In-demand Careers

Trucking

Trucking

SOC Code: 53-3032

 

Served Graduated Average JP Wages

 

Summary of Career: Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeding 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.

 

Projected Growth: In the Upper Rio Grande region, employment of truck drivers is projected to grow 20% from 2012 to 2022. The economy depends on truck drivers to transport freight and keep supply chains moving. As the demand for goods increases, more truck drivers will be needed. Trucks transport most of the freight in the United States, so, as households and businesses increase their spending, the trucking industry will grow. Demand for truck drivers is expected to remain strong in the oil and gas industries as more drivers are needed to transport materials to and from extraction sites. The Projected Annual Job Openings shown below refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

 

Upper Rio Grande Employment

2012

Upper Rio Grande

Employment

2022

Upper Rio Grande

2012-2022

Anticipated Growth

El Paso, TX

2014 Median Annual

Wage

5,750

6,900

20%

$30,800

Texas

Employment

2012

Texas

Employment

2022

Texas

2012-2022

Anticipated Growth

Texas

2014 Median Annual

Wage

161,730

198,760

23%

$37,400

U.S.

Employment

2014

U.S.

Employment

2024

U.S.

2014-2024

Anticipated Growth

U.S.

2015 Median Annual

Wage

1,797,700

1,896,400

5%

$40,260

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Note: The data for the Local and State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for local and state data is 2012-2022, while the projections period for national data is 2014-2024.

 

Education: Most companies require their truck drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Many companies require drivers to attend professional truck driving schools, where they take training courses to learn how to maneuver large vehicles on highways or through crowded streets. During these classes, drivers also learn the federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. Students attend either a private truck driving school or a program at a community college that lasts between 3 and 6 months. Upon finishing their classes, drivers receive a certificate of completion

 

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations: All long-haul truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Qualifications for obtaining a CDL vary by state but generally include passing both a knowledge test and a driving test. States have the right to refuse to issue a CDL to anyone who has had a CDL suspended by another state.

Drivers can get endorsements to their CDL that show their ability to drive a specialized type of vehicle. Truck drivers transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT) must have a hazardous material endorsement (H). Getting this endorsement requires passing an additional knowledge test and a background check.