FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Become A Tow Truck Operator

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Tow Truck Operator

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $28,542

    Average Salary

What Does A Tow Truck Operator Do

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity of more than 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.

Duties

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers typically do the following:

  • Drive long distances
  • Report to a dispatcher any incidents encountered on the road
  • Follow all applicable traffic laws
  • Inspect their trailers before and after the trip, and record any defects they find
  • Maintain a log of their working hours, following all federal and state regulations
  • Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
  • Keep their trucks and associated equipment clean and in good working order

Most heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers’ routes are assigned by a dispatcher, but some independent drivers still plan their own routes. They may use satellite tracking to help them plan.

A driver must know which roads allow trucks and which do not. Drivers also must plan legally required rest periods into their trip. Some drivers have one or two routes that they drive regularly, and others drivers take many different routes throughout the country. Also, some drivers have routes that include Mexico or Canada.

Companies sometimes use two drivers, known as teams, on long runs in order to minimize downtime. On these team runs, one driver sleeps in a berth behind the cab while the other drives.

Certain cargo requires drivers to adhere to additional safety regulations. Some heavy truck drivers who transport hazardous materials, such as chemical waste, must take special precautions when driving, and may carry specialized safety equipment in case of an accident. Other drivers, such as those carrying liquids, oversized loads, or cars, must follow rules that apply specifically to them.

Some long-haul truck drivers, called owner–operators, buy or lease trucks and go into business for themselves. In addition to their driving tasks, owner-operators also have business tasks, including finding and keeping clients and doing administrative work, such as accounting.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Tow Truck Operator

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers usually have a high school diploma and attend a professional truckdriving school. They must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Education

Most companies require their truck drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Many companies require drivers to attend professional truckdriving schools, where they take training courses to learn how to maneuver large vehicles on highways or through crowded streets. During these classes, drivers also learn the federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. Students attend either a private truckdriving school or a program at a community college that lasts between 3 and 6 months.

Upon finishing their classes, drivers receive a certificate of completion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a requirement that mandates all newly hired interstate truck drivers to take a truckdriving course.

The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) certifies a small percentage of driver-training courses at truckdriver training schools that meet both the industry standards and the U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines for training tractor-trailer drivers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All long-haul truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Qualifications for obtaining a CDL vary by state but generally include passing both a knowledge test and a driving test. States have the right to refuse to issue a CDL to anyone who has had a CDL suspended by another state.

Drivers can get endorsements to their CDL that show their ability to drive a specialized type of vehicle. Truck drivers transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT) must have a hazardous materials endorsement (H). Getting this endorsement requires passing an additional knowledge test and a background check.

Federal regulations require random testing of on-duty truck drivers for drug or alcohol abuse. In addition, truck drivers can have their CDL suspended if they are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or are convicted of a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle.

Other actions can result in a suspension after multiple violations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website has a list of these violations. Additionally, some companies have stricter standards than what federal regulations require.

Training

After completing truckdriving school and being hired by a company, drivers normally receive between 1 and 3 months of on-the-job training. During this time, they drive a truck with a more experienced mentor–driver in the passenger seat. This period of on-the-job training is given so that the new drivers will learn more about the specific type of truck they will drive and material they will transport.

Important Qualities

Hand-eye coordination. Drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers must be able to coordinate their legs, hands, and eyes simultaneously so that they will react appropriately to the situation around them and drive the vehicle safely.

Hearing ability. Truck drivers need good hearing. Federal regulations require that a driver be able to hear a forced whisper in one ear at 5 feet (with or without the use of a hearing aid).

Physical health. Federal regulations do not allow people to become truck drivers if they have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or epilepsy, which may interfere with their ability to operate a truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website has a full list of medical conditions that disqualify someone from driving a long-haul truck.

Visual ability. Truck drivers must be able to pass vision tests. Federal regulations require a driver to have at least 20/40 vision with a 70-degree field of vision in each eye and the ability to distinguish the colors on a traffic light.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Tow Truck Operator?

Tow Truck Operator Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Do you work as a Tow Truck Operator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Do you work as a Tow Truck Operator?

Tow Truck Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

94.9%

Female

4.0%

Unknown

1.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Hispanic or Latino

16.5%

Black or African American

9.7%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.7%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

84.2%

Dakota

5.3%

Thai

5.3%

Cheyenne

5.3%
Show More

Tow Truck Operator Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

14.1%

University of Phoenix

12.7%

Kirkwood Community College

7.0%

Palomar College

5.6%

Lincoln Technical Institute

5.6%

Dutchess Community College

5.6%

National Tractor Trailer School Inc

4.2%

Ashford University

4.2%

Fox Valley Technical College

4.2%

Delgado Community College

4.2%

Hennepin Technical College

4.2%

College of Southern Idaho

4.2%

Utah State University

4.2%

Hibbing Community College

2.8%

San Bernardino Valley College

2.8%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

2.8%

Columbus State Community College

2.8%

Maricopa Community Colleges - Phoenix College

2.8%

Montgomery College

2.8%

The Academy

2.8%
Show More
Majors

Automotive Technology

27.9%

Criminal Justice

13.0%

Business

11.0%

General Studies

6.4%

Computer Science

5.5%

Precision Metal Working

5.2%

Fire Science And Protection

3.3%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.8%

Education

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Medical Technician

2.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.2%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.9%

History

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.7%

Industrial Technology

1.7%

Management

1.7%

Aviation

1.7%
Show More
Degrees

Other

55.8%

Associate

15.3%

Bachelors

12.5%

Certificate

9.1%

Diploma

3.5%

License

1.9%

Masters

1.6%

Doctorate

0.4%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Tow Truck Operator?

Have you worked as a Tow Truck Operator? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Tow Truck Operator.

Top Skills for A Tow Truck Operator

Show More

  1. Transport Vehicles
  2. Tow Truck
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Drive vehicles with capacities greater than three tons to transport vehicles and materials to and from specified destinations.
  • Operated flatbed tow truck with wheel lift; secured cargo for transport, using straps, blocks, chains or binders.
  • Received multiple reviews acknowledging my level of dedication to excellent customer service.
  • Preformed road side assistance and tows to disable or wrecked vehicles.
  • Sign in to my AAA GPS tablet, informing AAA I was ready to report to any job requiring my assistance.

How Would You Rate Working As a Tow Truck Operator?

Are you working as a Tow Truck Operator? Help us rate Tow Truck Operator as a Career.

Top Tow Truck Operator Employers

Show More

Jobs From Top Tow Truck Operator Employers

Tow Truck Operator Videos

The Paycheck! (How Much Do You Make In Truck Driving)

Should I Become an Owner Operator?

Confessions of a Tow Truck Operator

Related to your recently viewed content