Are you an 18-year-old looking for exciting job opportunities with great prospects and a chance to hit the open road? Truck driving might just be the perfect fit for you! The trucking industry offers a wide range of driving jobs specifically tailored to young individuals like yourself. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various driving jobs available for 18-year-olds, the benefits of working in the trucking industry, and how this career can pave the way for future advancements once you turn 21.
Benefits of Working in the Trucking Industry
Job Opportunities Galore:
One of the biggest advantages of obtaining a CDL is the abundance of job opportunities available in the trucking industry. As an aspiring truck driver, you’ll find a diverse range of employment options, including local, regional, and long-haul routes. With a CDL, you can work for a variety of sectors such as freight companies, logistics providers, retail distributors, or even become an independent owner-operator. The demand for qualified truck drivers is consistently high, ensuring a stable job market and increased employability.*
Earning potential is a crucial consideration when choosing a career path. The good news is that truck drivers can enjoy competitive wages right from the start. While the exact salary depends on factors such as experience, type of hauling, and location, the American Trucking Association estimates first year truck drivers’ salaries to be $69,000. Additionally, experienced drivers or those willing to work long-haul routes can earn well above this figure, with some exceeding $85,000 per year.**
Short Training Duration:
Another reason why getting a CDL is an attractive option for high school graduates is the relatively short amount of time it takes to obtain the license. Unlike a traditional four-year degree, CDL training programs can be completed in a matter of weeks, depending on the intensity and structure of the program. This means that you can quickly acquire the necessary skills and hit the road sooner than you might think, without the financial burden of a lengthy education.
Independence and Adventure:
If you’re someone who craves independence and the open road, a career as a truck driver can fulfill those desires. With a CDL, you’ll have the freedom to travel and explore different parts of the country while getting paid for it. Every day on the job brings new experiences, scenery, and people to meet, making it an ideal profession for those seeking adventure and a break from the typical nine-to-five routine.
Job Stability and Future Growth:
Trucking is an essential industry that keeps our economy moving. As long as goods need to be transported, there will be a demand for truck drivers. This industry has shown resilience even during challenging times, such as economic downturns or global crises. Furthermore, with the retirement of older drivers and the ongoing growth of e-commerce, the need for qualified truck drivers is expected to increase, ensuring job stability and potential career advancement.
Truck Driving Jobs for 18 Year Old’s
While federal regulations set the minimum age for interstate trucking at 21, some states allow individuals as young as 18 to obtain a CDL and drive intrastate (within the state) commercial vehicles. This opens up a range of CDL job opportunities for 18-year-olds within their own state, making it a great starting point for those eager to begin their trucking careers early.
Local Delivery Driver:
Local delivery drivers transport goods and packages within a specific area or city, typically working for logistics companies, retail stores, or delivery services. The benefits include predictable routes, being home daily, and opportunities for customer interaction.
Tow Truck Operator:
Tow truck operators assist in towing and recovering vehicles involved in accidents, breakdowns, or other roadside incidents. This job offers a varied work environment, helping motorists in distress, and potential opportunities for overtime pay.
Dump Truck Driver:
Dump truck drivers transport loose materials, such as sand, gravel, or construction debris, to and from construction sites, landfills, or quarries. As a dump truck driver you’ll have opportunities to work in construction and infrastructure projects and steady work in the construction industry.
Construction Equipment Operator:
Construction equipment operators handle heavy machinery, like bulldozers, excavators, or cranes, to move materials and assist in construction projects. You’ll be involved in large-scale construction projects and get the chance to operate specialized machinery.
Landscape Truck Driver:
Landscape truck drivers transport landscaping materials and equipment to various locations for landscaping projects. Some of the benefits of this job include working outdoors and the potential for seasonal work.
Career Advancement in Trucking
When you turn 21, a broader range of job opportunities will become available to you as an interstate truck driver. At this age, you will be eligible to drive across state lines, giving you access to longer hauls and potentially higher-paying jobs.
As you gain experience in the industry, you can explore specialized trucking jobs, such as hazardous materials (HazMat) hauling, refrigerated transport, or oversized load transportation. These specialized roles often come with higher pay and additional training, providing you with the chance to diversify your skillset and take on more challenging responsibilities.
If you’re an 18-year-old high school graduate wondering about your next steps, consider the numerous advantages of obtaining a CDL. From the vast job opportunities and attractive income potential to the relatively short training duration, trucking offers a viable alternative to traditional post-secondary education or entry-level jobs. Embrace the independence, adventure, and stability that a career in trucking can provide. So, fasten your seatbelt, start the ignition, and embark on a journey that could take you places you never imagined!
Graduate Spotlight: Hunter L., St. Louis, MO
Last year 18-year-old Hunter L. of Herman, MO not only graduated from high school, but also graduated from CDL school in St. Louis, MO. Hunter attended MTC Truck Driver Training in St. Louis, MO graduating in July 2022.
Following graduation, he went to work for a local excavating company as a dump truck driver. Nearly one year later, Hunter is enjoying his job and earning a great income.
Great job, hunter!
Whether you are 18 or 35, now is a great time to get a CDL. Get a CDL in a new career in just 4 weeks. Ready to get a CDL? Get started by filling out the form below. We’ll connect you with a knowledgeable Career Specialists who can answer all of your questions and help you get enrolled.
* Driver demand based on ATA report
** Pay information based on ATA Compensation Study