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Pros and Cons of a Trucking Career

Having a trucking career can be a wonderful experience for the right person. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if a trucking career is for you.

Pro - Good Salary

A trucking career comes with a good salary. New truck drivers can expect to earn approximately $35,000 a year. For experienced drivers, the median salary is $45,260 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics which is well above the median national average.

Pro - Job Security and Stability

The trucking industry is the backbone of the economic supply chain. For this reason, there will always be a need for truck drivers. It is projected that the demand for truck drivers will continue to grow 2% every year until the year 2029. Because truck drivers require specialized training and licenses, these jobs can only be given to qualified people.

 

While there have been some recent developments in self-driving technology, it may be several decades before we start to see a significant number of autonomous trucks on the road. In the early stages, this new technology will still require a human operator to monitor and control the truck if needed.

Pro - Training Time and Cos

The training cost to get into a trucking career is relatively small compared to a traditional college education or trade school. The average cost for training a truck driver is $3,000 to $5,000 depending on where you live. For comparison, a four-year college education or trade school costs about $30,000. Some trucking companies will also cover the cost of a new driver’s training.

 

In addition to the cost savings, training for a trucking career takes less time. Truck drivers can expect to complete their training in 6-8 weeks. Trade school education takes 1-2 years to complete and a college education will take 2-4 years to complete.

Pro - Get Paid to Travel

One of the exciting things about a trucking career is all the new places that you will get to see. Truck drivers frequently find themselves in new places all over the country. The best part is that you will get paid while doing it.

 

Pro - Flexibility and Options

Every person is different. Fortunately, there are numerous options when it comes to truck driving. If you are looking to explore new places, you may be more interested in long haul trucking. If you have a family and want to be home every night, you may opt for regional or short distance deliveries. Some drivers like to work alone; others prefer to work in teams.

 

Having a trucking career also comes with schedule flexibility. Some drivers prefer to work regular hours. Others prefer to work longer hours and have more days off. Independent drivers can even choose not to take any jobs for a month.

Con - Trucking Can Be Lonely

Not everyone can take the solitude of a trucking career. It’s not easy being alone and staring at endless stretches of road for hours every day. If you have a family and drive long haul routes, you may go a week or more without seeing your loved ones. While there is an option to drive as a part of a team and some companies allow you to take along your spouse, many drivers hit the road alone.

Con - Boring and Repetitive

In addition to being alone, another complaint is monotony. Many days will look exactly the same as you sit staring out the window of your rig. While it may be exciting to see new places at first, driving down the same long stretch of highway in Wyoming will get quite boring after a few times.

Con - Unhealthy Lifestyle

It is extremely difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle from the road. Not only can a trucking career be a very sedentary activity, but it can also be hard to find healthy food along your route. Let’s face it. Truck stops, roadside diners, and convenience stores aren’t known for their healthy cuisine.

Con - Stress

How much stress can there be taking one load of materials or goods from one place to another? A lot. Truckers have to constantly stress about unpredictable events. They are constantly racing the clock to meet important deadlines, tracking changing weather conditions, monitoring traffic patterns, repairing mechanical issues, and making up for schedule delays.

Con - Long Hours

Many drivers get paid by the mile or by the load. Any delays or misfortune means you aren’t getting paid. This can result in working long hours to make up time due to delays or other mishaps. Deadlines can also put pressure on the truck driver and result in putting in a few extra hours on the road in order to finish the trek.