Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Careers

truck-driver-500Driving trucks requires self-motivation. Even when working for a company, most of your time is spent doing your job without anyone beside you telling you what to do.

This means that you also have a lot of responsibility, including the safety of your vehicle, the product being transported, and the safety of the drivers around you.

Being a driver means being an expert at maneuvering the most difficult to drive road legal vehicles in the world. The road, and every place that can be accessed by it, becomes your office.

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Career Snapshot

Truck drivers can be either intrastate or interstate. Intrastate drivers remain within a single state, while interstate drivers transport loads across the country. Being in bed at home on a regular basis usually isn’t in the cards for interstate drivers. The government regulates work hours for all drivers: no longer than 14 hours a day, and no more than either 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days.

Further details on a career as a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the median yearly salary for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High school diploma or equivalent while 19% have less than a High school diploma.

Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Education

Most drivers (56%) have a high school diploma or equivalent education, but more important than schooling is receiving a CDL (commercial driver’s license). There are different classes of a CDL that determine what kind of loads and what kind of vehicles you can drive. To obtain a CDL, you can either pay for classes from a private school, or sign on with a company and receive the CDL through them in exchange for signing a contract of employment with that company.

Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Job Duties

Driving is just one part of being a truck driver. You will need to balance daily logs, make sure the truck is in good condition (this includes daily checks), keep paperwork of deliveries and pick-ups, and make sure the load is secure and properly taken care of.

Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Salaries

Truck driving has a high salary for a non-degree job. The median salary in 2015 as reported by BLS.gov was $40,260 with the lowest 10% averaging a $26,240 salary, and the highest 10% averaging $62,010. Over the road drivers (OTR, meaning interstate driving) typically make more, and getting certifications for driving different hazardous materials can also increase your pay grade.

Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Job Outlook

The demand for drivers is expected to rise by 5% over the next ten years. Goods will always be produced and need to be transported, so there is very little worry over job security.

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Skills & Traits

Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers:Typical Work Activities:
• Operation and Control
• Operation Monitoring
• Time Management
• Critical Thinking
• Monitoring
• Control Precision
• Far Vision
• Multilimb Coordination
• Near Vision
• Reaction Time
• Flatbed trailers
• Lifts
• Mobile phones
• Snowplow attachments
• Trailer hitches
• Operating Vehicles
• Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
• Getting Information
• Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
• Controlling Machines and Processes

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