Exploring the United States is an opportunity for those trained and experienced in truck driving. Who would not enjoy places like the Grand Canyon, the Great Smokey Mountains, Yellow Stone Park and the Gulf of Mexico? A trucking job in the US can bring you to all these interesting places. You get to develop friendships among fellow truckers and do a job that is very important to many industries that produce products that are delivered to consumers through trucking. In fact, what you use at home and at work are products brought in by trucks.
USA Trucking Industry
Approximately, there are about 3 million truck drivers in the United States, and this figure continues to rise. The trucking industry has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country. The industry is hugely relevant to the US economy, since trucks transport consumable products, from dry goods to fresh food. Trucks transport the American way of living, making the US economy dependent on trade that the trucking industry does on a daily basis.
US Commercial Truck Driving Regulations
About 3.2 million jobs are created by the trucking industry, transporting goods throughout the United States. The federal state has established governing regulations to direct the industry. Specifically, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation regulates commercial truck drivers in the U.S. The regulations cover specific requirements in certifying trained truck drivers like drug testing, physical examination, CDL, vehicle inspection, driving rules, hours of operation and the transportation of persons other than goods.
Becoming a Truck Driver
Truck driving is not easy. As you drive your way around to deliver goods, you are also away from home for weeks at a time. Although you may have the liberty to choose work that spares your evenings with the family and weekends that you prefer to spend at home, longer hours on the road definitely pays much more. In the United Kingdom, prior to the driving assignment, one must comply with listed government requirements, such as applying for the correct provisional entitlements on a driver’s license, along with an accomplished medical report. You must also pass a theory and hazards examination, followed by a practical driving test. There is a need to secure a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC), and this can finally puts you on the road as a licensed truck driver.
How to Become a US Truck Driver
In the United States, if you want to be a truck driver, then you must be trained in a licensed and accredited US learning centers for truck driving. Some US trucking companies have training centers where aspiring US truck drivers are trained and certified. There are also independent US truck driving schools offering courses that train aspirants to drive tow trucks, tractor-trailers or buses. With several driving schools in different states, you may benefit from direct company paid training or tuition reimbursement programs. Competent truck drivers have a Commercial Driving License (CDL). This gives you the license to operate any vehicle that weighs over 26000 pounds or 11793 kilograms.
Working as a Truck Driver in the US
Immigration has set regulations and policies stipulating that alien truck drivers may qualify as B-1 visitors for business pick-ups or for delivering cargo for international commerce. For those who would like to work as truck drivers in the US, there is a specific visa category. One needs an H-2B visa that will allow temporary or seasonal work. This visa category requires a job offer from an employer who must provide documents verifying that the job is for a limited period (12 months). A temporary certification from the US Department of Labor indicating a shortage of workers in the profession is also required. A written verification that the applicant has experience in the profession is also needed. To qualify for truck driving jobs in the US, you must have a heavy vehicle driving license and, as mentioned earlier, a CDL from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMB). Your employer should also inform you of trucking schools and viable training options that are available.
US Trucking Jobs – Moving Ahead with the Search
Once all the requirements are accomplished, you can already apply through truck driving job sources. If you are over 18 years old (or 21, if the job requires crossing state lines) with relevant experience and a clean driving record, you are ready for the search. You may refer to the following types or titles of truck driving jobs: delivery driver, courier driver, long haul truck driver, short haul truck driver, local truck driver, dump truck driver, tow truck driver, or driver for tractor-trailer.
How to Get Trucking Jobs in the US
There are trucking jobs you can choose from. You can look at local delivery routes or interstate truck driving. Initially, you need to secure a CDL. You can get a Class A, B or C license depending on the truck you will be driving. On a regional scale in the US, you can get jobs through freight companies. You may also apply in warehouses and work your way up to becoming a driver. There are also driving jobs in companies that transport goods like retail stores, utility companies and automobile dealers. If you want to start your own business, then you may consider buying a truck and lease services to companies with transportation needs.
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make?
Truck drivers are classified as heavy truck and tractor trailer drivers, or light truck and delivery service drivers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that there would be more opportunities for heavy truck drivers than light vehicle drivers through 2018. In general, heavy truck drivers make more money than light truck drivers because of the difference in job features. Plus, they are paid by experience. The average pay of starting heavy truck drivers as of December 2010 was US $11.90 to US $16.80 per hour as reported by PayScale. If you have one to four years of experience, you earn about US $13.30 to US $17.80 per hour. On the other hand, light delivery truck drivers receive a median hourly pay of US $8.80 to US $14.40. Upon reaching five to nine years of experience, they are expected to earn US $11.50 to US $ 17. 70 per hour. Keep in mind the things you learned above to find the US trucking job that you want. Whether you operate as a company truck driver, or a company owner, take a few small steps and move your way ahead to a new opportunity. Search and locate positions all over the US with updated listings in the industry and build your trucking career through big or small carriers. With a projected 21% growth by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trucking industry grows faster than many other job industries.