any kind of assistance, call us directly at 844-727-7328 to speak with a representative.