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U.S. Shortage of Truck Drivers Creates Job Opportunities

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Semi TruckModern commerce relies heavily on the trucking industry to transport products across the nation. It’s hard to imagine life without this convenient service. In fact, the trucking industry moves over 70 percent of the United States’ freight, according to the American Trucking Association.

A current shortage of truck drivers, however, poses a concern for this sector of the market. Per a 2017 report from the ATA, there’s a 51,000 truck driver shortage. This total should increase to 174,000 by 2026, if industry experts’ predictions are correct.

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Photo: Trainco

Reasons for the shortage

According to WUNC contributor Naomi Prioleau, the demand for truck drivers has always outweighed the number of truck drivers in the industry. There are a few primary reasons for the shortage. For one thing, truck driving involves long hours spent on the road and infrequent time at home. Medical disqualifications are another factor. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity are just some of the health conditions that render potential truck drivers unfit for the role. Background checks are another hurdle that interested workers must overcome to land the job.

Incentives for new truck drivers

Ever since 2013, truck driving salaries have increased by $7K, according to the ATA. Companies and organizations have also been investing more money in potential drivers. For instance, Werner Enterprises has allied with Future Truckers of America to help enlist recent graduates from truck driving schools. First-year drivers who complete Werner Enterprises’ truck driving program can make between $50K and $70K.

If you’re in search of a transportation-related career with a rewarding income, you might want to explore this job role. If you don’t mind hours spent away from home, it promises to be a thriving industry to be part of.

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News Sources: WUNC, Road Scholar Transport