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Careers in the USA: Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers

Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers
Truck drivers transport goods around the country.

Quick Facts: Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers

2012 Median Pay
$38,200 per year
$18.37 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Postsecondary non-degree award

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
Short-term on-the-job training

Number of Jobs, 2012
1,701,500

Job Outlook, 2012-22
11% (As fast as average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
192,600

What Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers Do
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks whose gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeds 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.

Work Environment
Working as a long-haul truck driver is a major lifestyle choice because these drivers can be away from home for days or weeks at a time.

How to Become a Heavy or Tractor-trailer Truck Driver
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers usually have a high school diploma and attend a professional truck-driving school. They must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Pay
The median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $38,200 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average of all occupations. As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.

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