So you’re interested in truck driving, but are there other truck driver careers out there? Are you tired of driving long distances, or do you wish you had more freedom? If you don’t want to stay in the same lane for the rest of your life, know that the possibilities don’t stop at commercial truck driving. Earning yourself a CDL will equip you to become a truck driver at the same time as priming you for other truck driver careers.
Truck Driving Careers off the Road
Beginning as a truck driver is an excellent way to ready yourself for a truck driver career off the road. Your on-the-road knowledge will give you experience with the rules of the road and you’ll be able to empathize with driver demands and workload. To work more with the carrier’s operations, becoming a truck driver dispatcher or recruiter are two sure-fire ways to transition to the carrier side of operations.
Truck Driver Dispatcher
As a truck driver dispatcher, you are a reliable point of contact for the company’s truckers. In inclement weather, traffic, or unforeseen circumstances, the dispatcher is there to answer questions and solve issues while the driver is on the road. You’ll have to be on your toes and able to provide an action plan that balances customer desire and trucker safety.
Your primary job is to manage the company’s non-human assets. This includes scheduling the “when,” “where,” “who,” and “how” of the company’s drivers, freight, time, and more. Dispatchers also have to take into consideration driver workload, travel time, and vehicle maintenance. The most recognizable responsibility might be scheduling, but it’s not the only one. Paperwork, permits, negotiating with customers and suppliers–all of this and more is also included.
In general, companies will look for 1-3 years of dispatching experience when recruiting new employees. That said, bringing experience with handling logistics or with supply chain administration is certainly helpful, but so is understanding the experience and rules of the road.
Truck Driver Recruiter
Similar to dispatchers, communication and organizational skills are key for truck driver recruiters. Consider becoming a recruiter if you love being around others and forging relationships with others, as you’ll interact with countless prospective hires every day. They will pre-screen drivers, seek out qualified leads, and stay in touch with new hires. On a given day, you could manage hundreds of leads while putting recruits through orientation.
Having industry knowledge from past truck driving experiences can give you excellent insight into how to select the most viable driving candidates. You’ll be able to apply what you know about driver needs (e.g., pay level, work/life balance, truck preference) to foster an intentional and effective recruitment process.
If you are a truck driving veteran, your familiarity with the truck’s internal and external features can help you launch into a truck driver career as a mechanic. Truck drivers go through countless pre-trip inspections and they’ve learned how to overcome obstacles with their vehicles on the road. These experiences will translate well off the road. Mechanics take it to the next step by using tools and methods to repair these vehicles.
Becoming a mechanic can also take you to the next level with the possibility of an increased salary. This is another one of the truck driver careers that let you work with vehicles without spending time on the road. You won’t need a CDL for this job, but you will have to have a high school degree and different certifications.
Truck Driver Careers Without Carriers
Being a commercial truck driver is only one option in a handful of truck driver careers. Explore different levels of freedom and different types and ranges of traveling. After spending time in one career, you may find that you are looking for a change–whether it be wanting more personal time, fewer hours sitting down, higher pay, or simply just to do something new. Remember that you can continue your career without needing to work under a carrier. Here are some possibilities:
- Private fleet owner: Your company will handle transportation in-house rather than by enlisting a third party by selling services directly to shippers. As a private fleet owner, you won’t have to worry about other duties like fixing vehicles after you finish driving. You’ll get paid by the mile, so the longer you travel the better.
- Owner-operator truck driver: Being an owner-operator truck driver is similar to being a private fleet owner except that you are responsible for everything–driving, repairs, maintenance, gas, etc.. You’ll have ultimate freedom over your schedule and other operations.
- Bus driver: By transporting people to their destinations, it’s likely that you won’t have to be away from home too long. Acquiring a CDL gives you the necessary skills to become a bus driver, but you’ll also need to acquire a Passenger (P) endorsement and a School Bus (S) endorsement and certificate if you want to drive a school bus.
- Truck driver instructor: Once you equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to obtain a CDL, why not help others do the same? Test your hand at guiding others to be the best they can be.
- Fire rescue team: Put either your CDL-A or CDL-B to use by becoming a driver for a rescue service or fire brigade. You’ll be able to reframe the context of your driving towards protecting your community’s responsibility and protection.
- Delivery driver: As online shopping continues to spike, there is a high demand for companies like Amazon, RedEx, and UPS that need delivery drivers. For local businesses, you may deliver products or goods. Both types of deliveries can shorten your time and distance on the road.
Launch Your Truck Driving Career With TDI
In all truck driver careers, obtaining your CDL is the first step. With Truck Driver Institute, you can get your CDL in just three weeks at one of our 11 campuses across 7 states. Our reputable training program is effective and affordable with over 80% of our students finding job placements by the time they graduate–some carriers will even offer students jobs before their training is complete.
At Truck Driver Institute, we go the extra mile by guiding you through every step of the process. Still not convinced? Hear what some of our graduates have to say. Get started today by filling out this form or by calling us at 800-848-7364. Out of all the truck driver careers, you’ll be sure to find one that is best for you!
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!