An Interesting Career That Pays Well

Looking for an interesting career that pays well, has great benefits, offers plenty of travel and has little chance of being outsourced to another country?

Then truck driving may be right for you. While presidential candidates this year have been lamenting the lack of jobs and the decline of Rust Belt industries, the trucking industry has been facing a national shortage of skilled drivers that’s only growing worse.

Since it’s currently impossible to get an Amazon package delivered to Cleveland from Seattle using drivers based in Beijing or Mexico City, the outsourcing threat that had shuttered many great businesses in the U.S. homeland doesn’t threaten trucking.

What’s driving the shortage? Simply put, Baby Boomer drivers in their late 50s are not being replaced fast enough by Millennials. The situation is only getting worse because of the online retail revolution that requires daily deliveries of books, clothing and other goods. UPS and Fedex are booming, but the need is so great that Amazon is actually developing their own trucking fleets.

At the beginning of 2016, there was a shortage of nearly 50,000 truck drivers in the United States, according to a recent report by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). That’s up from a shortage of 30,000 drivers just two years ago, and 20,000 drivers a decade ago.

Trucker compensation has been going up 8 percent to 12 percent a year in recent years, according to the ATA. That’s a lot higher than wages for the rest of Americans, which have barely budged recently. The median annual wage for a trucker that works for a private fleet, such as a truck driver employed by Walmart, is $73,000, according to ATA.

This is highly skilled labor. Faced with a myriad of new federal regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions, fleets need skilled, temperate men and women who can master the best practices of handling rigs. They also have to be adept with the rapidly evolving technology of fuel efficiency.

So, what are you waiting for?