UNITED STATES—The transport industry is one of the few career choices, other than being a military officer, where you can expect to travel as much as you desire. Even if you rise to a management position, many jobs call for regular out-of-town stints at satellite offices in distant locations. For people who like the idea of building a solid career but don’t want to stay in one place while doing it, jobs in the trucking/transportation sector are a smart choice. Not only is the pay excellent and the work interesting, but loyalty and good performance pay off in terms of promotions and raises. Here are some of the positions in transportation that involve frequent travel.
Fleet managers don’t travel as much as the drivers they oversee, but the job is a highly mobile one. Very often, people who manage fleets begin their careers as drivers. The key difference between the two jobs is in the amount of travel. However, both drivers and managers must be aware of federal regulations like hours-of-service rules, training requirements, and DOT (Department of Transportation) oversight. Some inspections, for example, are conducted each year at weigh stations while others take place more frequently. Learn more about this aspect of the job by reviewing an informative guide about the six different kinds of DOT inspections.
Once you have two or more years of direct experience in the transportation industry, you can offer your services as an independent consultant. Expect to travel more than half the year at first, as you acquire clients and start your business by selling your expertise in specialty fields like compliance, management, operations, systems, and driver training. Newer, smaller trucking companies regularly pay consultants in order to learn how to get up and running. If your experience is with a large enterprise, it will be easier to attract new customers who need your knowledge.
After several years on the road, some drivers decide to go indoors and serve as instructors for new hires. Travel is still a big part of the job for trainers because they typically move from city to city teaching new drivers in multi-week courses. For people who enjoy being in the transport industry but want more interpersonal contact than a solo driving job offers, training is a good alternative. Since inadequate training can compromise the safety of both the drivers and those they share the road with these jobs are held in high esteem. It’s also possible to set yourself up as an independent trainer and offer courses directly to the public or to trucking companies that don’t have in-house classes.
For decades, over-the-road truck driving has been one of the few careers that calls for almost constant travel. Whether you work for a large company or own your own rig and work as an owner-operator, every job entails moving from one place to another. Short-haul drivers are often home each night, but long-haul truckers can be away from the home base for several weeks at a time, as they meander around the highways performing their duties. Entry-level positions usually require attendance at a driving school for several weeks or months. After that, promotions and routes are awarded on a seniority basis. Some companies let experienced drivers choose their routes and working seasons.