The transportation industry as a whole is anything but boring. There is probably no other industry that is so closely linked to the progress of the economy, or whose story so closely matches large business trends.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck driver employment is expected to grow 9% through 2020.
About 291,900 new jobs are expected to be created over that time period.
The largest portion of jobs will be in heavy and tractor-trailer trucks, at about 13%. Light truck driving jobs are expected to grow at about 4%, which is slower than the overall expected growth rate. Check out the trucking industry employment outlook page in our Members section for more details.
As with so many other industries in the early part of the century, the big story was consolidation. Many smaller companies were swallowed up by larger firms, leading to a situation where mega-companies rule. Small, family-owned outfits still exist, but they become harder to find every year. TruckingJobFinder can help you sort out the differences between some of the biggest companies out there, and the better-known little guys.
When people have extra spending money and they are confident that they will still have their job next week and will be easily able to make their mortgage payments, then they feel comfortable buying things like televisions, clothes, a new car or tennis shoes.
People may feel so confident about the future that they decide to build a new home or put an addition on their existing house.
The more people buy, the more goods have to be shipped from place to place. Factories in China will make more tennis shoes and truckers will drive them from the port in Los Angeles to the shoe store in Las Vegas.
The same is true for construction: when more buildings go up, truck drivers are busy hauling materials like gravel, concrete, brick, steel and lumber to construction sites.
But when the economy slows down, people don’t feel so confident and they stop spending their money unless they absolutely have to. Demand for new shoes slows down as people decide to make the old shoes work for another year. Homeowners stay in the same house and put off making any improvements until things get better.
The better the economy is, the more freight must be moved. The more freight there is to move, the more truck drivers are needed.
As the economy starts to improve, all the factors that drive trucking employment will improve along with it. If you are interested in ever driving a truck, the best time to do it will be at that point when there is more freight than there are drivers to carry it. At that point, high demand for drivers will increase pay rates.
However, once other people start to see that trucking is booming again, they will start transitioning into this career. Eventually, enough people will start looking for truck driving jobs that the supply of drivers will meet the demand, and then wages will become stable again.
Timing is the key to making a good living in trucking. You don’t want to get into the field when there’s no work to be had, nor do you want to get into it right after everybody else in the world did. You want to hit it just right. TruckingJobFinder can help you time your transition into this field so that you can make the most money.