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Truck driving can provide lucrative career path

August 20, 2018

Job prospects for truck drivers are projected to be very good. Truck drivers play a critical role in the economy, as they transport goods throughout the country.

The business of hauling raw materials and finished goods is vital for the smooth flow of any industrialized society.

“There are many opportunities for people interested in joining the trucking industry. Candidates for this industry are those searching for a well-paid and exciting new career. This career is open for anyone, as the industry has changed,” said Linda L. Head, senior associate vice chancellor at Lone Star College. “We have seen veterans, retirees, single parents, part-time workers, and college and high school graduates — all ethnicities, genders, ages and socio-economic backgrounds.”

Lone Star College is offering training through Texas Workforce Commission funds for those who have lost their job due to Hurricane Harvey. The funds may be available to those who are eligible and approved.

“San Jacinto College Truck Driving School has had a steady enrollment of students in 2018, averaging about 6-11 students per class and we are getting more calls every day,” said Monica Cahill, truck driver instructor/commercial truck driving, San Jacinto College. “We have seen an increase in driver recruiters from nationwide companies that are willing to hire our students upon successful completion of our program.”

Cahill said that this is due to the increasing competition and increasingly scarce drivers. This situation has brought on an increase in driver pay, which makes this a good time for new drivers to join the industry.

The transportation industry has been reacting to this increasingly tight market for drivers by upping pay, improving benefits and offering other benefits in order to attract drivers, and retain safe and current experienced drivers.

“I would describe the enrollment in our truck driving program as more than just steady. It has definitely increased lately,” said Martin Garsee, program director for transportation at Houston Community College.

When asked what type of person would succeed in this career, Garsee said the person should be someone who makes good decisions, is independent, and who is flexible. The flexibility would help because the hours can be unpredictable. For example, a driver has to wait when the truck is being loaded or unloaded. There can be other unexpected delays as well.

“Truck driver candidates must be self-disciplined, willing to work long hours and be away from home for long periods of time, at least in their first year in the industry,” Cahill said. “A good candidate must have a strong work ethic. Having a good work history, even if it is not in the trucking industry, will make a great candidate, since it is costly to hire and train a driver.”

People in this career usually have a high school diploma and attend a professional truck driving school or community college program. They must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

For information about San Jacinto College’s program, visit sanjac.edu.

Contact Lorie Qualls for information about Lone Star College’s program at Lorie.W.Qualls@LoneStar.edu or 281-765-7751. More training opportunities can be found at www.lonestar.edu.

For HCC information, go to www.hccs.edu.

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