Amid the job losses of the past decade and the overqualified, inexperienced worker saturated job market, the trucking industry still faces a driver shortage. The demand for truck drivers is actually increasing, despite the dragging recession. Trucking industry trends show that, in addition to a shortage in qualified drivers, the need for drivers is increasing, further exacerbating the deficit. It is unclear why so many valuable jobs are being left vacant in such hard times. Although over the road trucking is known for being isolating, there are many benefits, additionally, many companies are putting drivers into teams in order to combat the 2010 hours on the road restrictions. Although many employers are concerned about what the trucking industry statistics are revealing about our current situation, there is the potential for more people to become interested and pursue trucking careers, if they are informed of the host of benefits associated with transport sector employment.
Unsuccessful Job Searches
In recent history, a number of factors combined to create a perfect storm in the job market. Increased college admissions and graduation rates resulted in a surplus of degree carrying yet inexperienced job seekers. Around the same time, the housing bubble popped, losing fortunes and employment across the country. The newly flooded employment pool is also absorbing veterans, coming home in large numbers due to the recent completion of several military campaigns.
Trucker Shortages, Industry Growth
The demand for truck drivers is only going to keep growing according to many trucking industry statistics. There has been a projected growth of 1.1 million jobs just in the material moving occupations sector through 2014. With the economy slowly rising, and 80% of all transportation of goods moved by truck drivers, the current shortage is going to drive prices on consumer goods up unless transportation companies can find drivers to move the freight. There is some training required to become a driver, as well as earning a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and there are strict rules and laws regarding vehicle operation, but overall the barriers are surmountable and it is possible to secure gainful employment in the trucking industry. Outlook for employment is increasingly favorable, and with a little work and determination it could be the right move towards a rewarding career.
Trucking, a Viable Career Choice
Trucking has the opportunity to be a lucrative career. Trucking industry statistics show that on average a truck driver can make anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 a year. Annual income depends on numerous factors. Depending on where the driver lives, the base income will vary due to the location’s cost of living. Another factor that can affect the income levels of truck drivers, is the type of cargo the driver is hauling. There are different levels of a CDL that correlate with cargo specifications and income levels. If a driver pursues and receives a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) license, then they are in a position to earn significantly more money than a driver that does not have that training. This is because there is generally a higher level of responsibility associated with transporting hazardous materials. The amount of experience a driver possesses also correlates with income levels in the trucking industry. Trends are showing that many current drivers are reaching the age of retirement. With experienced truck drivers retiring, there will be even more jobs that need to be filled. This will also push drivers with less experience into higher demand, due to the driver shortage.
The cold hard facts reveal that the demand for qualified truck drivers is increasing. According to the Beauru of Labor and Statistics the trucking industry outlook is positive, and growth of up to 21% is expected through 2020.