A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

According to labor statistics, TRUCK DRIVER EMPLOYMENT will grow 11% by 2022.

why Trucking & Transportation?

The trucking and transportation industry encompasses a wide variety of jobs—many of which require skills you acquired during your military service. As a veteran, you were responsible for protecting America. Now, you will be responsible for feeding America by transporting food to local supermarkets, clothing America by shipping to our favorite department stores, fueling America by replenishing service stations, and building America by carrying materials for anything from log cabins to skyscrapers. Veterans have access to excellent jobs in this industry. Most driving jobs will have you home every night (or nearly every night), but you can spend more time on the road if you’d like a bigger paycheck.

Local Driver
Regional Driver
Long Haul Driver
Mechanic
Office Jobs (Safety Compliance Directors and Recruiters)

average salary

$40,000

$47,500

$55,000

$50,000

$60,000

additional information:

  • General: Local drivers are responsible for transporting goods short distances, often within the same city or county.
  • Hometime: Drivers should expect to be home daily.
  • Routes: Freight and routes tend to be for the same companies each day.
  • General: Regional drivers transport goods longer distances than local drivers, usually within about 750 miles from their home.
  • Hometime: Drivers are typically home multiple times a week or each weekend.
  • Routes: Routes are limited to a specific region such as the Midwest, South, or Northeast.
  • General: Long-haul truck driving is also referred to as “over the road” or OTR driving.
  • Hometime: Hometime is dependent upon the company and the driver’s preferences. Drivers should expect to be home every other weekend or monthly.
  • Routes: Drivers should expect regular interstate travel.
  • Professional Mechanics inspect, maintain, and repair commercial trucks for a living. They are responsible for the safety compliance and operability of their company’s truck fleets. Mechanics are a high demand, technical profession with career opportunities for technical and managerial advancement.
  • Office jobs have a range of responsibilities and duties. Some maintain current safety measures, develop new procedures, and reinforce best safety practices with management and other workers while others make sure that their company hires the best possible candidates.

The trucking and transportation industry plays a vital role in shaping and maintaining the country’s economy and daily life. The industry’s high demand for drivers means the sky’s the limit for career advancement, salary, and hometime. While the greatest hiring need is for drivers, mechanics and office workers have an array of advancement opportunities. Whether you want to get paid to travel the country or have ambitions of owning a transportation company, you can find your start in this industry.

about the sponsor

In partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, FASTPORT’s Trucking Track Mentoring Program helps veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses establish long-term careers. Veterans are hardwired for success in this industry, and the mentoring program guides them to jobs that best match their experience and preferences.

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about trucking certifications

Many veterans find lasting careers in the trucking and transportation industry. In fact, some carriers have such a military affinity that veterans make up 10, 20, even 30+ percent of their fleet. There are several steps and certifications processes you should consider when pursuing a career in the trucking and transportation industry. The information that follows will be helpful in moving forward with that process.

Contact a Mentor
Sign a Pre-Hire Letter
Obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
Hazmat Certification
TWIC Certification

CERTIFICATION STEPS

Contact a Mentor

The first step toward your trucking and transportation career is to contact a mentor through the Trucking Track Mentoring Program. Once you’ve filled out your mentor request form, an industry expert will contact you. Feel free to request multiple mentors to get information about various carriers. These transportation professionals will help you determine desired salary, hometime, and job type and then use that information to recommend positions and career paths that reflect your preferences.

Trucking Track Mentoring Program

Sign a Pre-Hire Letter

Once you’ve spoken with a mentor (or mentors from multiple carriers), you will need to decide which position is right for you. Then, sign a pre-hire letter. This formal job offer is contingent on the completion of your CDL, but you do not need to complete your CDL training before signing the document.

Obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

Your signed pre-hire letter gives you job security after you obtain your CDL. Many transportation companies have an affiliate school or their own CDL school, so make sure to ask what program they recommend. FASTPORT also works with The CDL School’s Troops Into Transportation program, which ensures each veteran has the necessary tools to enter the industry. Each CDL exam has two main components: a practical driving assessment and a written test. However, if you drove large vehicles during your military service, you may be exempt from the driving portion. Download a Military Skills Test Waiver and take it to your commanding officer to see if you qualify.

The CDL School's Troops Into Transportation Program Military Skills Test Waiver

Hazmat Certification

Hazmat truck drivers are responsible for safely transporting hazardous chemicals and gases. Because many of these materials require skilled care, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires drivers to apply for an endorsement before they can transport them. Securing this certification requires agreeing to a Background Record Check (BRC), taking a written knowledge test regarding hazardous materials, and completing a Federal Security Threat Assessment. Once your endorsement is in the mail, you are certified.

Federal Security Threat Assessment

TWIC Certification

Your CDL allows you to drive many types of commercial vehicles, but some freight requires additional endorsements. TWIC is one of the most common.Intermodal drivers transport freight that has been moved via multiple methods, including railways and cargo ships. Since you are entering secure loading zones in sea ports, you will need security clearance. The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) credential gives you that access asserting that you don’t pose a threat to the transportation system. Then, you need to pass a Federal Security Threat Assessment (background check). Apply for your TWIC at least 12 weeks before you need to use it.

TWIC Security Programs