If you can describe yourself as a patient, self-reliant person with an adventurous bone and great physical health, then a career as a truck driver is the best call for you.
Being detail-oriented also assures that you can adhere to safety regulations and manage logs accurately. Having a genuine interest in traveling and seeing different places and an affinity for machines and mechanics is an added advantage.
Now the question is why should you choose a tedious and lonely job? Because, despite its shortcomings, the job of a truck driver comes with various benefits and perks. You get to travel and explore. The strict regulations guarantee a safe working environment. Also, as there is an increasing demand for commercial truck drivers to support the ever-growing world economies, the pay is excellent too.
In this blog, we will discuss the seven key benefits of becoming a truck driver in the United States, shedding light on the attractive financial prospects, the adventurous and varied lifestyle, and the tight-knit community inherent to the profession.
7 Benefits of Becoming a Truck Driver in US
Becoming a truck driver in the US has numerous advantages. It offers job stability and potential for good income, with high demand in the industry. You also get the freedom of the open road and various job options, from local routes to specialized transport. Competitive wages, benefits, and the opportunity to explore the country make it a fulfilling career choice.
Travel Across the Country
Choosing truck driving as a career opens up a world of travel experiences across the United States. The journey from California’s beautiful sights to Maine’s historical landmarks allows truck drivers to immerse themselves in various cultures and scenery.
This profession doesn’t just enable drivers to move through different states, exploring a range of landscapes from impressive mountains and vast plains to lively cities and calm rural areas, but also offers an adventure that provides a unique insight into the country’s varied geography and diverse population.
Truck drivers often share stories of their travels, turning their adventures and experiences into cherished memories and engaging stories to share with family and friends, enriching their personal and professional lives.
Truck driving jobs in the United States have generally been relatively secure and protected against outsourcing. Because the nature of the work necessitates personal presence and hands-on vehicle operation, it is practically difficult to outsource to another country. This intrinsic nature has given individuals in the sector a sense of security.
Truck driving provides a continual need for commodities delivery across the country, maintaining a consistent demand for professional drivers. The trucking business is critical to the American economy because it transports commodities efficiently and reliably. As a result, truck drivers’ job security is strong.
Furthermore, when older drivers retire or leave the industry, factors such as an aging workforce and high turnover rates contribute to the continued demand for new drivers. As a result, rookie drivers have more options to enter the business and acquire positions.
However, it is important to highlight that economic downturns, technological trends, and regulatory changes can all have an impact on truck driver job security. Truck drivers may need to adapt to new technology and laws as the industry advances in order to keep their jobs. Nonetheless, the domestic aspect of the profession keeps it a reasonably safe employment option in the United States.
The American Trucking Association reports that the industry needs to hire roughly 900,000 more drivers to meet the rising demand, especially considering the surge in online shopping and e-commerce, which heavily rely on transportation and logistics.
Companies often offer attractive signing bonuses and other perks to entice new drivers, reflecting the high demand and ensuring that those who enter the field can anticipate a stable and secure career path.
Steady Salary and Benefits
Financial stability is a pivotal aspect when selecting a career path, and the trucking industry in the United States offers a promising avenue, especially considering the diverse salary scales and additional benefits.
However, truck driver salaries can exhibit significant variation, influenced by factors such as the type of truck driven, experience level, and assumed risk.
For instance, the median pay in 2021 for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $48,310 per year, while truck drivers with less than a year of experience might expect an average salary of $86,900, escalating to $104,502 for those with over a decade of experience.
Notably, in 2022, owner-operators under their authority witnessed the highest average compensation per mile, reaching $2.94, a 6% increase from 2021. This contrasts with company drivers, who received an average compensation rate per mile of $0.72 in 2022.
The attractive earning potential and additional benefits like health insurance, a 401k, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and life insurance render truck driving a compelling career option. Moreover, the pay structure, whether per mile or hour, ensures a consistent income and a financial safety net, providing peace of mind and stability.
The truck driving profession offers significant independence, particularly appealing to those who prefer autonomy in their work. Drivers are often on the road alone, responsible for making crucial decisions regarding safety, route selection, and time management without a supervisor overseeing every move.
This independence allows drivers to manage their work to suit their preferences and lifestyle, providing a sense of freedom and ownership over their professional lives.
Here is a video of Alex the trucking guy, who shows how the life of a rookie truck driver in the USA is.
Flexibility is another hallmark of a career in truck driving. Drivers often create their schedules, choosing working hours that align with their personal lives and preferences.
This could mean working only on weekdays or at night or establishing a routine that allows for extended periods off. Such flexibility can be particularly beneficial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance, ensuring drivers can spend quality time with family and friends and engage in recreational activities.
Low education cost
Pursuing a career in truck driving does not necessitate a hefty educational investment. Unlike a traditional college degree, truck driving schools offer significantly more affordable programs with a shorter duration, often around eight weeks. This allows aspiring drivers to quickly gain the necessary skills and knowledge, obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and enter the workforce promptly without being burdened by substantial educational debts.
Variety of Job Options
The trucking industry offers many job options, allowing drivers to select a path that aligns with their interests and lifestyle. Drivers can explore various facets of the industry, from dry van and tanker jobs to specialized roles in auto/car hauling, reefer, and flatbed trucking.
Additionally, options like Less Than Truckload (LTL), oilfield, local, and over-the-road (OTR) driving present diverse opportunities, each with unique requirements and benefits, ensuring that drivers can find a niche that resonates with them.
After gaining some hands-on experience as a truck driver and creating a solid network of peers and newcomers, you can move on to other jobs in the trucking industry like driver training instructor, hotshot trucking, load board operator, and so on. You can opt for local jobs such as school driver, local bus driver, crane operator, and more.
Choosing a path in truck driving means embracing a career rich in experiences, adventures, and opportunities. If you value stability yet crave the allure of different horizons, this profession offers a unique blend of both.
It’s not merely a job; it’s a lifestyle that brings you into a community of like-minded individuals who find joy in the journey as much as the destination.
So, if the open road calls to you and you find solace in ever-changing scenery and the thrill of new cities and towns, truck driving could be the key to a fulfilling, prosperous future where your work and passions align seamlessly.
James Johnson is a former truck driver who now works as a writer, specializing in the trucking industry. With over 15 years of experience on the road, James has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities faced by truck drivers and the trucking industry as a whole. His writing focuses on issues such as safety, regulation, and the latest industry trends. His work has been featured in several trucking publications and he has received recognition for his contributions to the industry. In his free time, James still enjoys being around trucks and often attends truck shows and other industry events.