CDL Trucking Jobs in 2017 and Beyond

There are close to 1.7 million people working CDL truck driving jobs in the United States right now. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nearly 99,000 more people will be employed in these types of jobs by 2024. This 5 percent employment growth rate is as fast as the projected average for most U.S. industries. During 2016, the median pay for CDL truck driving jobs was over $41,000 per year, or over $20 per hour.

Truck Driver Job Openings

According to one chief economist, there have been periodic shortages of truck drivers reported since 2005. The shortage declined as shipping volumes decreased during the recent recession. With the recovery, the shortage has increased steadily again. Approximately 38,000 CDL truck driving jobs were left unfilled by the end of 2014. One of the leading reasons for the employment gap is that the average age for drivers in the over-the-road truckload sector is 49.

New Faces of Truck Driving

Aside from an aging workforce, a lack of diversity may be holding some employers back as well. Less than 6 percent of all truck drivers are women, and less than 39 percent are minorities. It’s worth noting that the rate of minorities employed in the sector during 2001 was actually less than 27 percent. The trucking shortage is often compounded by the fact that many employers are extremely selective because professionalism and safety are top priorities.

Opportunities in Trucking

Legislators are currently passing laws making it easier for former military personnel to obtain their CDL. Several questions also exist about how autonomous tech and robotics will affect the trucking industry going forward. Young people, women, minorities and veterans may benefit as more opportunities in the trucking industry become available. CDL truck driving jobs are critical for keeping supply chains on schedule as demands for goods and U.S. economy continue to grow.

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