Veterans struck with wanderlust usually opt for trucking as a civilian career option post separation from the military. It provides them with the freedom they enjoy and a satisfying and fulfilling career, which also carries a reasonably good monetary compensation package.
The trucking industry offers a wealth of career opportunities for veterans. As per statistics available with the US Department of Labor truckers in America number approximately 3 million. This figure is expected to increase at a rate of 10 to 20 percent every year up to 2012. On an average truckers earn between $40,000 to $58,000 annually. Currently there is a shortage of about 20,000 long-haul freight drivers. It is estimated that by the year 2014 total shortage for truck drivers is going to climb to nearly 111,000. In this scenario, the trucking industry is looking for people with a former military background who are interested in pursuing a career in the trucking industry.
The time that a trucker will be away from home will vary depending on the carrier company and the route on which the trucker operates. However, as mentioned earlier, the pay is quite good with many companies offering signing bonuses of $2000 to $4000 along with entry-level annual pay packages of $40,000 to $42,000. There are companies that even offer to pay all training expenses if the prospective trucker agrees to a job commitment of one or two years.
The trucking industry prefers to have ex-servicemen on their rolls because of the natural discipline and commitment to work inherent in them. They are free from drug problems, are disciplined and follow instructions meticulously. Because having military people working for them is beneficial to the trucking industry in many respects it is now working to remove barriers for such people because it wants them to join the industry. The talents, values and attributes learned during a military career work very well for a trucking career. Truckers need to work alone for long hours without any supervision. Cargo hauling though appearing as a mundane task to many people in fact can be successfully done only with a sense of commitment and self-discipline. These things fit in very well with the mental make-up of people with a military background who are trained to have established goals and make sure to get the job done even if they need to go out of their way. They are sincere and extremely reliable.
Generally the career path chosen by veterans in this field is to buy their own trucks and set up an independent business. However, there are a several different opportunities that exist which can provide veterans a better way of advancement in the trucking industry. They can opt to become trainers/instructors for a carrier company for training new truck drivers. If equipped with a bachelor’s degree it may be possible to reach supervisory/managerial positions. The average salary of a freight manager is around $70,000 per annum. Transportation and distribution managers are paid between $40,000 to $115,000.
Transportation is a field that offers a high number of openings for entry level positions with great scope for career advancement for veterans.