Truck Driver Careers and Jobs

If you are interested in training to become a truck driver, take some time to look over the standard truck driver job description and learn more about different types of careers. Anyone interested in driving a semi-truck or other type of industry vehicle needs to complete training at a specialized school and work towards getting their CDL license. Licensing requirements vary slightly from state to state, and you may find that some parts of the country have more job opportunities than others. You can attend a training school to get both the classroom and hands-on training you need to pass your CDL exam and prepare for a rewarding trucking career.

Training for Truck Driving Jobs

Training programs for various truck driving jobs can last anywhere from four weeks to a few months, depending on the school and the type of program you are enrolled in. Some are paid programs and give you a chance to get valuable hands-on experience in the field. Others are non-paying training centers but you still get plenty of classroom training and driving experience to prepare for a successful career in the field.

Any driver who will be driving a vehicle that can transport a load of more than 26,000 pounds or a heavier load like a tractor-trailer, must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). If you will be working for a company that transports hazardous materials, you will have to have your fingerprints taken and have a criminal background check.

You typically don't need any experience to complete CDL training. Successful completion of these programs will help you get hired for entry-level truck driving jobs.

Typical Truck Driver Job Description

If you're still considering your career options and want to learn more about life as a trucker, take some time to look at a typical truck driver job description. It will include a breakdown of the following:

  • Key driving duties and responsibilities - including information on whether the driver will be expected to travel across the country, or stay within their local zone the majority of the time
  • Types of materials the driver will be loading and unloading
  • Years of experience needed
  • Proof of a CDL and other licensing information and requirements
  • Years of training school completed
  • Wage range (in some cases)
  • Truck driver certifications required
  • Union membership

Types of Truck Driving Careers

Truck driving careers aren't limited to just driving a semi-truck or a van. Many drivers can get specialized training in areas such as refrigerated freight, freight hauling, and container hauling. Some of the different types of careers demand experienced drivers for:

  • Dry vans
  • Freight haulers
  • Reefers
  • Low boy trailers
  • Overweight load trucks
  • Bull haulers
  • Tankers
  • Auto haulers
  • Container haulers
  • Van lines
  • Grain haulers
  • Heavy equipment haulers

Some careers involve driving regionally over several states at a time, which means the driver is away from home for most of the week on the road. You could also choose a career as an over the road (OTR) driver where you travel cross country from one point to the other. Team drivers travel in teams to provide trucking services for companies around the country.