Are you a road warrior?
Would you like to travel for work and see our country from the driver’s seat?
Do you need a career with flexibility yet a competitive salary?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, truck driving might be the career for you. Read on to learn about four reasons to consider becoming a professional truck driver this year.
1. Truck Drivers Are in Demand.
If you’re selecting a new career, industry demand is likely a key factor in your decision. Truck driving is a growing industry with good job prospects, as shown below.
- There is a current shortage of truck drivers. Even though there are currently 9 million  heavy and tractor-trailer drivers, the American Trucking Associations estimates 900,000  more drivers are needed nationwide to meet rising demands. This shortage of drivers is resulting in shipping delays and increased shipping prices.
- The truck driving market is expected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates 6%  industry growth from 2016 to 2026 for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers due to increasing demand for goods as households and businesses increase spending. This market growth is on pace with all occupations across the U.S.
- Truck driving offers good job prospects. The BLS predicts job prospects to be “very good”  for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers with proper truck driver training and clean driving records.
2. An Education for Truck Driving Is Short.
Have you already decided to become a professional truck driver? You’re likely itching to begin your CDL training right away so you can get on the road and start making money as soon as possible.
When looking for trucking education, make sure you compare:
- Class schedules: If you’re currently working, you’ll need flexible class schedules that allow you to keep your job while you complete your schooling. Delta Technical College (Delta Tech) offers both day and night classes for the CDL Training Course and the Professional Truck Driving Program.
- Program length: The shorter the program, the faster you can be prepared to take your CDL license exams. The Delta Tech CDL Training Course lasts just 20 days. That’s significantly less time than four-year degrees and many other trade programs. During the 20 days in the Delta Tech CDL Training Course, you’ll spend 168 hours in a combination of classroom, range, road, and remedial training. If you do not have previous truck driving experience and are looking for more in-depth truck driving instruction, the Professional Truck Driving Program provides it in just 20 weeks.
- Classroom and hands-on learning: You can’t learn how to drive a commercial vehicle without actually driving a commercial vehicle. The Delta Tech CDL Training Course combines classroom education with on-the-road practice, including 16 hours of range work plus 16 hours of on-the-road training. The Professional Truck Driving Program offers even more hands-on driving hours.
3. You Can Work on Your Own Schedule.
If you’re seeking some level of control over your schedule, truck driving may provide it.
- Truck driving is not a typical 9-to-5 job. Professional truck drivers have varying routes and hours. Plus, they’re on the road all day. Truck driving is certainly not a boring desk job.
- Truck driving may provide variety. The trucking industry may include local, regional, and long-haul routes. Some truck drivers may get international routes into Mexico or Canada.
- Truck driving offers independence. If you want freedom from feeling a boss over your shoulder all day, truck driving may have appeal. In this field, you’ll work with dispatchers to get your road and route assignments, but you’ll be primarily on your own the rest of the time. Typically, as long as you meet your load fulfillment time and employer requirements, you’ll likely be left alone to drive on your own schedule.
4. Truck Driving Can Offer Competitive Salaries and Opportunities for More Compensation.
The high demand for truck drivers resulted in competitive salaries  for the industry. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers was $42,480  as of May 2017. That is higher than the median wage across all occupations. Plus, some routes, like those with high traffic or long drive times, may pay professional truck drivers more per mile.
Truck drivers are typically paid a per mile price, and the per mile price does not change based on the number of hours worked. That means part-time truck drivers have the opportunity to be compensated equally with full-time truck drivers.
Are You Ready to Launch Your Truck Driving Career?
The first step in pursuing your new career is truck driver training. Delta Tech offers two truck driver training options at our campuses in Horn Lake and Ridgeland, Mississippi.
- CDL Training Course: This streamlined, 20-day course provides the training needed to prepare you to take the Mississippi CDL licensing exams.
- Professional Truck Driving Program: For more in-depth truck driving education, the 20-week program teaches Mississippi CDL standards, driver safety, air brakes, combination vehicles, log books, trip planning, and public and employee relations.
Contact the Delta Tech Admissions Team to learn more about your truck driver training options.
Sources https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-1  https://www.npr.org/2018/01/09/576752327/trucking-industry-struggles-with-growing-driver-shortage  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-6  https://transportationtodaynews.com/news/8864-truck-drivers-salaries-increasing-industry-demand/  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-5