When it comes to career options for people who haven’t been to university, the outlook can sometimes be bleak. Most jobs won’t even entertain an application if you don’t have the right academic background, even if that background has nothing to do with doing the actual job well. Worse still, non-higher-education jobs don’t tend to have particularly good career advancements, such as restaurant and retail jobs.
But there are some jobs which you can still walk into, even in this day and age, which promise greater financial independence and the ability to progress up the pay scale in the trucking industry. That makes the job role quite unique. Here’s why people love the trucking business and are thrilled by their jobs.
Choose Your Own Hours
Some truck drivers work for commercial outfits and get paid regular compensation by the mile. But if you can afford the upfront capital costs, you can buy your own truck and choose the projects that you want, setting your own hours in the process. After having spent a few years working for a large haulage company, many truckies go on to do precisely this, giving them the freedom to work as many hours as they need while finding time for other important things in their life, like their families.
You Can Be Financially Independent
Entry-level pay in the trucking industry is relatively low, just like it is in many other jobs. But after the first couple of years, pay slowly begins to rise. After about five years, it’s not uncommon to find yourself on a modest income more than $50k per year.
Once you’ve got suitable experience in the trucking sector, you’re also able to start taking on private jobs and contracts. Most truck drivers make more money per trip when signing their own deals with suppliers since the haulage company doesn’t take a cut. Operating your own commercial freight company can net you additional cash that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
You Can Progress Up The Skill Ladder
The more qualified you become as a driver, the more money you can make. For instance, truck drivers who can drive vehicles with air brakes are able to drive bigger cars than those who can’t. What’s more, the internet is full of help and advice for drivers looking to expand their repertoire. There’s lots more test guides here for you to peruse at your leisure. Increasing your skill set makes you eligible for jobs that involve wide or heavy loads which often pay more.
The Job Outlook Is Good
There’s a lot of talk about automation stealing trucking jobs. But the early indications are that automation won’t do that. Instead, it’ll make being a truck driver safer. Currently, thousands of truck drivers are injured on the roads every year. It’s a tragedy. But with new self-driving technologies, that might become a thing of the past. According to most experts, autonomous vehicles are already about twice as safe as the average human, despite their current flaws. But in the future, they could be up to ten times safer, meaning far fewer collisions for truck drivers, and less chance of injury. What’s more, even though the trucks will drive themselves, regulators will still demand that the systems are supervised by a human pilot – namely the driver – who can take over at any point, should the system become confused or not know what to do next.
Other factors are affecting the positive job outlook too. For instance, thanks to the growth in internet shopping and ecommerce, the demand for logistical services is on the rise. The Bureau of Labor statistics, for instance, predicts that the number of truck drivers required by the economy will increase by 5 percent per year for the foreseeable future. Because demand for truckies is high, that means that wages will go up – or at least be prevented from falling – ensuring that more people can enter the middle class.
The Conditions Are Good Unless You Want To Work Long Hours
In the US, the number of hours a truck driver can work in a week is limited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. According to their regulations, truck drivers are not allowed to work for more than 14 hours straight, including unloading cargo. In addition, they’re not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours in a single day for safety reasons.
The total number of hours truckies are authorized to work in a week is also capped to 60, and drivers must then take at least 34 hours off before starting their next shift.