In an era where the economy swings quite wildly, everyone can be forgiven for having concerns over their careers. Everyone, that is, except for truck drivers. Even the Department of Labor paints a rosy picture expecting an increase of at least 20% in truck driver numbers between 2010 and 2020. We are well past 2010, and that scenario has not changed at all despite all the problems surrounding the economy.
There is one simple fact in life – no matter how poorly the economy is doing, people still need to eat. If you were to take a snapshot of society today, the one fact that would stand out is our inability to feed ourselves. By that, I mean growing our own fruit and veggies and hunting our own meat. We all rely on specialists to do it for us, and we then rely on trucks to get that produce to supermarkets – and that requires truck drivers. As the economy improves, we open our wallets a little more and spend up on non-essential items, and these too require transportation.
So the need for transport and truck drivers won’t be diminishing any time soon. What will be diminishing is the number of truck drivers available. The baby-boomer generation is now gearing up for retirement, and given the age of many of our truck drivers, that will leave a huge hole as they start to leave the industry.
In 2010, there were over 1.5 million truck drivers, and with an increase of 20% predicted, that is at least 300,000 new drivers by 2010. You could probably add another 300,000 new drivers required due to the retirement of those baby boomers. Those numbers were predicted in 2010 and indicated a need for around 60,000 new drivers each year over a ten year period. In some states, the need is becoming urgent with government sponsored programs being used to train new truck drivers.
Is there a future in truck driving? There most definitely is, and the future is looking very bright, especially when compared to many other career options available. It only takes five weeks of truck driver training to get started – it can’t get any better.