The driving profession is widely respected in the USA. Trucking alone is worth $700bn and employs 3.5 million people, according to NPR; and the Labor Bureau has reported that over 300,000 work in the ride-hailing industry, forming an essential part of the country’s everyday workings.
What’s more, once you’re in the driving seat, you’re not pigeonholed into driving for life. Professional drivers can thrive in their industry, just like any other, and become representatives of professional bodies. You might not have thought driving is a career choice for you, but there are plenty of reasons it could be.
The qualifications and requirements
A big advantage to the commercial driving industry is that almost no roles require a formal education. Whether that’s a trucker, who’ll need a specific line on their driving license; or a high-class, executive or security driver, who will need vetting or checks, most roles do not need qualifications. There is, however, a level of buy-in to the industry. First off, you will need a commercial drivers license from the DoT. This is mandatory for any professional driver. Secondly, you will need to protect your professional vehicle – some employers will provide insurance, but it doesn’t hurt to have your own cover regardless.
The rates of pay
As a study by Yale University Professor Amy Wrzesniewski established, there’s more to job satisfaction than just money; which means you can come to love any job you do. However, pay is a major factor. Professional driving jobs can offer great rates of pay. According to car magazine Autobytel, the highest paid driving professions can net up to $100,000 where truckers and warzone drivers are concerned. Even a relatively straightforward Greyhound Bus operator can earn $48,000 in a year for what is ranked by Glassdoor as a positive job role.
Unique vocations and earnings
Another aspect of professional driving that could make it your dream career is the sheer variety of roles you can perform in. The long-road jobs like trucking and coach operating aside, you could find yourself as a stunt driver; a private chauffeur entrusted with a level of secrecy, or even a highway patrolman using modern technology to scope out other drivers (though these jobs do require a high school GED). While not endless, there is certainly a wide range of options out there to attract to anyone.
Commercial and professional driving is a career that doesn’t spring to the mind of many when searching for their new career. However, the pay is good, opportunities for progression are out there, and it’s a relatively easy buy-in. What’s more, the profession could land you in a unique, challenging and exciting role.