After years of working in a particular field or following a specific career path, you may feel burnt out and want a change of pace. Or maybe you have retired, but you want to get back into the workforce and have a bit of extra income.
If any of those scenarios sound like you, then this is the article for you! And maybe you have already looked into truck driving as a second career. But we are here to explain to you—plain and simple—why truck driving makes a great second career.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We think truck driving makes a fantastic first career, too. But we also recognize that truck driving has become one of the more popular second career options in the United States. So, explaining to people like you why you should join the team of 3.5 million truck drivers across the country is important to us.
Truck Drivers Nationwide
In case you missed it, the U.S. seems to be in the middle of a driver shortage—meaning there are more jobs available than we can fill. Trucking is essential to the way the U.S. economy runs and how merchandise gets around the country. Because of that, there are plenty of jobs to go around. Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of professional truck drivers will grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026.
“As the demand for goods increases,” said the Bureau, “more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.”
of Dot drivers have driven over 1 million miles with Dot Transportation.
Companies like Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI), who have never had a layoff in their 60 years of existence, are always looking for new or experienced drivers. Twenty-five percent of our drivers have driven over 1 million miles with us.
Ease of Entry
Getting into the trucking industry is relatively easy. The first step towards doing so is to go to driving school to get your Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Choosing the right driving school and figuring out how to pay for it can seem intimidating—but once you get in the door and get started, you’ll be glad you did.
A lot of transportation companies have driving schools they partner with and/or have a reimbursement program for their new employees to help them pay for driving school. When you are looking for an employer after you have received your CDL, it may be a good idea to ask if they have a reimbursement program. That may help you decide which company to go with if you have multiple offers.
Great Source of Income
Truck driving can be a very profitable career. On average, truck drivers at DTI make $88,800 annually. And truck driver pay has been on the rise over the past few years.
According to a press release from the American Trucking Association (ATA) in 2018, “The median salary for a truckload driver working a national, irregular route was over $53,000… A private fleet driver saw their pay rise to more than $86,000.”
Driving with DTI, our traditional no-touch drivers averaged $84K and our traditional delivery drivers averaged $92K in 2019. How do we pay our drivers so much? Well, we pay them for every part of the job using what we call “activity-based pay.” This means you’ll earn some sort of compensation for each activity you complete on the road. This pay structure looks different from what you may see at other transportation companies, but it sets us apart and shows our emphasis on appreciating every single task you do.
It has become increasingly common for transportation companies to increase their benefits offerings to truck drivers, especially since there is such a dire need for drivers.
Truck driving as a second career can give you excellent access to benefits and other perks. It can be reassuring to know that you are covered while still bringing in some income.
Driving for Dot Transportation gives you access to medical, dental, and vision benefits; 401(k) savings with a company match, profit sharing, short-term and long-term disability, and life insurance. You can learn more about DTI’s benefits offerings here.
It is common for many people to choose driving as a second career because they want to see the country. Truck driving allows you to see new places and go to areas you wouldn’t otherwise consider going.
Worried about being on the road alone? There are more and more stories about retired couples that decide to start team driving together so they can see the country, side by side.
While you do have to rely on your dispatcher and others that you may work with closely at your distribution center (DC) or a customer’s location, you are on your own and relying on yourself for most of your day. This independence is something that many people look for when seeking out a second career.
Age Doesn’t Matter
If you are hesitant to start a new career in trucking because of your age, don’t be! The trucking industry has a reputation for not being “ageist” or for discriminating against people because of their age or experience level.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a truck driver is 55. Other drivers tend to be very accepting of new drivers—no matter their age. Plus, most companies will take drivers no matter their age or experience level because they want more drivers to join their team. As long as you are committed to doing a great job truck driving, they will be equally committed to you.
Average Age of a Professional Truck Driver
Overall, truck driving can be a fantastic second career opportunity for many Americans. Whether you are retired and looking for some extra income or you are looking to make a career switch, the trucking industry could be the place for you.
“Driving for Dot is the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Ryan.