Being on the road behind the wheel takes skill. Those who drive as a full-time job can expect to see more jobs becoming available in the transportation industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts considerable growth in transportation and material moving employment, particularly for delivery truck drivers and passenger drivers through 2029.
If you’re looking to take the opportunity to become a professional driver and explore the opportunities that exist out there, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll discuss which type of driving jobs exist, the outlook for the industry, and help you prepare a competitive resume to increase your chances of getting the job you want. To start, let’s take a look at the three different resume formats to identify which one is the best one for your unique qualifications.
Driving Job Titles
Current trends impacting driving jobs
The transportation industry has undergone significant technological enhancements with the boom in e-commerce and door delivery options, including retail and online taxicab booking applications that require quick movement of goods and passengers. So, new driving jobs are around the corner, and the demand for truck, passenger drivers and delivery truck drivers in the United States will surge in the coming years.
While automated vehicles from manufacturers like Tesla or Volvo are coming at some point, drivers are still needed today and in the immediate future. Considering the rise of electric vehicles, navigation and taxi booking apps, Electronic Logging Devices and sustainable logistics, a skillful driver has many options for employment. The trucking industry, for one, will hire 110,000 drivers each year for the next 10 years and more opportunities will emerge for heavy truck, taxi and bus drivers.
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Average Salaries and Employment Outlook for Driving Workers
The transportation industry hires drivers for goods, freight or passenger transport within a state or country-wide. The average salary of transportation and material moving workers is $34,080 per year as of May 2020, which is less than the median pay of all occupations, which is $41,950, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, reputed companies offer higher wages in prime locations based on the driver’s performance, experience and job role.
Take a look at the average salaries of the different driving job roles here:
Commercial driver jobs
Most drivers are employed for commercial transportation by retailers, manufacturers, cab companies and towing services. They transport goods and passengers from one location to another and the driver gets paid based on the number of trips, distance covered and service hours. Commercial drivers operate vehicles like heavy trucks, trailers, delivery vans, cars and tow trucks and manage the loading and unloading of material.
Job Outlook 2020–2028
Truck driver employment will grow by 2% from 2019 to 2029, which is comparatively slower than the growth of other occupations.
The development of e-commerce has facilitated delivery drivers and employment will grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029.
Tow Truck Driver
The employment projection of tow truck drivers shows no significant growth in the future.
With a swooping employment growth of 20% from 2018 to 2028, taxi drivers will create more opportunities due to user-friendly mobile applications.
Source: Truck Driver: Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Source: Delivery Driver: Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Source: Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, including Tow Truck Drivers: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Source: Taxi driver: Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), Taxi Driver: PayScale
Public or government based driver jobs
The driving category also includes transportation of passengers and school students by bus. The government or private companies that run travel agencies hire bus drivers to transport passengers within the city or interstate. Also, public and private educational institutions employ bus drivers to pick up and drop off children at school. The role of a bus driver involves managing passengers, stopping at the right locations and ensuring passenger safety.
Job Outlook 2020–2029
The employment of bus drivers will grow by 5% from 2018 to 2028.
School Bus Driver
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, school bus drivers are among the bus drivers projected to show a 5% growth rate from 2018 to 2028.
Top Six Skills Needed for Driving Jobs
The transportation of people or merchandise from one location to another requires driving knowledge and good social skills to communicate with employers, logistics personnel, passengers and customers. Operating the designated vehicle safely on the road and resolving mechanical issues are crucial skills. Also, drivers are responsible for the safety of goods and passengers. Thus, drivers’ expectations go beyond their competent hard skills and need to encompass soft skills.
Here are some essential skills for the role of a driver:
Interpersonal skillsA driving job means you’re always on the road, but that doesn’t mean you work alone. In the case of bus and taxi drivers, they interact with passengers, so they must know how to deal with unruly people, lost individuals, those who need assistance getting on and off the vehicle and any other circumstance that may come up. To avoid disagreement and potentially dangerous situations, they must demonstrate good interpersonal skills. Suppose the role doesn’t require the driver to work directly with passengers. In that case, drivers must work closely with the logistics team to ensure goods packing, weight and count are accurate and must communicate with supervisors and customers to ensure arrival or any setbacks in delivery such as traffic or accidents on the road).
PatienceDrivers must remain calm in the face of technical problems, accidents, heavy traffic and difficult passengers or customers. They must avoid risky driving and treat clients, coworkers and passengers with patience, friendliness and great service. If there are any accidents or damages to the truck or products, they must file a claim or report the incident.
Safety-consciousBeing attentive and following rules such as obeying the speed limits is an essential skill for any driver. Staying attentive helps the driver identify threats and potential collisions while following traffic rules prevents getting into dangerous situations. In the case of drivers carrying goods, they must also take measures to keep the cargo safe.
Navigation skillsA solid sense of direction is required to be a professional driver, as well as the ability to rapidly learn how to navigate the area you’ve been assigned. If their job requires them to pick up and drop off passengers or goods outside of a regular route, they must take advantage of apps like Google Maps and Routefinder Pro to route the optimal trip for distance and fuel usage.
IndependenceDriving jobs require people who work independently. Whether there are passengers in the vehicle or not, the driver is responsible for all aspects of the trip. You must plan the route, pick up and drop off passengers and cargo and fix the vehicle if it breaks down.
Good problem-solvingWhile driving, you may face various obstacles, including technical difficulties with your mapping system, flat tires, roadblocks and more. You should be able to deal with any unexpected occurrence or scenario to the best of your ability. Problem-solving skills and critical thinking give you the capacity to overcome most problems and establish a track record of consistently sticking to the schedule.
Educational requirements for driving jobs
While most roles require a high school diploma or GED, some employers are willing to overlook this educational requirement if you have the necessary license, skills and credentials.
