“I like guys who drive trucks.”

Inga Cadranel, Actress

Pros and Cons of Working as a Trucker

advantages and disadvantages of being a truck driver

You consider becoming a truck driver but are not entirely sure whether this job is good for you or not? Great!

Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a truck driver in the following chapters.

Table of Contents

Trucker Job Profile

Job DescriptionThe job of a truck driver is to bring food and other goods from A to B in a safe manner. Truckers drive many hundreds of miles per day and often have strict schedules.
Salary$55,000 per year on average, most truckers make between $42,000 and $75,000 per year.
Job SecurityRather low job security since many people can do the job.
Job SatisfactionGood if you love trucks and the trucker life in general.
Work-Life BalancePoor since you often have to work on weekends and in the nighttime.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Can be mentally and physically demanding.
Future OutlookRather poor since many truck drivers will no longer be needed anymore due to autonomous driving.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements, even though you may need an additional driver’s license for working as a trucker.

Advantages of Being a Truck Driver

  1. Working as a truck driver gives you a feeling of freedom
  2. Truck drivers can work rather independently
  3. You will not have a boss looking over your shoulder all day long
  4. Truck drivers can see the country
  5. You can meet many other truck drivers
  6. You can improve your driving skills
  7. You can help your friends when they have to move
  8. Truckers can make decent money
  9. You can work inside your truck
  10. Truckers are important to keep our economy running
  11. You can avoid working in classical office jobs
  12. Perfect job if you love driving
  13. You don’t need fancy education for becoming a trucker

Working as a truck driver gives you a feeling of freedom

One advantage of being a trucker is that it just gives you a great feeling of freedom.

You will sit in your driver’s cabin and will sit higher than in most other vehicles.

This allows you to get an astounding view of the landscape while most other people who drive smaller cars will not have the same nice view.

Since you will also sit in your truck alone most of the time, you can do whatever you want as long as you comply with the law and do your job in a decent manner.

This will enable you to feel like a free human being as a truck driver while many people who work in other jobs don’t get this feeling of freedom at all.

Truck drivers can work rather independently

In general, truck drivers can also work in a rather independent manner.

When you get up in the morning, you will usually get the route that you have to drive and the stops you have to make.

Apart from that, you will be able to make coffee or cigarette breaks whenever you want to as long as you are on time.

You may also work more in the morning and drive fewer miles in the evening.

If you are a reliable person, chances are that your boss will grant you this high level of flexibility and independence and you can therefore make your day as best as possible since you can work according to your individual preferences.

You will not have a boss looking over your shoulder all day long

Another advantage of being a truck driver is that you also don’t have a boss who looks you over your shoulder all day long.

This is in fact true in many office jobs since bosses often don’t trust their employees and try everything to control them.

As a truck driver, you will not have this problem since you will be alone in your driver’s cabin and will also not have the same level of supervision that other people have to accept during their workday.

Truck drivers can see the country

You will also be able to see many different regions as a trucker.

You may even be able to see many different states or countries, depending on the routes you are meant to drive.

This can be great, especially if you are the type of person who loves to travel the world and to experience many different cultures.

Hence, while most other people have to work from an office or from home and have to pay when they want to go to different countries, you will be the one who will get this experience for free and even gets paid as a truck driver.

You can meet many other truck drivers

Another benefit of working as a trucker is that you will also be able to meet up with many other truck drivers.

Quite often, many truckers will have similar routes and you will often meet the same people in the service areas.

This also means that you can drink beers together in the evening before you go to sleep and this can also give you a feeling of community when you are far away from home.

You can also discuss latest political changes and what might be going on in the world.

Hence, especially if you are the kind of extroverted person who loves to talk to people, chances are that you will make many new connections as a truck driver.

You can improve your driving skills

Since you will drive many hundreds of miles per day, you will also get really good at driving.

Sure, you should have decent driving skills right from the beginning to minimize the risk of accidents.

Yet, you will learn to handle difficult situations through experience and you will become a much better driver in the long run.

You can help your friends when they have to move

Since you will have a driver’s license to drive big trucks, you will also be of great help to your friends in case they have to move.

Your loved ones will often have lots of stuff that has to be carried to their new home.

Most of the time, doing this by car will just not work out at all and you can do your friends a favor and drive their things to their new home with a bigger truck.

In turn, the overall moving process will become much easier and your friends will be thankful for your support and will likely also help you later on in life.

Truckers can make decent money

Another upside to becoming a truck driver is that you can also earn pretty decent money.

Of course, you will not earn as much as doctors, lawyers or bankers.

Yet, you will still make enough money to have a decent lifestyle, especially if you find a partner who works as well.

You can work inside your truck

You also don’t have to work outdoors as a truck driver.

While this may not sound like a big advantage to you at first, trust me, it is!

You will be protected from the elements in your driver’s cabin and can use heating and air conditioning to make your working conditions as comfortable as possible as a trucker while many other people who have to work outdoors will not enjoy this luxury and will often suffer from extreme adverse conditions.

Truckers are important to keep our economy running

You can also do an important service to our country since you will be the one who keeps our economy running as a truck driver.

Imagine a world without truckers.

