Automotive Careers: Trucking Edition
Career Path : Automotive
Heavy trucks make up the bulk of commercial transportation in North America. A vast network of roads crisscrossing Canada, the United States and Mexico carry enormous fleets hauling freight, up and down, from coast to coast and across borders. While historically rail or water, including natural waterways and canals, were the popular ways of moving goods, but with affordable gasoline and scattered population centres, trucking simply makes the most sense with todayâs economy and infrastructure. Itâs also one of the largest categories of employment, making it a major focus for automotive careers.
What are some examples of trucking or freight related jobs?
The obvious profession in trucking is that of the driver. Long and short haul, truck drivers are found inside and outside communities. Long haul drivers must link, towns and cities together while within population centres, other drivers make deliveries ranging from food to fuel. Size of truck can vary from hauling freight weighing several tons, to tiny delivery vans suited for tight city streets. These drivers are helped by an army of warehouse personnel, loading cargos, and inventory clerks insuring that every item, big and small, are tracked on every stage of their journey, as well as mechanics maintaining fleets, but also the dispatchers who communicate with drivers on the road. Lastly, truck drivers also rely on the availability of motels and truck stop restaurants catering to drivers in transit. Some of the latter even include other home comforts like showers or internet cafes and worship centres, a surprising but essential facet of automotive careers.
How do you break into the industry?
Truck drivers need special licensing proving their ability to handle heavy equipment and safely move hazardous cargos, while modern warehouse workers need to be able to operate fork lifts and use inventory software. People who sell trucks and parts may take classes at an auto sales college, while the voice over the radio will have been trained in dispatcher courses, learning radio protocol and the ever essential phonetic alphabet. Workers providing services to truck drivers require the least training, with some jobs taking no more experience than it takes to fill out an application and the dedication to work the all hours schedule of a truck stop.
As well as being a major employer, freight is also one of the most reliable industries. Employees and independent contractors can depend that regardless of the state of the economy, people will always need to move things heavier than they can comfortably lift or fit into a private car. The price of gasoline may go up, but the gasoline itself must still be delivered, and just as the driver can rely on a job, there will always be demand for support roles. Additionally, most training is inexpensive and does not require heavy time commitments. For example even part time, dispatcher courses can take less than a year, while licencing as a driver can be studied at home to prepare applicants for a provincial exam.
Visit the Automotive Training Centres for more information on automotive careers.