If you need a fast career change, the trucking industry needs drivers. Many carriers are eager to replenish the driver fleets as they prepare for the heightened demand for materials.
The trucking industry is a great choice for those who love adventure, are result-oriented, and can work well independently. If your career priorities have changed, you got laid off, or you need better pay, one of the best ways to start a fast career change is to earn your CDL and take part in one of the most essential jobs in the country.
Why Go Into Trucking?
Due to the high demand for products and materials, truck drivers are in higher demand than ever before. High demand means there are loads of jobs to go around. According to the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, current numbers suggest that the trucking industry has a gap of around 25,000 employees going into 2022, and more will be needed as manufacturers increase production in the coming years. If this number is not met, prices and delivery time may increase in the next few years, so carriers have every incentive to fill spots however they can.
Although pay is based on experience, location, and employer, the average truck driver in the United States makes around $74,000 per year. Drivers must operate large and dangerous machinery to get essential supplies all around the country, and they are compensated well for it. Numerous jobs don’t require a lot of experience to make money fast, but specializing in a certain vehicle can be worth the time. Oversized load and Hazmat drivers tend to make a higher salary per year than the average driver. The top paid drivers in the industry are ice road truckers. These disciplined drivers with years of experience in hazardous conditions make between $100,000-$200,000 a year.
Many carriers also provide benefits to drivers, 401(k), and holiday pay.
While truckers may work for a carrier or company, truck driving allows a greater amount of independence than a desk job. Drivers pick their routes, their vehicles, road trip playlists, and some independently operated trucks can make their own schedules. If you don’t want to explore the open road alone, bring along a pet or join a team driver program. You can have as much or as little control as you like.
Steps For a Fast Career Change to Trucking
1. Make Sure You’ll Like the Work
Trucking isn’t just about travel and fun. It is an important job with deadlines and hard work like any other. Seriously consider if you will thrive driving long hours and operating large machinery. Will you be comfortable sleeping in the back of a tractor truck most nights? Can you handle that much alone time, and will this career interfere with your relationships with friends or family? Trucking is very much a lifestyle, and you have to be prepared for changes.
2. Determine The Distance You’re Willing to Travel
Generally, there are three types of truck driving jobs that are categorized by distance traveled.
- Local Drivers usually haul loads in or around a specific city using the same routes each day. Great for people with families they want to stay close to.
- Regional Drivers operate around whole states or metro areas. They stick to the larger roads and usually haul the goods that will get distributed around local drivers. This is good for those who won’t mind the occasional overnight and don’t want to deal with smaller, local roads.
- Over the Road (OTR) drivers operate cross-country and have routes controlled by where their shipments must end up. This is usually the public image of a trucker. While it means being away from home, it’s a good position for those who like to travel, meet new people, and like making money.
3. Look Over Driver Requirements
Most truck driving jobs do not require any prior experience to break into the profession. The only true barriers will be age and driving record. While drivers can start at age 18, only those 21 or older can cross state lines. The only other requirement is a decent driving record with no major traffic violations like DUIs. Having a criminal record does not automatically exclude you from joining these ranks. Many formerly incarcerated people have gone on to earn their CDL licenses, but federal rules prohibit those with certain vehicle-related offenses on record from receiving it. The only other requirements are the ability to work independently and problem solve.
4. Find A CDL School
There are many truck driving schools all over the country, so the best way to find the best one for you is to look at the company’s experience. If they have been educating for ten years or more and have experienced drivers leading classes, you’re golden. Make sure the class covers all aspects of the Class A CDL to earn the most for your money. Most driving schools offer financial assistance programs for those needing the extra boost.
5. Complete Classes and Pass Exams
Once you are enrolled and pay for classes, take notes and start studying. Some CDL programs can have you out on the road in less than a month, so pay attention! Logging in hours behind the wheel will be essential to passing your CDL exams, usually three depending on your state. Once you pass your exams, you’re eligible to sign with a trucking company that can provide you with all the supplies and equipment you’ll need to start your first year of driving.
Need to Make a Fast Career Change? TDI Can Help
It can be difficult to make a fast career change, but Truck Driving Institute (TDI) is here to make that transition easier and more productive. TDI helps people in need of a fast career change by helping drivers earn their Class A CDL in as little as three weeks. Since 1973, TDI has offered the most streamlined path to the CDL, which is crafted by industry experts and offered at our 11 campuses across 7 states. TDI’s financial assistance offers scholarships and grants to make upfront costs as cheap as $225, and our focus on career placement helps over 80% of students sign with carriers before graduation. If you’ve been hunting for a fast career change, TDI is ready to work with you, so contact us today!
Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!