While the job market has fluctuated in recent years, truck drivers maintain stable employment. During the pandemic, they benefited from improved workflows and revenue streams, as reported by Fleet Owner. However, the industry needs new and younger drivers who can adapt to modern technology in an ever-changing world. Pew Research Center also observed that millennials are now the largest adult demographic, but often job-hop and switch careers due to market instability. If you’re looking for a reliable and lucrative career, learn more about the benefits of commercial driving.
What Are the Benefits of Going to a Trade School?
The increasing time and cost of earning a degree have made higher learning prohibitive and unappealing. In turn, The Atlantic noted that vocational schools experienced a resurgence over the last 20 years. They provide job-specific training and essential skills relevant to each student’s interests. The hands-on learning ensures they’ll be ready to work in their field when they graduate.
Vocational schools also offer brevity. A traditional bachelor’s degree often takes between four and six years to complete. Postgraduate degrees, like a master’s doctorate require an additional two to eight years of schooling, depending on the field of study, as detailed by Northcentral University.
The commitment of time and the incurred debt can be unreasonable, making trade schools more practical. According to Learn to Become, completing a vocational program takes between 10 weeks and 2 years. Students with trade degrees enter the workforce and earn benefits sooner.
Researchers at Midwest Technical Institute found that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree is $127,000. Comparatively, a trade school can cost $33,000 at most, according to Best Colleges. However, the cost depends on the vocational program. Students in a trucking school pay less than $10,000 for training, according to All Truck Jobs. Many students apply for grants, loans, financial aid, or scholarships to further offset any costs.
Traditional colleges have hard start dates with little to no room for rolling admissions. Some courses also may not be offered every semester, creating scheduling issues and delays. Vocational schools have start dates throughout the year, along with rolling admissions. Courses remain the same and are always available. With a focused curriculum, there’s little downtime between beginning the program and finding employment.
There are no lecture halls with dozens of classmates and a distant professor in vocational schools. Instead, they focus on individualized learning. Instructors create a personalized experience to ensure you develop your skills. Smaller classrooms also benefit from socialization. You’ll be with like-minded people, where you can develop friendships or networking opportunities.
Current or former professionals often run trade schools in your field of study. Most of them employ counselors dedicated to finding recent graduates their first job within the industry. If the school doesn’t have a counselor, the instructors are there to provide the same service.
What Are the Advantages of Becoming a Truck Driver?
There are many fields to choose from, but trucking has benefits that many career paths can’t match, including:
- Comfort: Hydraulics and power steering eliminate the need for drivers to use significant force. Modern trucks are also easier to maintain and offer spacious cabs for resting.
- Freedom: Truck drivers have no cubicles. From the comfort and safety of your state-of-the-art rig, you can take in the sights of America in the way they were meant to be experienced.
- Growth: Truckers can apply for CDL endorsements, certifying them to transport special materials at increased wages. Becoming a dispatcher, a fleet manager, or an owner-operator can also benefit your career over time.
- Payment: On average, new truck drivers make $66,183 a year, according to Indeed. This amount doesn’t account for increased wages that come with experience or endorsements.
- Insurance: Even entry-level drivers receive comprehensive insurance coverage, including medical, dental, and vision.
- Benefits: Truckers receive paid sick days and vacation time. Many companies also offer generous 401(k) plans to help you prepare for retirement.
- Security: Every industry needs supplies that truckers deliver. Due to COVID-19, the industry needs more drivers, with companies offering higher wages to attract a new generation.
- Reimbursement: Most trucking companies offer partial or full tuition reimbursement.
What Are the Different Types of Truck Drivers?
Local transportation is within 200 miles of the driver’s location and may need as much street as highway driving. Truckers will make multiple deliveries a day but are always home at night. Most drivers with families prefer local routes, especially if they have young kids.
2. Dedicated Route
Dedicated routes are easier to map and predict. Drivers will pick up and drop off loads at regular locations to a specific customer. With dedicated routes, truckers benefit from increased efficiency, bolstering their reputation.
Regional truck drivers work within a 1,000-mile radius of the carrier’s office. Companies assign truckers to a specific division, like the Southwest or the Northeast, on a specific schedule. Drivers are home and on the road for an established duration. The predictability makes scheduling events outside of work easier, especially if the driver has a family. Many companies also schedule regional deliveries so drivers can be home most nights and weekends.
4. Over the Road (OTR)
OTR truckers travel across the entire country and some places in Canada. Most often, they transport heavy equipment and construction materials, depending on the company. Young and single drivers usually prefer OTR positions, which allow them to take in the most sights.
Is the Trucking Industry Welcoming to Women?
NPR recently noted that the majority of truck drivers are 55 and older. The majority are nearing retirement age, and some can’t adapt as well to technological advancements. In turn, trucking companies are looking for millennial workers. Within that demographic, the industry is making a sustained effort to attract more female drivers. There’s a longstanding stereotype that trucking is only for men. While it’s still a male-dominated industry, women have always been a part of it. In recent years, that part has grown significantly from data collected by Statista.
Women are welcome in the industry, with The New York Times reporting that female drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident. In addition, instructors and carriers have mentioned to Indeed that women truckers are easier to train and are better at maintaining their rigs. They also tend to be more skilled with paperwork and client relations. In turn, trucking companies and non-profits, such as Women in Trucking (WIT), are changing the industry.
Women are also taking more leadership positions in trucking, offering career growth. In an article from Transport Topics, modern carriers see a diverse workforce’s business and social benefits and are hiring accordingly.
However, this isn’t a one-sided relationship. Female drivers benefit from the industry just as much as the industry benefits from them. Carriers pay all drivers by the hour, mile, or load. They base bonuses on fuel efficiency, on-time arrivals, or safety. Trucking is a statistics-driven meritocracy with no room for pay gaps or discrimination. While it’s one of the oldest professions in the country, the trucking industry also embraces equality and change.
Commercial transport is a growth industry, offering significant financial growth and career advancement. For over 40 years, Hamrick School has been the preferred truck driving program for people in Medina, OH, and its surrounding areas. Their instructors are experienced and respected industry leaders and truck drivers. In addition, they foster a welcoming and educational environment for all students. You’ll receive both classroom and behind-the-wheel training to help you ace your CDL exam and establish your reputation. This veteran-friendly trade school also has a robust job placement program so that you can begin a new, lucrative chapter in your life much sooner. For more information on their financial aid options, visit their website. To learn more about their flexible day and night class schedules, call them at (330) 239-2229.
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