Unlocking New Careers for Truck Drivers

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Lots of candidates stick to one industry for the duration of their careers, even if they’d rather be working in a different field. Why? Career lock-in is one of the biggest reasons. Once a candidate has worked in an industry for a year or two (especially a very niche industry) they think it’ll  be easier to get a similar position in the same field than to try and land something new. People quickly become “locked in” to a professional path.

This career trajectory can seem inevitable. But is it?

In previous posts, we’ve discussed that companies want to hire people who are good communicators, detail-oriented, computer literate, and have great customer service. Candidates develop these skills in a variety of industries, and (with some savvy) can leverage their expertise to land a job in a brand new industry. While making a change might take some extra effort, our data shows that it is certainly not impossible.

Truck drivers are one group of job seekers that seem to have a very narrow and specialized set of skills. The nature of their work, and in fact their entire lifestyle, is very specific to their job title. That’s why so many truck drivers never consider switching to a job outside of the shipping and transportation industry. But the truth is, people in this field pick up transferable skills over the years that can be applied to other lines of work. We looked at ZipRecruiter data to find out the best industries for truck drivers who are ready for a change.

Top Skills for Truck Drivers  

First, we looked at the top skills employers seek out when hiring truck drivers, to learn which skills employees in this line of work are most likely to have and develop.

  1. CDL A License
  2. CDL
  3. Truck Driver
  4. Tractor Trailer
  5. Warehousing
  6. Road Transportation
  7. Class A Driver
  8. Trucking
  9. Over the Road Experience
  10. Hazmat
  11. Packing
  12. Forklift Experience
  13. Customer Service
  14. Pallet Jack
  15. Hauling

While a lot of the top skills required of drivers are specific to trucking, there is some crossover with other industries. Truck drivers may highlight their warehousing, customer service, and packing skills to broaden their search and secure a position in a different field.

Top Transferrable Industries

Next, we compared these top truck driver skills against all other industries to identify the fields with the most skill crossover. Our data populated the industries that most frequently require the same skills as the truck driving industry.

  1. Travel
  2. Construction
  3. Automotive
  4. Business
  5. Manufacturing
  6. Real Estate
  7. Energy and Environment
  8. Technology
  9. Education
  10. Retail

While it might take more work to find that next job, our data supports the idea that truck drivers should be able to leverage their current skills into a position within one of these related fields. Many of the top industries will require that candidates be detail-oriented, organized, and physically capable of performing manual labor. No matter what type of job they choose to pursue next, truck drivers should apply with the knowledge that they are not locked-in to the transportation industry and plenty of other opportunities are within reach.


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