This is a contributor’s blogpost …
It’s no fun at all being stuck in a dead end job, doing the same things day after day without feeling as if you’ll ever be able to earn more money. But it turns out that there are actually plenty of opportunities out there, even for people who don’t have a college degree. One of those opportunities is truck driving.
Currently, more than 4 million people rely on driving a vehicle to make money. That makes it the largest single activity in the US economy, eclipsing both healthcare and finance. What’s more, it’s also a surprisingly lucrative industry. The best paying trucking jobs can net you more than $100,000 a year. Compare that to the average job in the US which pays a little over $45,000.
It’s certainly a lucrative industry. But how do you become successful in it? Here’s what to do.
Get Your CDL
To drive a large truck on the road, you need a commercial driver’s licence, otherwise called a CDL. Once you’ve got a license, you’re suddenly able to get an entry level trucking job that pays around $25,000 a year. But that’s just the start. With further training and experience, pay rises rapidly. After just a few years, you could be on double that, if not more. Senior CDL truck drivers can earn more than $100,000.
Always Be Professional
The things which are the most valuable are also the rarest. This isn’t just something which applies to diamonds and gold. It also applies to the skills and worker characteristics of those in the trucking industry. One of the problems employers in the sector have is finding people who behave professionally at all times. Professional behaviour on the job is rare, and so truck operating companies are often prepared to pay drivers who have it a premium. Being committed to life on the road and showing daily diligence in your work can help you to rise up the pay scale much more rapidly than your colleagues.
Photo courtesy of David Guo via Flickr
Make Friends With The Truck Company
Truck companies value loyalty. They want people who are going to stick around for the long haul (pun intended). As a result, budding drivers should ingratiate themselves with the companies they work for, proving themselves with exemplary performance and developing a track record. Because consistency in the truck business can sometimes be rare, this is yet another thing that drivers can do to boost their negotiating position.
Getting friendly with the company you work for also helps them to see you as somebody who will stick around. This kind of loyalty is often rewarded with pay, bonuses, additional benefits, greater responsibility and sometimes non-driving management roles.
Learn To Work Under Pressure
Want to prepare yourself for a career as a truck driver? Then learn to work under pressure. Truck drivers have to meet tight schedules thanks to the demands of modern just-in-time logistics. Because of this, drivers need to be flexible and able to respond quickly to changing conditions to ensure that their deliveries are made in the appropriate time window.