We would just have much less food and other things to choose from.

In fact, our stores would be rather empty most of the time and we would also have to wait much longer until our items would be delivered to our homes.

As you can see, truck drivers are crucial for our system like we know it today to work well and you can be one of those important people without whom the economy would likely collapse sooner or later.

You can avoid working in classical office jobs

Another benefit of working as a truck driver is that you can also avoid working in an office job.

While some people like the atmosphere that comes along with office jobs, many others just don’t like it at all.

In fact, we as humans have never been meant to work in an office and to stare at a computer screen all day long.

We have just not evolved like this and it can be considered unnatural and against human nature to spend your whole day in those environments.

In contrast, you will be on the road as a truck driver and can avoid all the downsides that come along with working in an office job.

Perfect job if you love driving

In general, working as a trucker can be great for you if you always liked trucks and even already wanted to sit in a truck as a child.

In fact, many truck drivers are not in the game for the money.

They really enjoy this unique lifestyle and are fascinated by trucks and by the trucker life in general.

Consequently, if you love driving and spending time with big vehicles, a career as a trucker may also be quite promising for you.

You don’t need fancy education for becoming a trucker

You should also not get discouraged regarding educational requirements when it comes to working as a truck driver.

In most states, it will be enough to finish high school and you will be good to go.

You also don’t have to worry about getting a college degree like in many other jobs.

This means that you can save lots of money on tuition and other costs that come along with college education.

Instead, you can make money right after finishing school and this will give you the opportunity to become independent of your parents pretty soon while many other people will financially struggle to pay for their college education.

Now that we talked about all the upsides that come along with working as a trucker, it is time to also mention the downsides so that you get a more comprehensive picture of what a career as a truck driver really looks like.

Disadvantages of Being a Trucker

  1. Risk of accidents
  2. Truck drivers don’t make a fortune
  3. Truckers are away from home quite often
  4. Can be problematic for your private life
  5. Drivers have rather irregular working hours
  6. You may have to work on weekends
  7. Rather poor work-life balance
  8. Working as a trucker can be lonely
  9. You need an additional driver’s license
  10. Time pressure can be significant
  11. You may get fined
  12. You are replaceable as a truck driver
  13. Rather questionable future job prospects
  14. Teleworking is not possible for truckers
  15. Many drivers suffer from being overweight
  16. Sleeping problems are rather common among truckers
  17. Back pain can become a problem
  18. You will not have the highest social standing
  19. Problems in the dating market
  20. You will get stuck in traffic jams quite often
  21. Many truckers get bored in the long run
  22. Hard to switch fields as a truck driver

Risk of accidents

One problem with being a trucker is that you will also a significant risk of accidents.

Sure, you will be able to improve your driving skills over time and chances for mistakes on your side may become rather small.

Yet, other road users will make mistakes as well and if you are on the road for many hours a day, chances are that you will get involved in accidents on a regular basis.

While some of those accidents will be rather harmless, others can be really dangerous and may even take away your life if you are unlucky.

Thus, make sure that you are willing to take this risk before you decide for becoming a trucker.

Truck drivers don’t make a fortune

While you will be able to make decent money as a truck driver, you will certainly not make as much money as in many other fields.

While many people out there make a six-figure income, you can just dream about this as a truck driver.

If you live in expensive cities where living costs are pretty high, chances are that you will be barely able to afford any luxury and if money is really important to you, you should rather go for an alternative career path instead of working as a trucker.

Truckers are away from home quite often

Another disadvantage of working as a trucker is that you will also be away from home quite often.

This can be emotionally difficult since it also implies that you will not see your family and friends for an extended period of time.

Especially if you have kids, it can be really hard to be away from home since your children will often not understand why you are not at home and may even resent you for your job in the long run.

Can be problematic for your private life

In general, a career as a truck driver can be rather problematic for your private life.

Since you will often be away from home, you will not be able to spend sufficient time with your family and your partner will likely cheat on your sooner or later.

In fact, it is pretty hard for truckers to maintain relationships in the long run.

Moreover, since you will not be able to hang out with your friends that often, you may also lose many of them sooner or later and you should really ask yourself whether your job as a trucker is important enough to you to make those compromises and sacrifices.

Drivers have rather irregular working hours

You should also not expect regular working hours as a trucker.

Quite often, schedules and plans change and your working hours will change with them.

Hence, while you might expect to drive route A tomorrow and expect to come home in time, you might get noticed that you have to drive route B instead which may take much longer than route A.

Consequently, you will also have to be rather flexible as a truck driver and chances are that you will have to change your plans quite frequently, which can also further lower the quality of your private life.

You may have to work on weekends

Another downside to being a trucker is that you will also have to work on weekends quite often.

In fact, people have to be supplied with food and other goods all week long and don’t really care if you want to have free weekends or not.

What customers care about is that there will be everything they want to buy in the store or available online.

In turn, this also means that some truck drivers have to work on weekends and sometimes even holidays to keep the delivery chain intact and running and you may be one of those unlucky guys who have to work on weekends while most other people enjoy their leisure.

Rather poor work-life balance

Since you will have to work on weekends and also in the nighttime, you will also have a rather poor work-life balance as a truck driver.

