Truck driving jobs free you from the confines of small offices and even smaller cubicles. Only a few job fields in the U.S. today offer steady pay with the bonus of simultaneously traveling the country in largely unsupervised conditions. What type of salary do truck drivers make in 2021?
Different types of driving jobs exist, which offer various benefits and employer requirements. Online resources also exist to help find the truck driving jobs best suited for your needs. Read ahead for an informative guide on finding truck driving jobs available for you today.
What It Means to Drive Truck in Modern Times
The truck driving industry was changed by the COVID-19 pandemic in many of the same ways as other industries starting early 2020. Freight & transportation comprise a large portion of U.S. employers hiring truck drivers and many positions are opening up again with some sense of urgency. Many drivers furloughed or fired in 2020 have not returned to their positions, leaving a significant demand for new truck drivers to take their places. Salaries higher than those offered in years prior to COVID-19 are available in some cases, making truck driving jobs even more attractive to people looking for new or familiar work.
Truck Driving 2021 - Job Description
Some truck drivers are assigned cross-country routes, while other handle regional or local deliveries. The primary job description for driving truck in 2021 is to transport goods & products safely & effectively from origin to destination locations within specified timeframes. Some truck driving jobs also entail the loading and/or unloading of hauled products. Last mile delivery routes, such as Fed Ex home delivery services or tractor-trailer/freight hauler trucks transporting retail products to Walmart stores around the country most commonly involve unloading work. This is because last mile routes entail delivering products to respective final destinations.
Truck drivers are either employees for or contractors with the organizations signing their paychecks. Some jobs involve traveling through states & cross-country. Other jobs, such as furniture delivery routes involve traveling within smaller regions and/or local areas only. Additional job descriptions pursuant to what truck driving jobs entail include:
Performing regular maintenance & pre-route inspections.
Securing all cargo safely pre-trip.
Compliance w/applicable state &federal regulations.
Obeying applicable traffic laws in each state entered.
Maintaining a clean driving record as a condition of employment.
Communicating with dispatchers & co-coordinating routes.
Accurately logging mileage & work hours.
Driving Job Benefits, Types & Salary Expectations
Prospective truck drivers in 2021 have the benefit of multiple positions opening up around the country as employers attempt to fill the void left by furloughed/fired drivers who did not return to the vocation. The current demand for truck drivers also creates the benefit of potentially higher salaries. Driving truck provides the opportunity to travel and see areas of the country one might not otherwise have the chance to visit, all-the-while getting paid to do it.
Truck driving jobs involving loading/unloading cargo also help people stay in shape and engage in paid exercise & strength conditioning. GPS systems track driver routes & locations. Deadlines must also be met, but otherwise the job is largely unsupervised. Other truck driving job benefits include improved driving skills, schedule flexibility and access to some of the most advanced driving-related technology available today.
Types of Truck Driver Jobs
Multiple diverse types of truck driver jobs are available in 2021. Driving a tractor-trailer rig is perhaps the most commonly known type of truck driving job but many other unique types of trucks with specialized operation skills also exist. A tractor-trailer consists of a truck & tractor, which are connected to a semi-trailer or full trailer. Driving tractor-trailers requires special skills and licensing, but neither necessarily translate to the operation of multiple other types/classes of trucks.
Some truck drivers operate moving trucks and also help customers load personal items in/out of their homes. Others operate flatbed or tanker trucks, which each require additional specialized training. Tanker trucks sometimes carry dangerous and potentially flammable liquids/chemicals. Freight haulers also sometimes carry dangerous materials, whereas dry van trucks haul dry & non-perishable items. The latter trucks are generally best suited for drivers with less experience. OTR, LTL freight, refrigerated freight, dump and local/regional truck driver jobs are also available in 2021.
Salary expectations for truck drivers through 2029 are positive. Through 2026 job availability is projected to grow by a cumulative three percent every year. Projected job growth rate through 2029 is thirty-five percent. Expect a starting salary between $35,000 and $60,000/yr based on your experience, although some companies hiring drivers today are offering higher pay to attract an increased amount of top candidates. Nevada and Mississippi are the two best states in which to drive truck in 2021, with Kentucky and Utah not far behind.
Tips & Resources on How to Find a Truck Driving Job
Obtaining a job as a truck driver requires a valid stated driver’s license and a Valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card. Prepare to pass a drug & alcohol screening and provide a copy of your current Motor Vehicles Report (MVR) along with a valid medical certificate. Driving certain types of trucks requires specific training & education as well. Attending a school such as the New Sound Trucking School (NSTS), Professional Truck Driving Institute (PTDI) and New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) bolsters your chances of finding and obtaining the best driver jobs available today.
Online job board websites such as ZipRecruiter and Indeed.com are popular and reliable resources for finding truck driving jobs around the nation. Other resources, including websites designed specifically for truck driver job searches are also available. Additional top resources for finding truck driver jobs in 2021 include: