Truck Drivers Are in Demand as Shortfall Swells

Woman Truck Drivers

More American goods move by truck than any other mode of transportation, but a growing shortage of commercial truck drivers has the potential to create a nationwide shipping crisis in the not so distant future. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the trucking industry is currently short of 30,000 drivers; but that shortfall is expected to swell to 200,000 truckers over the next 10 years.

Women Closing the Driver Gap

To close the gap, the trucking industry is working to beef up driver training and entice more women to join the ranks of its predominately male work force.

Why become a truck driver? "Because I've been looking for a job where I can get good benefits, actually good pay. And why not? You know? It's fun. I like it. Women can do it too," enthusiastic trainee Judy Sanchez told WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio.

Trucking tips: At the Dootson School of Trucking in Arcadia, California where Judy is a student, admissions advisor Erica Arvizu has seen a noticeable influx of women students over the past three years.

"A lot of them are single women trying to support their families, or just trying to help their partner because of the economy and everything to survive," Erica told WUNC.

Good Pay Attracts Drivers

With a median annual salary of $38,000, truck driving pays better than most people think. (Trucking tips: Long-haul truckers can make even more.) Achieving that earning potential requires a relatively small investment. Depending on the training program, it takes only a few weeks to months to obtain a commercial driver's license.

Truck School Scholarships

Aware of the growing need for qualified drivers, offers two $1,000 truck school scholarships each year. May scholarship winner Erik Hopperstad used his scholarship to attend the Professional Truck Driver Training Program at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. Watch this space for the announcement of our November scholarship winner coming soon!

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