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Career and Education Opportunities for Truck Drivers in Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for truck drivers. There are currently 78,800 jobs for truck drivers in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 15% to 90,580 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for truck drivers, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.9% over the next eight years. Truck drivers generally drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 GVW, to transport and deliver goods, livestock, or materials in liquid, loose, or packaged form.

Truck drivers earn about $19 hourly or $39,650 yearly on average in Illinois and about $17 per hour or $37,270 annually on average nationally. Incomes for truck drivers are better than in the overall category of Freight in Illinois, and better than the overall Freight category nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a truck driver, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. Given that the most common education level for truck drivers is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a truck driver if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Truck Driver

Truck Driver video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, truck drivers drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 GVW, to transport and deliver goods, livestock, or materials in liquid, loose, or packaged form. They also may be required to unload truck.

Truck drivers check vehicles to insure that mechanical and emergency equipment is in good working order. They also report vehicle defects or damage to the vehicles. Equally important, truck drivers have to check all load-related documentation to insure that it is complete and accurate. They are often called upon to make use of equipment, such as truck cab computers and telephones, to provide needed data with bases or other drivers. They are expected to maintain logs of working hours and of vehicle service and repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations. Finally, truck drivers check conditions of trailers after contents have been unloaded to insure that there has been no damage.

Every day, truck drivers are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to respond quickly in general. It is also important that they coordinate both hands in a single activity.

It is important for truck drivers to secure cargo for transport, using ropes, blocks, chain, binders, or covers. They are often called upon to crank trailer landing gear up and down to safely secure vehicles. They also load and unload vehicles, or help others with loading and unloading, operating any special loading-related equipment on vehicles and using other equipment as needed. They are sometimes expected to remove refuse from loaded trailers. Somewhat less frequently, truck drivers are also expected to climb ladders to inspect loads, ensuring that cargo is secure.

Truck drivers sometimes are asked to place empty carts and pallets in trailers so they will be available to enable placement and movement of goods. They also have to be able to read and interpret maps to establish vehicle routes And finally, they sometimes have to make use of vehicles equipped with snowplows and sander attachments to maintain roads in winter weather.

Like many other jobs, truck drivers must be reliable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Bus Driver. Drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage. May assist passengers with baggage. May collect fares or tickets.
  • Delivery Driver. Drive a truck or van with a capacity of under 26,000 GVW, primarily to deliver or pick up merchandise or to deliver packages within a specified area. May require use of automatic routing or location software. May load and unload truck.
  • Route Delivery Driver. Drive truck or other vehicle over established routes or within an established territory and sell goods, such as food products, including restaurant take-out items, or pick up and deliver items, such as laundry. May also take orders and collect payments. Includes newspaper delivery drivers.
  • School Bus Driver. Transport students or special clients.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Truck Driver Training

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

Star Truck Driving School - Bensenville, IL

Star Truck Driving School, 710 Larsen Ln, Bensenville, IL 60106. Star Truck Driving School is a small school located in Bensenville, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 38 students and an admission rate of 82%. Star Truck Driving School has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 332 students in 2008.

LICENSES

COMMERCIAL DRIVER (TRUCK AND BUS OPERATOR)

Licensing agency: Illinois Secretary of State Department of Driver Services
Address: Commercial Driver Training Section, Capitol Building, Room 213, Springfield, IL 62756

Phone: (708) 437-3953
Website: Illinois Secretary of State Department of Driver Services Commercial Driver Training Section

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.