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Career and Education Opportunities for Truck Drivers in Charlotte, North Carolina

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for truck drivers in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Currently, 57,550 people work as truck drivers in North Carolina. This is expected to grow 12% to 64,620 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

Income for truck drivers is about $18 per hour or $37,500 per year on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,270 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Freight, people working as truck drivers in North Carolina earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Freight nationally.

The Charlotte area is home to forty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charlotte 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 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 Charlotte 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

Catawba Valley Community College - Hickory, NC

Catawba Valley Community College, 2550 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602-0699. Catawba Valley Community College is a small college located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,011 students. Catawba Valley Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated seventy-six students in 2008.

LICENSES

Farm Bulk Milk Hauler/Sampler

Licensing agency: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Address: Food and Drug Protection Division, 4000 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh, NC 27607-6465

Phone: (919) 733-7366
Website: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division

Milk Hauler and Sampler

Licensing agency: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Address: Food and Drug Protection Division, 4000 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh, NC 27607-6465

Phone: (919) 733-7366
Website: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division

Professional House Mover

Licensing agency: NC Department of Transportation
Address: Division of Highways, Oversize/Overweight Permit Office, 1425 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh, NC 27610

Phone: (919) 733-4740
Website: NC Department of Transportation Division of Highways Oversize/Overweight Permit Office

Truck Driver

Licensing agency: NC Department of Transportation
Address: Division of Motor Vehicles, Commercial Driver's Training Section, 3148 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-3101

Phone: (919) 861-3319
Website: NC Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles Commercial Driver's Training Section

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina photo by Alaskan Assassin

Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.

The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.