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The Trucking Industry

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Summary: Job options for those contemplating a career in the trucking industry.

An overview of occupations in the trucking industry and what they entail

Have you ever wanted to drive across the country? Or perhaps you like the idea of driving a large, local delivery truck? Maybe you would like to be the one who sends the trucks out on the road?

Career Overview

The trucking industry is one of the few industries in the field of transportation in which a person can be his or her own boss. For instance, you can own your own long-haul truck or your own moving company.

The salary range was from $20,000 to $30,000 a year. Health and life insurance and retirement benefits were included.

Long-Haul Truck Drivers

Long-haul truck drivers transport freight from one place to another. They often travel long distances in short periods of time. In order to operate a rig, an eighteen-wheel truck, a driver must have a special state-issued chauffeur's license. You can learn the requirements for such a license by calling your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

The United States Department of Transportation sets the minimum requirements for long-haul truck drivers. They must be at least twenty-one years old; be able to speak, read, and write English; pass a physical exam; have at least 20/40 vision with or without glasses; have good hearing; have a good driving record; and have at least one year's experience in truck driving.

Most long-haul truckers begin working at local trucking jobs. Although truckers have a great deal of freedom and independence, the hours are long. Most truck drivers work about fifty hours a week. The amount of money they earn depends on the number of miles they drive and the amount of time they spend away from home. A job as a trucker can also be hard to get. Some truckers are independent. They work with many companies and are paid for each job separately. They must pay for their own expenses and health benefits.

Salaries for all kinds of truckers range from $20,000 to $40,000 a year. Most truckers who work for only one company belong to unions and have paid health, holiday, sick day, retirement, and vacation benefits.

Other Careers in the Trucking Industry

Local Truck Drivers

Local truck drivers operate various sizes of trucks to deliver goods and materials within local areas. These jobs require on-the-job training. Drivers learn maintenance and operation procedures, routes, and how to do the necessary paperwork. A high school diploma is preferred. The salary range is from $17,000 to $30,000 a year. Local and long distance movers move households, businesses, and materials both locally and across the country. They are responsible for loading, transporting, and unloading cargo.


To be a mover, a high school diploma is preferred, and good physical conditioning is essential. Movers are away from home for long periods of time. The salary range is from $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

Shippers, Packers, Dock Workers

Shippers, packers, and dock workers pack, load, and unload freight. This job requires good common sense, judgment, and planning abilities. A high school diploma is preferred. Training is mostly on-the-job. The salary range is from $20,000 to $25,000 a year.

Truck Mechanics

Truck mechanics assure that the trucks are running well. Mechanics who work for companies are responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of all company-owned vehicles. Mechanics usually work in a garage, but they also may repair trucks on the road.

A truck mechanic must have excellent mechanical skills. Some technical school training in truck mechanics is preferred, but on-the-job training is also available. The salary range is from $20,000 to $42,000 a year.

Truck Dispatchers

The dispatcher is the main link with the drivers, who may be spread across the region or country. Truck dispatchers coordinate the movement of trucks entering and departing the truck terminal. They develop and coordinate schedules. They also maintain communication with drivers by phone or radio to ensure safe arrival of the freight.

Good organization, planning, and communication skills are necessary to be a dispatcher. Some college level training is useful. The salary range is from $20,000 to $35,000 a year.

Trucking Managers

Managers in the trucking industry are responsible for the administration and supervision of all activities and employees. Management jobs usually require a four-year college degree. Good business, organization, planning, and communication skills are necessary to be successful in these jobs. The salary range is from $50,000 to $75,000 a year.

Questions to Ask Yourself

1) What skills and traits do you need to enter the field of trucking?
2) Where can you learn to operate an eighteen-wheel truck?
 3) How can you learn about truck mechanics?

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