Even though you might have some days off after an exhausting shift, chances are that you will still be tired and will not really be able to enjoy your leisure that much.

Working as a trucker can be lonely

Many truck drivers also feel quite lonely. In fact, working as a truck driver is a lonely game.

Even though you can meet up with other truck drivers from time to time, you will just spend most of your day without anyone around you.

It’s just the nature of the game and you should make sure that you are fine with this before becoming a truck driver.

You need an additional driver’s license

You will also not be able to drive a truck with your conventional driver’s license in most states.

Quite often, you will be required to get an additional commercial driver’s license that allows you to drive big trucks and this means that you will have to invest additional time and money before you can start working as a trucker.

Time pressure can be significant

Many truckers also experience significant time pressure.

Schedules are strict and many truck drivers can’t afford any deviations since they would be late and being late often means getting fired in this industry pretty soon.

Consequently, many truckers are under constant pressure to make it to their destinations in time and have to fear the consequences in case they fail to do so.

You may get fined

Due to the time pressure that comes along with working as a truck driver, many truckers also exceed the speed limit.

In turn, they also get fined on a regular basis and if you get fined too often, you will not only have to pay significant amounts of money, but you will also be at risk of losing your driver’s license which will also often lead to a state where you lose your job.

You are replaceable as a truck driver

Another problem with working as a trucker is that you will also be replaceable pretty easily.

In fact, almost everyone can do this job and this means that you will basically have no job security at all.

Rather questionable future job prospects

A career as a truck driver may also not be advisable when it comes to future job prospects.

Due to machine learning and artificial intelligence, many trucks will be able to drive without a truck driver in the near future.

Autonomous driving will just make many truckers obsolete and you should therefore think twice and may rather want to go for an alternative career path in case job security is really important to you.

Teleworking is not possible for truckers

Many people who work in office jobs also enjoy the privilege of working from home.

This gives them a great level of flexibility and it will also be easier for them to manage their private and professional life at the same time.

This will not be true for you when you work as a truck driver since you will have to be on the road in person and you will therefore also not be able to enjoy the upsides that come along with teleworking.

Many drivers suffer from being overweight

Since you will not get sufficient physical exercise as a trucker, chances are that you will suffer from overweight sooner or later.

In fact, many truck drivers become obese in the long run and the related health problems that come along with it are not nice at all.

Sleeping problems are rather common among truckers

You will also have to work in the nighttime as a truck driver quite often.

This also means that your natural sleeping rhythm will be destroyed and many truck drivers also report that they suffer from serious sleeping problems.

Back pain can become a problem

Not only will your sleep suffer if you work as a trucker, but you may also suffer from significant back pain in the long run.

Some truckers even have to quit their jobs since they can simply no longer work in a driver’s cabin due to the pain that comes along with it.

In turn, many of them also suffer from old-age poverty since they have to retire pretty soon but haven’t saved enough money to pay their bills.

You will not have the highest social standing

You will also have a rather low social standing as a trucker.

Sure, people will appreciate your work since they know that you are important to keep our system running.

Yet, you will just not enjoy the same level of admiration as people who work in other important jobs.

Problems in the dating market

Truckers often also have a rather hard time when it comes to finding a partner.

Since they will not make that much money and also have rather low social standing, their dating options will be rather limited.

You will get stuck in traffic jams quite often

You should also not underestimate how annoying it is to get stuck in traffic jams on a regular basis.

In fact, it can be frustrating to spend many hours of your day sitting around and waiting until the traffic finally moves again.

Thus, also make sure that you have strong nerves in this regard before you decide for a career as a trucker.

Many truckers get bored in the long run

You should also make sure that working as a trucker is really a passion for you.

Otherwise, you will get bored pretty soon and may no longer enjoy your job anymore.

Hard to switch fields as a truck driver

Many truckers also have problems with finding a different job.

For instance, let’s assume you become tired of your job as a truck driver after a few years and want to switch fields.

Chances are that this will be almost impossible, especially if you don’t have any additional qualifications since you will just not be able to compete in the job market with other people who have more valuable skills to offer.

Top 10 Being a Trucker Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Trucker ProsBeing a Trucker Cons
Truckers enjoy a great level of freedomTruckers often have strict schedules
You don’t have to work in an office jobTime pressure is quite common
You will see many different regionsYou will have to work on weekends
Truckers can make decent moneyTruckers often have to work at nighttime
You can work in your driver’s cabinSleeping problems are quite common
Working as a trucker can be a passionBack pain can be a real issue for truckers
You can help out your friendsYou will be away from home quite often
You can talk to many other driversHard to maintain relationships
Truckers are important for the supply chainTruckers have rather low social status
You don’t need a college degreeHard in case you have children

Should You Become A Truck Driver?

Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of being a trucker, it is on you to decide whether you still want to follow this career path or if you want to go for other job options instead.

Opportunities are almost endless and you should really take your time so that you make the best possible decision in this regard.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a school bus driver

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a car salesman

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a photographer

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck_driver

https://money.cnn.com/2015/10/09/news/economy/truck-driver-shortage/index.html

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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