Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Truck Drivers in Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for truck drivers. There are currently 35,700 working truck drivers in Minnesota; this should grow 8% to 38,440 working truck drivers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $18 per hour or $38,090 per year on average in Minnesota and about $17 hourly or $37,270 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Truck drivers earn less than people working in the category of Freight generally in Minnesota and more than people in the Freight category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Rochester where you can study to be a truck driver, among seven schools of higher education total in the Rochester area. The most common level of education for truck drivers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Rochester 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

Riverland Community College - Austin, MN

Riverland Community College, 1900 8th Ave NW, Austin, MN 55912-1473. Riverland Community College is a small college located in Austin, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,068 students. Riverland Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated thirty-five students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester, Minnesota photo by Jonathunder

Rochester is located in Olmsted County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 100,413, which has grown by 17.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rochester, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rochester are priced at $233,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty-seven new homes were constructed in Rochester, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Rochester are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 38.1% of Rochester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rochester is 5.8%, which is less than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Rochester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Faith Family Church, Faith Harbor Church and Saint Francis Catholic Church are all churches located in Rochester. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.

Rochester is home to the Soldiers Field Golf Course and the Guggenheim Building as well as Mohn Park and Manor Park. Shopping centers in the area include Apache Mall, Miracle Mile Shopping Center and Crossroads Shopping Center. Visitors to Rochester can choose from Best Western, Maria's and Econo Lodge Downtown for temporary stays in the area.