Amid the job losses of the past decade and the overqualified, inexperienced worker saturated job market, the trucking industry still faces a driver shortage. The demand for truck drivers is actually increasing, despite the dragging recession. Trucking industry trends show that, in addition to a shortage in qualified drivers, the need for drivers is increasing, further exacerbating the deficit. It is unclear why so many valuable jobs are being left vacant in such hard times. Although over the road trucking is known for being isolating, there are many benefits, additionally, many companies are putting drivers into teams in order to combat the 2010 hours on the road restrictions. Although many employers are concerned about what the trucking industry statistics are revealing about our current situation, there is the potential for more people to become interested and pursue trucking careers, if they are informed of the host of benefits associated with transport sector employment.
Unsuccessful Job Searches
In recent history, a number of factors combined to create a perfect storm in the job market. Increased college admissions and graduation rates resulted in a surplus of degree carrying yet inexperienced job seekers. Around the same time, the housing bubble popped, losing fortunes and employment across the country. The newly flooded employment pool is also absorbing veterans, coming home in large numbers due to the recent completion of several military campaigns.
Trucker Shortages, Industry Growth
The demand for truck drivers is only going to keep growing according to many trucking industry statistics. There has been a projected growth of 1.1 million jobs just in the material moving occupations sector through 2014. With the economy slowly rising, and 80% of all transportation of goods moved by truck drivers, the current shortage is going to drive prices on consumer goods up unless transportation companies can find drivers to move the freight. There is some training required to become a driver, as well as earning a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and there are strict rules and laws regarding vehicle operation, but overall the barriers are surmountable and it is possible to secure gainful employment in the trucking industry. Outlook for employment is increasingly favorable, and with a little work and determination it could be the right move towards a rewarding career.
Trucking, a Viable Career Choice
Trucking has the opportunity to be a lucrative career. Trucking industry statistics show that on average a truck driver can make anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 a year. Annual income depends on numerous factors. Depending on where the driver lives, the base income will vary due to the location’s cost of living. Another factor that can affect the income levels of truck drivers, is the type of cargo the driver is hauling. There are different levels of a CDL that correlate with cargo specifications and income levels. If a driver pursues and receives a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) license, then they are in a position to earn significantly more money than a driver that does not have that training. This is because there is generally a higher level of responsibility associated with transporting hazardous materials. The amount of experience a driver possesses also correlates with income levels in the trucking industry. Trends are showing that many current drivers are reaching the age of retirement. With experienced truck drivers retiring, there will be even more jobs that need to be filled. This will also push drivers with less experience into higher demand, due to the driver shortage.
The cold hard facts reveal that the demand for qualified truck drivers is increasing. According to the Beauru of Labor and Statistics the trucking industry outlook is positive, and growth of up to 21% is expected through 2020.
- •Bureau of Labor and Statistics
- •Trucking Industry Statistics
- •Truck Transportation Subsector
- •Transportation: High Growth Industry Profile
- •Transportation: Business and Data Statistics
- •Overdrive: Owner Operators and Multiple Truck Ownership
- •East Central Community College
- •East Mississippi Community College
- •Sage Truck Driving Schools
- •New York State Motor Truck Association
- •Mississippi Trucking Association
- •Wyoming Trucking Association
- •Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association
- •West Virginia Trucking Association
- •Alabama Trucking Association
- •Bevill State Community College
- •Indiana Motor Truck Association
- •Illinois Trucking Association
- •Motor Transport Association of Connecticut
- •John Wood Community College: Trucking Driver Training
- •American Trucking Associations
- •Journal of Commerce: Driver Shortage
- •50 Commercial Truck Questions to Ask in an Interview
- •Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces
- •VOW to Hire Heros Act
- •CollegeGrad: Truck Driving Career Information
- •Recession Racked Workers Hit the Road
- •Trucker Driver Shortage
2 comments. Add a comment.
Seriously, Mr. Edward Green do you believe any of this nonsense?
Is it really unclear why so many valuable jobs are being left vacant in such hard times? The industry keep drivers handcuffed to the steering wheel with low pay and disrespect. The industry sells blue sky but operates in a separate reality.
There are a few drivers making money out there but most assume far too much risk and do little more than trade dollars. Deregulation has taken it’s toll on drivers while the industry continues to be creative in driving down income and filling the gaps. Drivers are destine for poverty at best. Don’t believe any of this!
Lawscout comment above; does have some valid points. I been around this business for 50+ years, and my recent driving experience verifies a few important facts, why so many veteran drivers left the industry, and why most of these new drivers quit so quickly. 1) Money. There’s no money to make as an O/O OTD, or as a OTR company driver. A OTR O/O must get at least $2.00 per mile with an average weekly mileage of 3,000 miles to make it, and the least amount of cents per mile for a company OTR driver is; $.60 and again, averaging 3,000 miles a week.
2) Now if those money concerns were met, the OTR driver, whether O/O or company, has to deal with all the increasing liability and responsibility the trucking industry has compiled over the past few years that a driver has to deal with, and that is over and above all the dangers of being on the road with stupid four wheelers, and most certainly, the idiot new kids behind the wheel of 18-wheelers.
The trucking industry use to be a great industry to make a lot of money, and it was fun, really. However, today; it’s a huge stressful, low paying, unhealthy and most dangerous position to be in.
There’s much more I could say about the industry and what’s needed to bring it back, however, the direction this USA has taken as a whole, my comments would just fall on deaf ears. Nevertheless, I said enough for anyone who may be thinking about getting into the business, to really investigate the position their applying for; as we may not all know… recruiters will blow smoke up anyone’s ass to get them to sign on.