Trucking careers – education and industry as partners in Tennessee
Surprising as it may be, with several job areas not filled in recent years in Tennessee, there is concern about serious gaps in meeting the demands of an otherwise burgeoning economy. In Tennessee, employers are having a tough time filling jobs available for truck drivers. In fact, only about 12 % of job postings for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers are being met, leaving a serious gap of 21,934 drivers in the Volunteer state. The trucking profession isn’t alone in its lonely job stance. There are also large percentages of unfilled jobs for industrial engineers and computer system analysts.
Programs like LEAP, the annual Labor and Education Alignment Program, is working to fill these gaps through better communication among education and industry leaders. The idea is to take action now to keep the economy healthy and the state prosperous.
The appeal for more drivers is taking place across the state. But Tennessee’s situation shadows the national shortage. According to CNBC online, “The shortage of truck drivers has grown to nearly 48,000 and could expand further …” This will mean a whopping 89,000 drivers needed each year for the next decade. The causes include a complex interplay of more imported goods, the need for transportation of these goods, a booming economy and a very large number of retiring drivers.
Shifting gears in the workforce of truck drivers
Baby boomers are retiring from trucking in droves, creating more and more unmet trucking positions. There is a definite shift in the workforce age-wise, even though trucking has always been a profession open to a variety of ages and demographic factors. But retirement is playing a big role in the decreasing numbers of drivers.
Economic benefits of the trucking profession
It has been estimated that 3/4 of communities across America rely on professional trucking companies for the delivery of basic goods such as food and water. If trucking job needs can’t be met, there are serious consequences for the well-being of Tennesseans.
There are many advantages to a career of truck driving, though people sometimes focus on the cons. The pay can be quite high after initial experience is gained, say a year or two. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2013, “tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers earned a mean annual salary of $40,940. During the same year, light or delivery service truck drivers earned a mean annual salary of $33,490.” By 2014, PayScale.com reported a range of earnings between $29,139 and $62,995 among heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, including bonuses. Even higher salaries are possible as well. According to Times Free Press, median salaries can range as high as $73,000 per year. This tops many jobs out there and offers a secure income.
Perks of the truck driving profession
Huge perks for truck drivers include flexible hours and the chance to see new places and travel extensively. Imagine getting on the road early with a beautiful sunrise before you while learning about small town America firsthand! Quite the opposite of languishing in a cubicle or office environment day after day. A job as a trucker may well appeal for the freedom it offers and the chance for reflection.
Trucking – a career that matters
Trucking is a career that matters, keeping America moving with the supplies and goods it needs. Now is the perfect time to get trained for a field that has enormous growth potential. You don’t need a degree … just training for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). If you’re the kind of person who can easily load and unload freight, pick up and drop off trailers, keep a daily log, drive responsibly and navigate (with or without a GPS), a career as a trucker may be calling your name. To learn more about the nature of truck driving, visit learn.org. Professional truck drivers are in demand and the time is ripe for a new wave of dependable drivers.