Truck driving is the second biggest career in the United States. There are more than 3.5 million professionals behind the wheel of these large vehicles. Add that with the 5.2 million other related careers (such as freight loading), and you’ve got the biggest industry in America.
Unfulfilled Potential of the Trucking Industry
Despite its already staggering size, many jobs are still vacant and must be filled. About 30,000 jobs remain open each year thanks to this shortfall. Experts say that this figure is only going to grow. In fact, by 2020, there could be more than 100,000 open positions after a projected growth of 21%. More and more people are seeing the benefits to this well-paid (around $40k annually) position. As a result, you can undergo training almost anywhere in the nation.
Driver Training Across the Country
One of the biggest draws to the trucking industry is that it’s easy to join. All companies require training or at least a CDL, but most don’t have other educational requirements aside from a GED or high school degree.
Applicants should be at least 21 years old in most states. Federal law also mandates that employees be legally able to work within the United States. Aside from that, a clean driving record is usually the only other prerequisite. Once a person decides to pursue a career behind the wheel, it’s time to attend a truck driving school (unless he or she already has a certification).
There are hundreds of accredited driver training companies across the nation. Applicants often choose the agency that best suits their timeline and budget. Some of the most intensive agendas can be finished in just 30 days. More relaxed and in-depth programs often span 10 weeks to a full year.
Time in the classroom is incredibly important for real life applications and passing the commercial driver’s license test. Students are given tons of specific information, such as state regulations and standard protocol. This knowledge helps protect the potential driver and anyone he or she comes in contact with.
Many people who begin the truck driver career path have never been behind the wheel of a tractor trailer. The final part of training involves hands-on experience operating one of these machines. Instructors help put information into action and teach the students to park, maneuver, and so forth.
The next step after graduating driving school is to complete the CDL test. It varies based on the state, but all versions include an eye exam, written portion, and driving evaluation. Formal training is important here, especially since the rules can be hard to memorize for some.
Many of the best driving schools will make arrangements for the applicant to use one of their vehicles during the test. If the instructor is satisfied with the performance, a brand new commercial driver’s license will be printed and the new driver will be ready to take his or her place behind the wheel.
Truck driving schools are important to America because of their financial contributions, but more-so due to the eager new drivers they create. In this nation of freight and shipping, they’re key to our very foundation.