More than 50,000 drivers are needed to meet the demand from companies such as Amazon and Walmart that are shipping goods across the country, according to the American Trucking Associations.
This driver shortage has already lead to delayed deliveries and highter prices for goods in America. The ATA has predicted this problem will only get worst in the upcoming years.
According to The Washington Post, many trucking companies are so desperate for drivers that they are offering signing bonuses and pay raises. The median salary for a truck driver is already at $42,000/year, with some drivers reporting to make more than $100,000/year.
The Tennessee Valley offers a few training programs for this type of work. Calhoun Community College is one that even offers training on weekends.
“Well there are folks who work during the week, and they may be in jobs where they want some change. They want to do something else or have a second career maybe or maybe they want to retire, and find another career in their spare time,” said Calhoun President Joe Burke.
Training sessions at Calhoun allow no more than 15-20 people per session. The sessions are offered every month of the year and can be found here.
In order to become a driver, a commerical driver’s license must be obtained. To get a CDL you must have a valid learner’s permit and pass a written and physical exam. Other requirement by Calhoun can be found here.
Becoming a driver has lots of benefits outside of the pay.
“I think the excitement of just getting behind the wheel of a big truck is exciting. And seeing the countryside, driving down the interstate, and seeing the sights,” said Burke.
Disadvantages include lack of space, wasted road time, and paperwork.
According to Burke, several trucking companies encourage pairs to drive together such as husbands and wives.