Truck Drivers

Truck Driver Uses Log Book

Truck drivers generally are distinguished by the distance they travel. Over-the-road drivers, also known as long-distance drivers or tractor-trailer drivers, haul freight over long distances in large trucks and tractor-trailer rigs that are usually diesel-powered. Depending on the specific operation, over-the-road drivers also load and unload the shipments and make minor repairs to vehicles. Short-haul drivers or pickup and delivery drivers operate trucks that transport materials, merchandise, and equipment within a limited area, usually a single city or metropolitan area. There are nearly 1.7 million heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and 826,510 light truck or delivery service drivers employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Long-Distance Drivers, Over-the-Road Drivers, Pickup and Delivery Drivers, Short-Haul Drivers, Tractor-Trailer Drivers
Duties Drive trucks of all sizes to transport materials, merchandise, and equipment
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Business
  • Geography
  • Technical/Shop
Experience On-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Hands On
  • Technical
  • Business Management
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must be at least 21 years old, have a commercial driver's license, and pass a physical
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Owner-Operator
  • Driver Supervisor, or Dispatcher, or Terminal Manager
  • Over-the-Road Driver
  • Local Truck Driver
  • Driver Helper