When you think of a truck driver, what comes to mind? Most likely a male Smokey and the Bandit type figure. And while trucking has historically been a male dominated profession, in the last decade more women are becoming truck drivers.
This is because there are many opportunities for women in the trucking industry. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that trucking is one of the few professions that pay both men and women equally.
With average annual salaries well above the federal minimum wage, and no gender pay gap among drivers, trucking can be a stable and lucrative career for women. However, that’s not to say the job doesn’t come with its own unique set of challenges.
If you’re a woman and interested in taking the road less travelled, read on to learn about the benefits and challenges associated with becoming a truck driver.
Why Truck Driving is a Good Career for Women?
Female truck drivers are becoming more common in the trucking industry for a variety of reasons including:
High Pay: Many women have found they can earn more as a truck driver than in other professions. The average salary in the U.S. for both male and female truck drivers is close to $53,000. In addition, truck drivers enjoy opportunities for bonuses, full health, and retirement benefits.
Demand: The trucking industry is vital to our economy, but it is struggling to find enough drivers. The shortage of drivers is predicted to grow over the next decade, reaching 160,000 drivers by the year 2028. With the high demand, truck drivers have seen increases in pay and benefits. Companies are looking to hire more women.
No College Degree Required: Whether male or female, becoming a truck driver requires no previous experience or college degree. You do, however, need to get a commercial driver’s license which requires you attend CDL school. It takes approximately 4 weeks to get a CDL and is a fraction of the cost of a four-year college degree.
Likelihood of Success: While women account for only 8% of truck drivers, they have made a large contribution to the industry. Women are proven to be safe drivers and are 20% less likely than their male counterparts to be involved in an accident. In additional, women have a natural ability to multitask and tend to take better care or their equipment. Attributes that trucking companies appreciate. Women have the skills needed to become truck drivers.
What is Life Like as a Female Truck Driver?
You might be wondering, is it hard for women to be truck drivers? While anything new may be difficult, it is not impossible.
Women entering the occupation face several obstacles, ranging from a lack of female mentors and trainers to more subtle gender biases. In recent years, organizations like Women In Trucking have worked to minimize obstacles faced by female truck drivers. They have built a strong community of women who support one another. Their Facebook group offers advice to new drivers one safety while on the road, which is a major concern for many women.
Despite these challenges, more and more women are choosing to enter the trucking industry every day. With the support of their fellow female truckers, they are making progress in breaking down the barriers that stand in their way.
How to Become a Female Truck Driver?
Several decades ago, many would have questioned if women can be truck drivers. Today, there is no questions. Women are successful truck drivers. A woman’s career in the trucking industry is no longer bound by gender stereotypes. Instead, their careers are propelled solely based on their strengths and capabilities. If you’re someone who dreams of driving commercially here’s some tips you can become a truck driver:
Confidence is key: This tip doesn’t just apply to women truck drivers, but any kind of professional career. It doesn’t matter the obstacles in your path; you should always stay confident about your decisions and believe in yourself. Take any opportunity that comes your way and make the most out of it. Remember, a woman can be just as good a commercial driver as a man!
Ask for help: If you need help, don’t hesitate to seek it out from various resources and trucking organizations, like Women in Trucking. Organizations like this are dedicated to helping women truck drivers succeed in chosen career paths. They can provide you access to the right resource tools and information to become the best female truck driver in your alley!
Select a Female-Friendly CDL School: In order to get a commercial driver’s license, you must attend a CDL training program. We recommend researching each school and reading reviews from female students. Also ask if they have any female instructors.
Ready to join the ranks of America’s female truck drivers? We can help. Our network of CDL schools have helped thousands of women get their CDL and find a job in trucking industry. Fill out the form below to speak with a Career Specialist.