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How to become a Truck Driver

Most companies require their truck drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent. All long-haul truck drivers must have a commercial driver's license (CDL). Qualifications for obtaining a CDL vary by state but generally include passing both a knowledge test and a driving test.

Drivers can get endorsements to their CDL that show their ability to drive a specialized type of vehicle. Truck drivers transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT) must have a hazardous materials endorsement (H).

Many prospective drivers attend professional truck driving schools, where they take training courses to learn how to maneuver large vehicles on highways or through crowded streets. During these classes, drivers also learn the federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How to become: Driver · Delivery Driver · Local Driver · Owner Operator Driver · Tanker Driver
These qualifications are required: Passenger Endorsement · First Aid Certification · Class D
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What skills help Truck Drivers find jobs?

  • ATS
  • Basic math
  • Bilingual
  • Box truck
  • Commercial driving
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Construction
  • Customer service
  • Driving
  • English
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Career progression for Truck Driver

Education levels for Truck Drivers

Based on the requirements of Truck Driver job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED83.0%
Associate's degree9.9%
Bachelor's degree5.6%
Master's degree1.0%
Middle school education0.4%
Doctoral degree0.1%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Truck Driver in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$37,700
4 - 8$39,000
8 - 12$40,100
12 - 16$41,600
16 - 20$41,100
20 - 24$41,600
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Common qualifications for Truck Drivers

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications

Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response Training

M&A Safety Services - Full Service Safety Training Providers for the Oil & Gas Industry
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Explore other and more common qualifications
  • certificationPassenger Endorsement
  • certificationHazmat Endorsement
  • certificationCDL B
  • certificationX Endorsement
  • certificationTanker Endorsement
  • certificationOccupational Therapy License
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Common questions about career advices for a Truck Driver

Are there other qualifications needed for the job, besides a CDL license?

No. You need to be able to safely drive a vehicle and pass a basic Department of Transportation medical examination. There are companies that require loading or unloading of trailers and also to lift or move heavy objects.

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What are the requirements for truck driving school?

Prior to joining a truck driving school, you need to be at least 21 years old, be able to pass a drug and alcohol test, obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) and have a clean driving record. You may also need to be able to pass a physical.

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How can I become an owner-operator from a truck driver?

If you are already a truck driver, take the following steps to become an owner-operator truck driver:

  1. File for USDOT number and Motor Carrier Number. Pay the filing fee.
  2. Lease or purchase a truck.
  3. Secure appropriate level of insurance.
  4. Find truck freight to start your first route as an owner-operator.
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How long does it take to become an owner-operator from a truck driver?

What skills are needed to become an owner-operator truck driver from a truck driver?

What should a truck driver put on their resume?

How can I become a truck driver in the USA?

What skills do you need to be a truck driver?

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