Getting Hired for a Truck Driving Job
You know you want to enter the trucking industry, and you may have even applied or started at a truck driving school. But you still need to complete the final step: being hired as a truck driver. Here are the stages you need to complete for your first truck driving job.
Hiring Process for Truck Driving Jobs
Depending on the size of the company and their own internal policies, the hiring process may be different. In general, there are several stages you must complete during the hiring process: application, interview, screening, and orientation.
You can start applying for jobs while you are in truck driving school; you can even apply for jobs before you have a CDL license. Truck driving applications usually require your Social Security Number, driving and employment history, and criminal record. Most applications are now down online, though some may be done in person.
You’ll meet with a recruiter, human resources director, or manager for an initial interview. They will ask questions about your driving history, skills, and habits. Through this meeting, the interviewer will look to determine your views on personal responsibility, accountability, and teamwork. Most trucking companies are looking for committed drivers, not someone who jumps from job to job.
Use this time to learn more about the company. Ask questions about scheduling, routes, time off, and opportunities for advancement and raises. If you have already worked for a transportation company, you’ll likely want to know how this company is different than your previous employer.
During this interview, you’ll likely hear a schedule of the next steps, including screenings, follow-up interviews, and orientation. Pay attention to this schedule and ask any questions you might have.
They will take your Social Security Number (SSN), employment history, medical certificate, and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to verify your records and to perform background checks. Most companies will run your information to receive your personal CSA report through the Pre-Employment Screening Program. The purpose of all these screenings is to verify who you are and to obtain your driving history for the last few years.
As a new driver, you will also be subject to a DOT pre-employment drug and alcohol testing. You won’t be able to start working until your company receives negative test results.
4. Skills Test
Some companies will ask you back for another interview, during which you might go through a skills test. This test would include basic yard skills, like backing up, parking, docking, and hooking & unhooking a trailer.
Once you are hired, you will attend a new employee orientation. This program, which can last a few weeks, will provide you with an introduction to the company, procedures, and policies. Most companies pay you for orientation, as this helps you become a better driver for them once you hit the road.
Truck Driving Salary in PA & MD
How much can I make?
Your salary for a truck driving job will depend on several factors, including the company, your experience, the type of routes, and more. As you start your career, keep in mind that you will be at an entry level rate. As you gain experience, skill, and take on different routes, you can increase your income.
According to Indeed.com, the average truck driver salary in PA is $59,062 per year (source), while the average truck driver in Maryland makes slightly higher per year at $59,095 (source).
Where to Find Truck Driver Jobs?
There are several online job boards and websites to find available truck driving jobs.
Industry Specific Sites
Trucking Company Websites