There aren’t many people who haven’t considered what it might be like to become a truck driver. Every day you get to be out on the open road, exploring the country and watching the world go by. And every day, you can thank your lucky stars that you’re not stuck in an office somewhere with managers breathing down your neck.
In the US, driving trucks is big business. There is close to three million truck driving jobs in the US right now, making it the most common job in the entire country. And that should come as no surprise. We’re a nation of consumers, and we need a lot of people to transport all that stuff around.
Many people who are truck drivers today were once in jobs that they hated. A lot of people made their living working in kitchens and warehouses for low pay before joining the profession. But this is where truck driving really stands out from a lot of other “hands on” jobs. The pay is actually good. Mind you; it would have to be, given all the responsibility. But what is amazing is that the average truck driver in the US can earn between $13 and $24 per hour. That adds up to a yearly pay of between $30,000 and $64,000 per yer. That isn’t bad when you consider that your average fast food job barely touches $20,000.
Plus, many truck driving jobs come with additional benefits. You may find that your employer provides health coverage. And a full-time truck driving job may come with other perks too, like cheap meals out or free gym membership.
Of course, it’s not all good news. Truck accident lawyers are seeing a lot of business right now, precisely because the profession is so dangerous. Each year in the US, there are roughly 300,000 accidents involving trucks. And in those 300,000 accidents, about 4,000 drivers lose their lives every year.
Part of the reason why truck driving is so well paid is because of the ever-present risk of death. People have to be paid a premium just to be wooed into the profession. And only a few people want to take the risk.
Then there is the fact that you can be away from your family for long periods of time. Many assignments will involve travelling across state lines and stopping off overnight along the way.
And finally, there is the risk that truck driving jobs may disappear in the near future anyway. Companies are already trialling trucks that don’t require human drivers in Nevada. And so it may not be long until truck driving become obsolete, just like copy boys. Right now the technology is proven. And, if history has taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to a war between technology and jobs, technology wins.
Those looking to become a truck driver, therefore, should see it as a way to improve their income over the next five to ten years. Beyond that, they may not have a career, so should start training now for something new.
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