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Truck Driver Qualification: The Requirements to Drive a Truck

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Truck Driver Qualification: The Requirements to Drive a Truck

On the search for a decent-paying career which allows you to travel? If so, you might consider becoming a truck driver. Truck drivers bring in steady and reliable income, with great benefits to boot.

Wondering what it takes to be a truck driver? You’re in the right place. Below, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about truck driver qualification.

Understanding Truck Driver Qualification

Driving a truck professionally is about much more than obtaining a driver’s license and jumping behind the wheel. Becoming a professional driver takes time, dedication, and knowledge.

Still interested in becoming a trucker driver? We’re going to get into the specifics below.

Education Requirements

There are technically no educational requirements for becoming a truck driver. However, most companies will hesitate to hire a person who doesn’t at least have a high school diploma or GED.

In addition to this, you are required to hold a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License. In order to obtain this license, you will need to accumulate knowledge relating to the operation of a commercial truck. In the vast majority of cases, driver’s accumulate this knowledge through truck driving school.

Truck driving schools are located all over the United States. Regardless of where you live, you should be able to find one near you. Google or another such search engine is your best bet.

Now, while a CDL alone is appropriate for most driving jobs, it — in and of itself — is not appropriate for all driving jobs. If you’re hauling toxic substances, for instance, you will also need to obtain your HAZMAT endorsement.

Note, however, that in some cases, the companies that you’re interviewing with will provide you with the necessary training.

Age Requirements

Hoping to start driving a truck the moment you turn 16? Not so fast! The age limits for driving commercial trucks are far different than those for driving personal vehicles.

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The Department of Transportation requires drivers to be at least 18 years of age before they can start driving commercially. Note, however, that drivers under the age of 21 are not allowed to leave their state while on the job. This keeps a good number of jobs out of play until you’ve reached 21.

Wondering about hauling hazardous materials? The Department of Transportation requires drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

And just because the Department of Transportation sets these age limits doesn’t necessarily mean that the companies hiring will use the same ones. Some companies require their drivers to be 23 or even 25 years old, for instance.

Physical Requirements

While it includes a great deal of sitting, driving a commercial truck is actually a fairly physical job. You not only use your eyes and your ears but your core as well.

After all, it’s not easy to sit in one place for 12 hours straight without getting a little tired. You need to be sure that you’re up for the task.

Each prospective driver will have to prove his or her physical well-being to the Department of Transportation. If the DOT deems you unfit for the task, you will not be allowed to drive commercially.

Companies often have physical tests as well. These are usually performed to determine whether or not you can load and unload items into and out of your truck.

Background Check

As you might expect, in order to become a commercial truck driver, you’re going to have to pass a background check. These checks are performed by the companies which are hiring and are carried out to determine whether prospective drivers are responsible enough to handle their various duties.

If you have DUIs or have been involved in major traffic accidents, you could very well be denied employment by a specific company.

You should also know that you’ll have to pass a drug test. The Department of Transportation requires every driver to pass such a test before being rewarded with a new driving position.

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Truck Driver Salary

Truck driver salaries vary based on a number of factors, including the nature of the work, the materials that are being hauled, and the geographical area in which the job is based. So, while one truck driver might only make $35,000 a year, another truck driver might make $70,000 a year.

Generally, you should expect to make between $40,000 and $65,000. You should also expect to receive a full suite of benefits, including health insurance, 401K, and a variety of other benefits.

Truck Driver Job Outlook

Now, you might be wondering if a career as a truck driver is still viable. Will the world still need truck drivers 20 years down the line? While giant leaps have been made in automation, it’s expected that human drivers will still be needed for the foreseeable future.

In fact, from 2016 to 2026, truck driver jobs are expected to grow by 6%. This is average growth compared to the rest of the job market.

Different Types of Truck Driver Jobs

You’ve decided that you want to become a driver. However, that’s only one part of the puzzle. Now, you have to decide what type of driver you’ll become.

There are truck drivers of all kinds, including but not limited to freight haulers, tanker haulers, flatbed haulers, and more. Some of these jobs contain greater responsibility, and therefore pay more money. However, it’s also important to remember that some are more prone to truck accidents than are others.

The key is to do your research and to weigh the pros against the cons. In doing so, you’ll find a job that you’re comfortable with, and which serves your preferences.

Learn About Other Exciting Careers!

Now that you know a little something about truck driver qualification, you might be interested in learning about other exciting careers. If so, EasyWork.net has you covered.

Our site is chock-full of information on everything from careers to business planning to finance and more. Find your new career by browsing our other articles now!

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