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Why You Should Pursue a Career in Commercial Truck Driving
Why should you pursue a career in commercial truck driving? That’s a very good question. I hope that by the end of this article you will have enough valuable information to answer it yourself. So why should one pursue a career in commercial truck driving? Let me start by giving you some fascinating statistics about the trucking industry.
Did you know that of all modes of shipping in the commercial transportation industry, the trucking sector dominates the market with 83.7% of revenue? The railway industry comes far behind with only 5.6% of total turnover. The air sector is third with 3.2%, and the maritime freight sector is barely in contention with only 1.4% of all revenue carried by ships. As you can see, the trucking industry isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the trucking industry alone collects $650 billion in annual revenue every year. That’s 5% of the national GDP! The trucking industry also pays $35 billion in federal, state and highway usage taxes annually and will grow 21% over the next ten years. Few career fields can promise you such job security without a four-year college degree like the trucking industry can.
Speaking of job security, in May 2013 there were an estimated 1.5 million heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers earning an average median salary of $38,700 per year, which works out to about 18, $61 per hour. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that truckers at the bottom of the pay scale still earned $25,330 per year and truckers at the top of the pay scale earned $59,620 per year. How many other jobs can boast such a wide range of salaries without a four or two year college degree? Not a lot. So where are more truckers employed than anywhere else? Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois. The state of Texas hired 157,260 truckers in 2013, while Illinois employed about 66,050 truckers. But don’t think you’ll have to move to one of these five states to find a decent trucking job. The entire east coast is packed with states that average between 40,210 and 157,260 working truckers. If you’re looking for the states with the highest concentration of trucking jobs in the United States, look no further. North Dakota has 15,310 trucking jobs with an average median salary of $47,580, while Arkansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Wyoming follow close behind. Truckers in Alaska have the highest median salary at $53,440, while truckers in North Dakota, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and Wyoming earn an average of $47,000 per year. If you were to look at a map of the United States showing the regions where the most truck drivers are employed, you would see that truck drivers are heavily employed from Texas all the way to Pennsylvania and Florida, and all the way to Michigan. . California and the Pacific Northwest also employ many truck drivers. Which regions have the fewest active truck drivers? Midwestern States. This is why truckers in these states earn more per year. Here’s another thing to consider. Intracontinental trucking jobs in the United States cannot be outsourced.
Here are some fascinating facts about truckers. The total distance traveled by truckers per year is 93.5 million kilometers on the highway? To put that into perspective, that’s 256,197,260 miles per day, 2,965 miles per second, and 3.7 million times around the earth or 195,713 round trips to the moon! That’s a lot of trucking! Of course, with all those miles, it would be nice to get some good gas mileage. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. On average, long-haul trucks can haul 300 gallons of fuel, but can only go eight miles per gallon. That’s about 6.8 gallons of fuel per hour at 55 miles per hour. That means it would take 44 hours and 347 gallons of fuel for a Class 8 tractor-trailer to drive from Los Angeles to New York. Of course, with a 300 gallon fuel tank, you would only have to stop once to refuel. With all those miles to go, one of the perks of driving long haul trucks is being able to see the beauty and splendor of the American countryside and get paid to do it!
Now that you know how important the trucking industry is to the US economy, how much an average truck driver earns per year, and how many total miles truck drivers drive on average per year, I want to end this article. with one last stat. The value of shipped goods that the commercial trucking industry moves annually is $139,463,000,000. That’s $382,090,411 per day and $4,422 per second! This is how valuable the trucking industry and the truckers themselves are to the citizens of the United States. Think about it, if you will. Almost every facet of our economy depends on the trucking industry, from food to fuel, from medicine to machinery, from cars to clothing and from construction to manufacturing, they are all delivered and depend on the trucking industry commercial. In other words, if it weren’t for the truckers, you wouldn’t have a bed to sleep in, soap and shampoo to clean yourself, clothes to dress in, food for breakfast, brush to teeth and toothpaste to brush your teeth, a car to get to work, gas to power that car, a computer to work, food for lunch, a car to get home, a refrigerator, a stove and microwave to store and cook dinner with, plates and utensils and a table to eat, chairs to sit on, and a TV to watch the game while you sit in your couch and drink your ice cold beer that was transported by truckers. Sure, I forgot a lot of things, but you get the picture. Oh, I almost forgot, you wouldn’t have a house to live in either, unless it was made of something other than bricks, concrete, wood, metal, or stone. Remember, if you bought it, a truck brought it.
So back to the original question. Why should you pursue a career in commercial truck driving? Well, now that you know how important the commercial trucking industry is to the US economy, how good the job market is, and how much truckers can earn without a college degree, maybe the real question you should be asking yourself is “why shouldn’t I pursue a career in commercial truck driving?”. This is a question that only you can answer. If you decide to pursue a career in commercial truck driving, the first step is to get the proper training. Not only is the commercial truck driving job market brimming with opportunity, but the steps you need to take to enter the job market are easier than you might think. To be certified to drive a commercial motor vehicle, all you need is a commercial driver’s license, adequate physical health, and the ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle. That’s it. Of course, getting your CDL is a whole different story. It takes specialized knowledge and training to pass the required tests, and this training is usually obtained at a private or company-sponsored truck driving school. Most truck driving schools will give you the CDL training you need to pass the required CDL tests and get your commercial driver’s license within months.
I hope this article has helped answer some basic questions you might have about pursuing a career in commercial truck driving.
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