How Do I Become A Truck Driver?

To find a successful career in today’s economy, education and training are essential ingredients. For those with the inclination to drive a semi-tractor-trailer, the first question is how do I become a truck driver? There are different routes to this profession and certain qualifications must be met to become a truck driver.

What It’s Like To Be A Truck Driver

Lifestyle is a major consideration for those wanting to drive trucks for a living. It is important to maintain a clean driving record. To become a truck driver, moving violations in excess or a Driving Under the Influence conviction leads to disqualification for the job. The promotion of safe driving during the off hours benefits the truck driver and the company he works for. In addition, it is very important to understand that life as a truck driver has the person on the road for many hours and away from home often. It can be a solitary job, but some company’s offer work teams. Teams are made up of two drivers who ride together and share the hours driving. This team effort helps to avoid over-tired drivers.

Education Requirements

To become a truck driver, a high school or GED is required. There are some companies who are prone to choose the high school graduate. This preference is evident in about a third of the trucking companies. A high school education is considered effective preparation in the areas of basic mathematics, science, and written communications. These skills are very important for maintaining the drive to record and reporting daily activities. Truck drivers are also required to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. This license allows a driver to operate trucks over 26,000 pounds. Any truck transporting hazardous materials is also allowed. To acquire this license, the driver must pass a written and driving examination. These tests measure knowledge and operating skills necessary for safe driving. The next step is to take Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations exam. This is given by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The process requires the driver to pass not only a written exam but a physical exam that includes vision and hearing screening. This test, also known as the FMCSR, requires that the physical exam be passed every two years. Once complete, the driver is ready to enter the work force.

Entering the Work force

In the effort to become a truck driver, the driver has already met the standards of the industry that will qualify them for work with a trucking company. To get a job in this profession, the driver needs to simply search the job websites or contact the trucking companies directly. These places can also provide a list of the different types of trucking available. There are those that haul dry product such as package delivery or those that haul refrigerated products such as grocery items. Livestock hauling can require a slight different set of skills. Over-sized hauling may be for the more experienced drivers. Experience is the determining factor when it comes to salary. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics in 2010, the average salary is $37,770 and it is expected to grow faster than average through the year 2020.