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3 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Truck Driver

If being a truck driver is your dream career, make sure you’re well-prepared for the different roles, duties, and responsibilities of various positions throughout your years in the trucking industry. Even though you’ll be sitting behind a wheel most of the time, trucking jobs can be very demanding and don’t give you the same perks and benefits as a 9 to 5 job. Still, trucking jobs are an attractive option for many people who genuinely enjoy life on the road and want to make the most of an alternative career path.

Here are three things you need to consider before you become a licensed truck driver:

#1: Training
Completing a training program from a reputable school or working through a company-sponsored program are the only ways to acquire the skills and experience you need to become a truck driver. If you don’t invest in your education, you won’t be able to take advantage of the different truck driving job opportunities and career options available in this industry. For the most part, CDL training schools offer short-term and fairly inexpensive training programs for aspiring truck drivers. If you decide to complete a company-sponsored training program, you would be expected to work for the company for a certain period of time after your training is complete. Make sure you’re aware of the stipulations and limitations of this agreement so you aren’t responsible for paying back tuition if you decide to leave.

#2: Income Potential
The future looks good for truck drivers and most enjoy a higher-than-average income within their first few years on the road. More experienced drivers can earn up to $65,000 per year, while drivers who are considered specialists may earn up to $85,000 or more. Entry-level salaries are typically around the $30,000 to $40,000 or more range, depending on the employer, the type of training the driver received, and the location of the main office. If you can log more miles than the typical driver or take on more shifts, you may be eligible for bonuses and a higher income potential.

#3: Lifestyle
Truck drivers don’t live the typical lifestyle so you will need to be prepared to live a good part of your life on the road. You won’t ever have a 9 to 5 schedule because your scheduled routes will be taking up an entire day or night. You will have days off now and then, but will rarely work Monday through Friday with every weekend off. For some people, this type of work schedule is actually better than a traditional office job. For others, it can take its toll on their physical health and take away time from their families. You need to be prepared for irregular sleep patterns, long hours on the road, lack of exercise, and days away from home when you enter the trucking industry. As long as you can deal with this part of the job, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits including the salary of a truck driver.

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