What do you think is the most common occupation in the United States? If you answered anything but “truck driver” you’re wrong, according to research by National Public Radio. This marks a substantive change over the past 35 years, when the most common careers were farmer, secretary and machine operator.
In fact, a Fast Company report on the most in-demand jobs for 2016 listed “heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers” as the Top Biggest Growing Occupations that don’t require a college degree.
If you caught NPR’s recent report on the state of truck driving in America you know trucking companies say they are critically short of drivers. A shortage that ranges from 48,000 drivers to approximately 100,000 drivers, depending on the study.
While the shortage hasn’t reached the point of disrupting shipping (yet), trucking analysts and executives alike say it is dampening growth. And trucking companies are reacting. Werner Enterprises, one of the nation’s biggest trucking lines, recently began boosting driver pay by $5,000 to $10,000 for its drivers. Companies also are developing schedules that help reduce on-the-job issues and give drivers more time at home.
How the Trucking Industry Is Countering The Driver Shortage
With lots of older drivers currently retiring, shortages may continue to increase. As a result of the expected turnover, one of the fastest growing sectors of the trucking industry today is driver training.
Schools offering Commercial Driving Programs, such as select Fortis campuses in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, as well as its sister school, All-State Career, with locations in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Essington, PA, and Lester, PA, are being asked to crank out new graduates as quickly as they can. According to NPR, some trucking companies are even hiring new drivers before they finish their training.
Truck driving--especially long-haul driving--isn’t for everyone. The hours are long; so is time away from home, living in the cab of your truck. But opportunities in the field definitely are growing. If truck driving sounds like a career choice for you, learn more about what’s involved at a Fortis campus near you that offers Advanced Tractor Trailer Driving or Class A CDL Driving programs.