Becoming an Over-the-Road Truck Driver

Over-the-road (OTR) truckers transport freight across the country, often traveling coast-to-coast. These jobs are among the highest-paid in the trucking industry and you can earn more than $66,000 a year.* If you are interested in becoming an over-the-road truck driver, HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) can help.

Here are the steps to becoming an OTR truck driver:

1. Determine Whether OTR Trucking is Right for You

As with any career decision, you should take some time to consider whether or not over-the-road truck driving is the right choice for you. If you enjoy the freedom of the open road and like working independently, trucking might be a great option. You will get to see more of the country while earning competitive pay. However, you should also be aware that over-the-road truck drivers typically spend three to four weeks at a time on hauls. It’s a good idea to talk to OTR drivers and discuss this career move with your family to determine whether it will be an ideal match for you. Keep in mind that there are other driving jobs that you can consider such as local deliveries or even highway maintenance.

2. Earn Your CDL

To drive a semi-truck, you need to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This will require you to pass a written exam and a skills test. The written exam covers material from the CDL manual and is in a multiple-choice format. The skills test includes a pre-trip inspection, off-road control exercises, and actual driving. Attending a truck driving school is typically the best way to earn your license and most trucking companies prefer to hire CDL school graduates.

3. Choose a Trucking Company

After you earn your CDL, you can choose a company to work for. There are many factors to consider when deciding on a motor carrier such as pay, benefits, home time, and company culture. Additionally, this is when you will decide what type of freight you would like to haul. Many new over-the-road truck drivers operate dry vans or refrigerated trucks, but you may also be interested in flatbed trucking or another more specialized type of vehicle. Your long-term goals can help you narrow down your options. For example, if you want to become an owner-operator, you may want to consider companies that offer pathways to truck ownership. HDS truck driving school offers job placement assistance and can help you find a company that matches your goals and desires.

High-Quality Truck Driver Training in Tucson, AZ

At HDS truck driving school, you can learn from experienced instructors and start your career with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. We are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and are also a member of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA).

Start on the Road to a Trucking Career

To learn more about becoming an over-the-road truck driver, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $46,370. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $66,840 per year according to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics.