Truck Drivers In High Demand
Bartow County’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent in March, down from 10.3 percent at the same time last year, but we want to see additional decreases. Count on Cartersville Patch to provide local economic development, business and jobs news and information.
A Chattahoochee Technical College career fair may be an indication of how high the demand is for truck drivers.
The college held a Commercial Truck Driving Career Fair and Open House on Saturday at its North Metro Campus in Acworth. About a dozen companies were at the event, hiring applicants to become truck drivers.
“We’re facing a driver shortage that this country has never seen before,” said Instructor and Program Director Ray Puckett. “Baby boomers are retiring so we’re seeing companies increasing wages, providing better benefits and increasing the amount of time that drivers can spend at home.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, more than 3.2 million Americans worked as truck drivers in 2011, and the number of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is expected to grow 13 percent by 2018. From 2010 to 2020, jobs are expected to grow a faster-than-average 21 percent.
In 2010, the median pay for truck drivers was $37,770 per year or $18.16 per hour. The job requires a high school diploma or equivalent and short-term training.
Truck drivers and drivers who are sales workers comprise one of the largest occupations, holding 3.2 million jobs.
“Industry leaders are telling me they need drivers right now. Our graduates are prepared to meet that challenge head on,” Puckett said, referring to Chatt Tech’s 7.5-week truck-driver training program. “Truck drivers are definitely in the driver’s seat now.”
Commercial Truck Driving includes both classroom and road experience for students at the North Metro Campus. It costs about $1,416 for in-state residents. Those eligible for HOPE funding pay $869.25.