There are lots of reasons veterans should consider trucking. We explore 5 of them here. The trucking industry is indispensable, and yet we’re still facing an ongoing driver shortage. Many companies have started raising salaries and improving benefits packages in hopes of attracting new, qualified drivers, but there are still thousands of job listings waiting to be filled. For veterans, jobs in trucking can be a perfect match for more reasons than one.
Veterans already have the skills for the job
Many of the skills that military personnel develop during their years of service overlap with those used by truck drivers every day. They’re usually tech-savvy, accustomed to picking up new skills in a fast-moving environment, and often have experience working with heavy equipment. Those who already have a commercial driver’s license might be eligible for a higher starting pay rate. Even those without one might be able to fast-track their licensure if their prior military experience meets certain requirements.
Veterans who have the easiest time transferring their existing skills to a career in trucking include those who worked in one or more of the following military specialties:
- 88M – Motor Transport Operator
- 3531 – Motor Vehicle Operator
- 2TI – Vehicle Operator
- EO – Equipment Operator
- 92F – Fueler
- 2FO – Fueler
- 3E2 – Pavement and Construction Equipment Operator
- 14T – Patriot Launching Station Operator
The GI bill covers additional training
Many trucking schools are approved by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The bill helps veterans build on their existing experience to earn certifications for future employment. Vets can ask trucking companies hiring in their area for guidance. You can also review the VA’s guidelines for finding an approved school and compare benefit options.
Trucking offers job security for veterans
Having a CDL and a military background all but guarantees veterans a job in the trucking industry. As long as you have a clean driving record, no DUIs or drug convictions recently, and meet minimum age requirements, getting a job as a truck driver is a breeze. With a sharp uptick in online consumer spending habits since 2020, keeping that job is just as easy– As long as you’re reliable, of course. Luckily, this is rarely an issue for someone who committed their life to serving their country.
The pay and benefits are competitive and reliable
According to the American Trucking Association, trucking is a top five occupation in 30 states, and is the most popular job in two of them. Trucking companies are among the nation’s largest employers, and the employment of truck drivers is projected to grow 11% between 2021 and 2031. This is much faster than the average projected job growth overall. With short-term training requirements and no college degree needed, truck driving is a consistent and reliable career option.
Trucking jobs are also widespread across all 50 states, so there’s no need to relocate to find a great job. The median wage for drivers varies by state and by the type of company they work for. Still, according to Indeed, the average annual wage of truck drivers is around $83,000. For veterans looking to make a smooth transition to civilian life, truck driving is a solid option.
Veterans fit right in
It isn’t just hands-on experience with heavy machinery that gives veterans an edge. They have plenty of soft skills that trucking companies look for. For example:
- Leadership skills
- The ability to work well as part of a team
- Good communication
- Situational awareness
- Attention to detail
Vets pick up these and other similar skills while on active duty. Transferring them to trucking is a natural next move. To inquire about available positions working for BYX, visit our hiring page. We’d love to meet you!