An essential requirement for most drivers is a license. A state-issued driver’s license is enough for taxi and some delivery drivers, but a CDL license is necessary to drive bigger transportation vehicles. To get this license, you must be over 18 years of age or over 21 if you want to move interstate. You must also pass three tests: a practical driving test, a theoretical test and a physical DOT exam. Getting licensed starts by checking out the requirements from your local DMV because they are different in each state. It’s also important to note that you can only get a license from one state, so make sure you undergo licensing in the state you plan to work in and must file the proper paperwork to change states.
The next step is to identify what class of license you need for the job you want
A Class A license is for heavy truck driving jobs, Class B is for medium-weight trucks and Class C is for smaller vehicles, such as a delivery truck. There are also various endorsements you need. Endorsements are areas of specialization, so it’s essential to select those that correspond to the role you’re hoping to get. For example, a bus driver must obtain a Passenger endorsement, while a HAZMAT endorsement is for tanker trucks. Check out our articles on different job titles in the driving industry for more details on what licensing requirements you need for the specific job you want and check with your local DMV for the specifics of your state.
To become a better driver, member associations provide specific certifications like Commercial Vehicles Training Association (CVTA), American Trucking Association and National Taxi Workers’ Alliance (NTWA) to fine-tune your skills with high-quality driving training. These driving courses are offered by numerous community colleges and driving schools spread across the United States.
Since safety is a top concern in the transportation industry, the National Safety Council prepares drivers in defensive driving techniques that’ll help them keep their passengers, goods and themselves safe on the road.
Driving resume examples by experience level
The best way to make your resume noticeable is by building one that demonstrates you’re the perfect fit for the role. Recruiters spend only a few seconds reading your resume. So, taking the time to learn how to make an impressive resume that encompasses your best skills and accomplishments is worth it. To do this, you must first select the best resume format for your unique qualifications and then dissect the job description.
If you want to apply for a driving job, start writing your resume after making a list of all your relevant skills and work history.
First, consider all your driving-related skills and what tasks you excelled at in previous jobs. Writing an outline will help you to decide on the resume format that suits you the best. Let’s look at a few examples to give you a clear idea of what design you should choose.
Tow truck driver
Driving Resume Examples
Three Tips to Stand Out and Get the Job You Want
Keep up with the latest trends.Learning is a constant and every job position requires gaining more knowledge over time. If you are looking to improve your salary level and work for a prestigious company, learning and applying current trends and innovations is essential. Showing your ability to grow in your industry regardless of your years of experience can improve your chances of being selected for interviews. Keep track of the latest news on trends relevant to your job position and find ways to train those new skills.
Prepare a captivating resume and cover letter.Review the above sections on how to write a competitive and compelling resume — then get to writing! Select a clean template and proofread your work to check for spelling and grammar errors. Remember, the best way to create a great resume is to include keywords used in the job description and organize your credentials according to one of the three resume formats. Your resume should present potential employers with who you are as a professional and demonstrate the skills and qualifications that would make you the ideal candidate. For the cover letter, make sure to research the company before writing and express your interest in them by mentioning why you’re interested in working for them specifically. Use the knowledge you’ve gained on crafting a great resume and cover letter to create a stunning first impression that can get you closer to getting a job offer.
Train for the interviews
Many job seekers get nervous when faced with the interviewer because it involves answering challenging questions. Being prepared with the necessary information can help you answer the questions with confidence. Make sure to prepare by:
Demonstrating industry awareness: Go through the company’s website you are applying for and learn what they do. Also, make sure you are updated with the latest news, rules and regulations relevant to your industry.
Recalling your accomplishments: It is significant to mention all your strengths and achievements without missing important ones. Take some time to look back and compile a list of the times you’ve accomplished job-related tasks in a way that makes you proud. For example, detail a time you successfully avoided a collision or protected passengers or goods from harm. Keep thinking back to tasks you’ve accomplished in past work experiences to identify which ones are worth mentioning at a job interview.
Prepare for the most-asked questions: Find the most commonly asked interview questions and practice your answers. Looking up YouTube videos from recruiters that teach you what type of answer they’re looking for when they ask specific questions can also be beneficial to guide you in your preparation process.
Four easy steps to build an interview-winning driving resume
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What are the different endorsements available for drivers?
For truck drivers:
- Tanker Endorsement for driving a tanker that carries liquid substances.
- HAZMAT certification for transporting hazardous materials.
- Doubles/Triples endorsement for driving two or three towed trailers.
For bus drivers:
- Passenger Endorsement for public passenger transportation.
- Student Transportation/School Bus Endorsement for driving a school bus.
For taxi drivers:
- Chauffeur/passenger/taxicab endorsement for driving taxis or limousines.
The Department of Motor Vehicles in each state provides the above endorsements, although some classifications vary by state.
How important is the Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) for a driver?
The Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) is vital when applying for a driver job because it determines how safe you are. It’s used to check your previous records of traffic violations, accidents or vehicular crimes. If you have too many violations, you may not meet the requirements for driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). The employer requests a new MVR every 12 months and records are held for up to seven years.
Is knowing your way around essential for a driver?
Yes. To plan routes efficiently and reach the destination on time, knowing your way around your assigned area is essential.
What keywords should be included in a driver's resume?
Some driving-related keywords include CDL, transport, trucks, trailers, fleet management, passenger safety, loading and unloading goods, route planning, delivery and logistics. Make sure to consult the job posting you want to apply to for the specific keywords listed there.
What necessary soft skills should be mentioned?
Drivers are friendly communicators, have exceptional interpersonal skills, patience, safety awareness, punctuality, good problem-solving and quick decision-making.