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What are careers in trucking?

By Zippia Expert - Oct. 25, 2022

Truck driver, freight forwarder, and freight broker are careers in trucking. Here are some details on each of these careers and others in the trucking industry:

  • Truck driver

Truck drivers deliver hauls of goods all throughout the country. They also work in trucks of all sizes, including vans to eighteen-wheelers. Some truck drivers work on a local basis, only hauling loads within a certain city, county, or state, while others will deliver across the country and even across borders, into Mexico and Canada.

Some companies with smaller trucks may only require you to have a regular driver's license with a clean driving record; however, this is rare. Large trucks require you to have a CDL license.

CDL licenses fall into three different categories:

  • Class A

  • Class B

  • Class C

Trailer gross weight rating restrictions separate Class A, and Class B. Class A license allows you to drive tractor trailers, while a Class B license clears you to drive straight trucks, box trucks, and large passenger buses.

A Class C license allows you to drive smaller vehicles, like passenger vans and certain delivery trucks. Most local truck driving positions require a CDL license.

The average salary of a truck driver in the United States is $77,955 per year.

  • Freight forwarder

Freight forwarders arrange the shipping of freight for their customers but also can perform other tasks. In addition to moving goods, freight forwarders may store products for their customers. Freight forwarders take physical possession of goods at a point in their travel.

The average salary of a freight forwarder in the United States is $46,974 per year.

  • Freight broker

Freight brokers coordinate the connection between shippers and carriers but do not handle freight directly. A freight broker can handle international movements, but these movements are usually in one specific area.

They connect with multiple carriers and can often negotiate better rates for the shippers. With multiple clients and higher shipping volume, brokers have more bargaining power than an individual business with only a few regular clients.

Truck Driver Jobs

  • Operations manager

Operations managers are concerned with the overall operations of a business or company. This includes activities like planning, supervising, organizing production and manufacturing, and logistics. They seek any ways in which they can improve how a business or company operates with the ultimate goal of increasing profits and business growth.

In the trucking industry, an operations manager's main focus is typically logistics. This has to do with scheduling, trucking routes, load sizes, and decisions on what goes into each haul.

Operation managers focus on measuring and analyzing internal processes to gauge their effectiveness and efficiency. They will inspect many different processes, such as raw material acquisition to product delivery, trying to determine areas that need improvement and enhancements in operations.

Some standard issues that concern operations managers are reducing waste, ensuring product quality, improving consumer satisfaction, boosting employee productivity, assisting with company objectives, and increasing revenue.

Operations managers also ensure that truck drivers follow local, state, and federal laws regarding safe trucking protocols and basic driving regulations.

At its core, the operations manager role is a leadership position. They may direct an entire operations management team or several different departments or divisions within a business or company.

Most operations managers have a bachelor's degree or advanced degree in business operations, business management, or another related field. Many have also worked their way up in the operations management department of a company into the lead managerial role.

The average salary of an operations manager in the trucking industry is $63,498 per year in the United States.

  • Software developer

A software developer is a tech industry professional in computer programming. There are many software developers in the trucking industry. Here they are tasked with the creation, management, and modification of software that has a wide variety of uses in trucking.

Truckers use electronic logging devices, electric engines, and various other automated systems. All of these need to be developed and programmed by software developers.

Other truck software they may develop or maintain in the trucking industry includes billing software, shipment tracking, and scheduling software.

Software developers must have a keen attention to detail and be highly creative in the areas of writing code and code implementation.

The average salary of a software developer in the trucking industry is $114,336 per year in the United States.

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