Career and Education Opportunities for Truck Drivers in Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for truck drivers. About 78,800 people are currently employed as truck drivers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to 90,580 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for truck drivers are expected to grow by about 12.9%. 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.
A person working as a truck driver can expect to earn about $19 hourly or $39,650 per year on average in Illinois and about $17 hourly or $37,270 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Freight, people working as truck drivers in Illinois earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Freight nationally.
The Springfield area is home to nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Springfield where you can get a degree as a truck driver. Given that the most common education level for truck drivers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a truck driver if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Truck Driver
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 Springfield 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.
- School Bus Driver. Transport students or special clients.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Truck Driver Training
Lincoln Land Community College - Springfield, IL
Lincoln Land Community College, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL 62794-9256. Lincoln Land Community College is a medium sized college located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,659 students. Lincoln Land Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 154 students in 2008.
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: Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is situated in Sangamon County, Illinois. It has a population of over 117,352, which has grown by 5.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Springfield, 75, is far less than the national average. New single-family homes in Springfield cost $245,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, ninety-seven new homes were built in Springfield, down from one hundred seventy-nine the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Springfield are public administration, health care, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 30.6% of Springfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Springfield is 8.5%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.
The percentage of Springfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.9%, is more than both the national and state average. First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church are all churches located in Springfield. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the United Methodist Church.
Springfield is home to the Oliver P Parks Telephone Museum and the Building I as well as Jaycee Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Capital City Shopping Center, Fairhills Shopping Center and Chatham Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Springfield can choose from Cottage Inn, Courtyard Springfield and Drury Inn and Suites Springfield IL for temporary stays in the area.