You don’t need a fancy college degree to drive a vehicle — and knowing how to drive can sometimes be enough to make a good living. No need to go the Fast and the Furious route, legitimate driving careers are easy to find and actually in-demand.
Getting Ready for the Long Haul
You don’t need stringent qualifications to drive a truck — all you’ll need is a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and a little bit of training. There is no shortage of job openings in the trucking industry. In fact, trucking companies are vying for the limited pool of qualified drivers.
Most truck drivers are over the age of 55 and trucking companies are desperate for new blood to fill their ranks. You do need to be over the age of 21 in order to be licensed to cross state lines, but a pending bill by California Representative Duncan Hunter seeks to lower that requirement to 18.
Truck Driving is one of the most high-paying careers in the market, and the current shortage in drivers is driving wages higher. As a novice truck driver straight out of training, you can earn a starting salary of $40,000 for your first year. This number can go up to $60,000 in just 2–3 years — even more, if you run more jobs and keep your delivery records clean.
Driving on Demand
You need a car for this one — but driving for Uber or Lyft can earn you a lot of money if you have the proper mindset. Uber claims that their drivers earn $70,000 per year, but those claims are highly inflated or limited to all but a few very dedicated drivers.
There are no bosses, no wage disparity, no wage gap between men and women. Although men make comparatively more than women when driving for Uber or Lyft, gender hardly makes a difference in that situation. Men make more runs, drive a little bit faster, and work longer hours.
Driving for a ride-sharing company allows you to work as little or as much as you want. Unfortunately, since you’re working as a freelancer — you do have additional requirements and expenses. You need to cover your gas, car repair costs, parking, and car insurance.
Some states may require a CDL course and the accompanying license when driving larger vehicle models. You can expect to earn $35000-45,000 on your first year and a little bit more when you learn the ropes.
Acquiring a Commercial Driver’s License
Trade schools will regularly offer CDL training and students can choose between state-run community colleges, private trucking schools, and trucking company-operated schools. Courses can take as much as a few weeks to six months, depending on the type of course you take and additional training involved. A CDL also allows you to drive buses for both the state and commercial companies.
If the road calls to you, then it’s best to answer. Driving for a living isn’t for everyone, but if driving is your passion — you might as well make a living out of it.