Truck Driver Job Description

WHAT DO TRUCK DRIVERS DO?

Breaker, breaker, you're ready for a great career. Truck drivers move materials from point A to Point B, usually with a stop in the middle for a 64-ounce soda and some beef jerky. Truck drivers are behind the wheel of tractor-trailers- big, 16-wheel vehicles that can carry items between cities or across many states.

Truck drivers have to know the highways and roads, observe traffic laws, and be able to stay focused on the road whether it's a one hour trip or a cross-country haul. Truck drivers work independently or for a trucking company, and work with dispatchers to get assignments and report incidents. They plan their own routes, inspect the truck and cargo for any possible issues along the way, and keep logs of their trip.

HOW MUCH DO TRUCK DRIVERS MAKE?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median income for tractor-trailer drivers in 2010 was $18.16/hour or $37,770 a year.

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?

The minimum requirement for any driver job is a valid driver's license in the state in which they work. Additionally, truck drivers must get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for their state. For bigger vehicles like these, there are specialty schools in which you can take truck driving classes.

JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Hand-Eye Coordination: You will be operating a complex machine while trying to find addresses and observing other drivers on the road. You will need great hand-eye coordination to make sure you are accident free.
  • Hearing: Good hearing isn't just a good idea, it's the law. Federal regulations state that truck drivers must be able to hear a forced whisper in an ear at five feet, without the use of a hearing aid.
  • Stamina: Long days on the road and lifting and moving materials can all be part of your day as a driver.
  • Good Health: Federal laws will not allow people with health conditions like epilepsy or high blood pressure to drive a big rig.
  • Good Vision: You will have to watch everything on the road for potential collisions, accidents and mishaps.
  • Map-Reading Skills: Don't get lost. Learn to read a map.

THE FUTURE OF TRUCK DRIVERS

Jobs for truck drivers will outpace the average growth in jobs between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS. Growing economy and more need for goods will keep demand for these jobs moving quickly.