How to Get Your First Job As a Truck Driver
Receiving your CDL in the mail is a big milestone in your journey to becoming a truck driver. The next step is to find the right job for you. Rather than sending out applications for every open position, here are a few things you should do instead to land a job at a great company.
1. Research potential employers
The biggest names in trucking, like Schneider, Walmart, Old Dominion Freight, B. Hunt, and Amazon are likely to have many open positions. But the question you should ask yourself is if you want to work for a national chain or a privately-owned local company. The salary, benefits, and job perks can vary depending on the type of company you choose. Before submitting a job application, find out what current and past employees are saying about the company, such as management, communication, pay, and types of loads.
2. Build a network
If you attended a truck driving school, you likely met many other students as well as instructors. Keep in touch with everyone you meet along the journey and take the initiative to help others. There are also trucking groups on Facebook, Reddit, and other online platforms that could be a great tool. Once you’ve landed your first job, be open to building a network with the people you meet while on the road. You never know when you’ll need a recommendation or a referral in the future.
3. Obtain referrals
Though it may sound unnecessary, considering the current high demand for truck drivers, finding out which companies are hiring could give you a leg up in the interview process. Ask for tips and any other relevant information that could help guide you through the hiring steps.
4. Consider team truck driving companies
Driving with another trucker is a great way to build experience and learn firsthand how to handle daily responsibilities. Teams often drive long distances, such as across states, regions, and even countries, making it a great opportunity to strengthen and develop your truck driving skills.
5. Meet the basic requirements
Regardless of which truck driving company you end up applying to, each one has the same basic requirements: a history of safe driving, minimum age of 21, no DUIs in the last five years, and the motivation to work. If you can meet all of these requirements, you’ll find a truck driving job in no time!