Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeding 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.
Working as a long-haul truck driver is a major lifestyle choice because these drivers can be away from home for days or weeks at a time.
How to Become a Heavy or Tractor-trailer Truck Driver
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers usually have a high school diploma and attend a professional truckdriving school. They must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average of all occupations. As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving.
Job Trends for Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers
This occupation supported 1,701,500 jobs in 2012 and 1,797,700 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 5.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 11.3% in 2022 to 1,894,100 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 1,740,000, compared with an observed value of 1,797,700, 3.3% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.8% in 2024 to 1,896,400 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 1,932,600 jobs for 2024, 1.9% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.