At a young age, we are constantly asked about what we want to be when we grow up. Although often we don’t take this tied-and-true kid conversation starter seriously, later in life, it becomes a central part of our existence; that is – choosing a profession that can satisfy our goals, both personal and financial.
But it is never easy to find a job that fulfills all our needs. Maybe this is why many of us can name at least one dream job that isn’t much related to what we currently do for a living.
Some may be dreaming of becoming a truck driver since kindergarten age. Others steer towards this profession later in life, after years of working in a job that doesn’t satisfy them, therefore deciding to change careers and become a truck driver instead.
While everyone has the right to dream of becoming a truck driver, not everyone is fit to become one.
How to become a truck driver?
1- Research and interview yourself
While becoming a truck driver might sound like an easy task at first, without gathering information about the profession and its requirements, it will be quite difficult for you make the decision. Reading articles and maybe even books on the topic, asking other truck drivers if they like what they do for a living and why they chose this profession in the first place may be a good start.
As I have already mentioned, becoming a truck driver is not for everyone. Ask yourself: is working long hours, being on the road for 12+ hours, away from your family and friends for days or even week and months something you are prepared to handle?
Are you the type of person who
- can work without supervision;
- enjoys driving long distances, getting to know people;
- doesn’t mind being alone for long stretches of time?
If all your answers are ‘yes,’ a job as a truck driver may indeed be the right choice for you. This great post here may also help you find out if trucking is for you.
2- Do you qualify for the job?
Being at least 21 years old and eligible to work in the country is the number one requirement. A spotless driving record and clean criminal history are also required by most companies that hire truck drivers. Furthermore, if you are determined to get a job as a truck driver be ready to go through a medical examination and background check.
If you’ve done your research and you are sure you meet all the criteria, it is time for you to move on to the next step.
3- Get the CDL
Getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a must. Some companies require the applicants to go through specific training before hiring them. If you’re lucky enough, you will get to do the entire training program for free. Depending on how intensive the training program is, getting your CDL may take anywhere from one month to a full year.
4- Land a job as a truck driver
If the company where you applied for the job provides training, you will most probably have a spot right after you complete your training. In case you finish your training at a school that is not part of a company, you can easily get employment recommendations from that same school at the end of course.
Just like with any other job, researching, asking around, and looking for open positions for truck drivers online will also help you.
While you will still get hired for the job if you are married and have kids, the majority of truck drivers don’t recommend to pursue this kind of job because it implies being away from your family for extended periods of time. A lot, of course, depends on your personality and how you and your loved ones can cope with it. The golden mean might be finding a company that does not require you to be away for weeks or even months.