According to a recent study, more than 80,000 drivers are needed to make up a shortage in America this year.
“By the year 2030, it’s expected to be 160,000,” said Haley Fenton of Western Pacific Truck School.
Fenton handles admissions at Western Pacific Trucking School, which has an office in Sacramento.
Companies are so desperate for drivers, some are starting their pay at nearly six figures.
“So it can start anywhere from $90,000 and up a year,” Fenton said. “It just depends on where you go.”
At Western Pacific Truck School, full-time classes take four weeks and involve a mix of classroom learning as well as time on the road.
When asked about why she thinks this shortage is in full force, she had this to say:
“I feel like truck drivers get a bad rap,” Fenton added. “Like, ‘Oh, they’re just sitting in the truck doing nothing.’ But in fact, truck drivers are the backbone of the company.”
“They really need to think about, is this actually something you’re going to want to do,” she said.
Fenton says enrollment in their school can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $7,500 and financing is available.
Going back to the research study, AJOT lists a few reasons for the driver shortage.
According to Schneider, high demand for semi-truck drivers is increasing but the number of drivers is not. A rapid increase in economic growth results in more drivers needed to deliver goods.
Schneider also lists that current truck drivers are aging out of the industry and younger people are not interested in truck driving.
In addition to not being an attractive career for young people, women, veterans, and other minorities are not being drawn to trucking.
Groups such as Women in Trucking strive to bridge the gap between women and the truck driver shortage.
New drivers have many job opportunities to choose from and the pay for truck drivers has increased 18% over the last two years, according to the ATA.