One career that has some allure and nostalgic charm in the minds of many is being a truck driver. While the idea of traveling across the country for a living may be attractive to some, becoming a trucker is in no way easy or as simple as one might think. Beyond just having a high school diploma, there are a number of qualifications and other factors for you to consider. However, if you’re set on becoming a truck driver, below are some of the things you need in order to become a truck driver.
High School Diploma or GED
While you don’t really need a college degree to become a trucker driver, you still need some level of education. In this day and age to acquire almost any job, you should have graduated from high school or obtained the level of a high school education. If not, you should try to obtain your GED. GED stands for General Education Development. Obtaining your GED by passing an exam is considered to be comparable to graduating from high school by most employers.
There are also other general requirements you need to have met before becoming a truck driver. While you can usually obtain your driver’s license after turning 16 years old, you will have to wait until you’re 21 to become a truck driver. Trucking companies won’t hire anyone younger than that. You must also be able to present a driving record clean of serious violations and even tickets. You must also be a legal citizen of the United States and have a social security number.
Commercial Learner’s Permit
Becoming a truck driver does take some training. Driving a big rig is not like driving a normal Ford truck. If you get behind the wheel of a semi-truck without knowing what to do, you could very well end up in a serious accident. Before you advance further towards becoming a trucker, you must first obtain a commercial learner’s permit, or CLP for short. Requirements can vary by state, and the CLP test is given by your local DMV.
Commercial Driving License
Lastly, you need to obtain your CDL license to become a truck driver. CDL stands for commercial driving license. While your CLP will help you prepare to get your CDL, you should also complete a training program like a Class A CDL Driver Training program. This will require enrolling in a program at an accredited school. Expect to pay several thousand dollars in tuition. A possible employer, however, may reimburse your tuition for you. The demand for new drivers is that strong. Such a program should take several weeks to complete. However, Class A programs are more in-depth and thorough.
Overall, becoming a truck driver is no cakewalk. It will require a lot of effort, money, and serious training. If you meet the qualifications and obtain both your CLP and CDL, you will probably be hired by a trucking company. However, getting to that point will require some work.