There are more than 3.5 million people working as truck drivers in the United States. Trucks are responsible for moving 72.5% of freight in America and the industry is continuing to grow. Transportation companies across the nation are eager to hire new drivers. If you are considering making a job change or trying to decide on a career path, these are the reasons why you should become a truck driver.
Avoid Student Debt
Student debt has been a hot topic in the media recently, with controversy over student loan forgiveness. According to research conducted by the Education Data Initiative, the average student loan debt is $36,693 per borrower, and it takes an average of 20 years to pay off student loans. Choosing to pursue a skilled trade such as truck driving instead of attending a four-year college could help you avoid massive debts. The average price of Certified Driver’s License (CDL) training school is between $2,000 and $8,000 depending on the region you live in and the type of license you want to acquire. You might be thinking, “that amount would still put me in debt”. The good news is, there are opportunities to attend truck driving school for free. With the current demand for new truck drivers, there are companies that are willing to cover the cost or reimburse you for truck driving school tuition if you come to drive for them after graduating. Additionally, there are scholarships available at most truck driving schools.
American society is extremely dependent on the logistics and transportation industries. Even during the pandemic when so many people were forced to leave their jobs and sit at home, truck drivers were still on the road making money. Truck drivers are essential to the economy and the demand for drivers is only growing. Choosing a profession with such a high demand will give you a peace of mind because there will always be job opportunities available to you.
See the Country
If you love to travel and the traditional 2 weeks per year isn’t enough for you, why not travel for a living? As a truck driver, the scenery is always changing and you can get paid to travel the country. Some companies even allow you to bring some company along on your journey. Imagine traveling with you pet, spouse, or friend by your side and seeing America together.
If you’ve experienced micro-management in the workplace, the independence of truck driving might be enough to make you consider a career change. Sure, operators, clients, and logistics specialists determine where you’re going, inform you of the best route, and tell you which loads need to go where and at what time—but there’s nobody breathing down your neck and watching your every move when you’re working. Driving a tractor trailer on the open road creates a feeling of independence. As long as you’re on track and arrive on time, the journey is your own. Operators are there to guide and support you, not to boss you around.
Income & Growth Potential
Truck driving is a lucrative and stable career with potential for growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a tractor trailer truck driver is $48,310 per year. To put it in perspective, that breaks down to about $23/hour. That is significantly more than the average blue-collar salary of $33,762. Years of experience and specialization can increase your salary and benefits. Hauling hazardous materials, oversized loads, and driving flatbed trucks are the highest paying truck driving jobs. Finding the right company and sticking with the job pays off, higher salaries and additional vacation days are awarded to long-term drivers.
Salary is not the only thing you should look at when considering a job offer. If you accept a higher paying job that does not offer benefits, you could end up with less money. Health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation, and 401k are among the benefits that you should look for when searching for a job in truck driving, and any job field for that matter.
The average annual health insurance premium for an individual in the US is $7,739 per year. If a company offers health insurance, they pay a portion of the premium. Companies with over 50 employees on staff are required by law to pay at least 60% of medical insurance premiums. The same applies to vision and dental insurance, you will pay more for a private plan compared to a plan provided by an employer.
Paid vacation days are not required by law so they are considered a benefit. Two weeks per year is the standard in the trucking industry, but make sure that it’s paid vacation time to avoid the potential consequences of a missed paycheck. Everyone deserves to take a break from work and relax, most truck driving jobs will pay you to do so.
Life insurance is another valuable benefit offered by many trucking companies. It is especially important to obtain life insurance coverage if you support your spouse or family. With life insurance coverage, your family will be financially taken care of if something happens to you.
A 401K is a retirement savings plan that some employers offer. A small percentage of your paycheck is withdrawn and invested; some companies even match the amount that you put into your 401K. You will also receive a tax break on any money that contribute to the account. If you save for retirement on your own, it will take you significantly longer to reach your goal amount and it will be taxed.
Sense of Community
The truck driving industry has a strong sense of community. Drivers have a mutual respect because they know how impactful their job is and how challenging it can be. Truck drivers socialize with one another and communicate when there are obstacles ahead such as wrecks, traffic jams, and bad weather.
Drive with Rowe Transfer
Founded in 1883, Rowe Transfer is one of the oldest companies in East Tennessee. They are a leading name in rigging, crating, warehousing, and transportation. They value their employees, offer competitive pay, dental, vision, health insurance, 401K and other benefits. They are currently hiring over the road truck drivers that can expect to drive 2,500+ miles per week and still be home most weekends!