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15 Mar. 2023

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Working as a truck driver in the USA: nuances of the profession

Work
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For refugees
USA (United States)

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Working as a truck driver in the USA: nuances of the profession

Truck driver is a rather popular profession on the American market. One of its main advantages is that the profession is suitable for immigrants. Learn more about how status in the U.S. affects job opportunities for refugees, as well as the profession's prospects

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
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The US trucking industry is developing by leaps and bounds. Large American companies (Amazon, Walmart, Lowe's, etc.) deliver goods across the country by truck. There are numerous of transportation companies that provide cargo transportation services.

Accordingly, truckers are very popular in the United States. The profession has its advantages, for example, it allows you to travel around America. A truck driver in the United States works in comfortable conditions, has a stable income, and earns good money right from the start. But is it really that simple? Let's find out!


Status in the US: how does it affect the ability to work as a trucker?


American transportation companies value their reputation. This is the first thing. And secondly, truck inspections are carried out frequently. Police officers check the documents for the car and the driver. 


Therefore, only those candidates who have legal status in the United States, as evidenced by the following documents, can apply for truck driving jobs


 work visa;

 work Authorization;

• Green Card.


A tourist visa does not give the right to work. For illegal migrants, working as a trucker in the United States is also not available. 


Obtaining a CDL class A driver's license


You can work as a truck driver only if you have a CDL license, which is issued from the age of 18, while working on interstate transportation is allowed only from the age of 21. The document allows you to drive the following types of vehicles:


 passenger buses;

 tractors;

 lorries;

 trucks;

 trailers;

 towing vehicles, etc.


Class A means that the weight of a truck with a tow exceeds 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs), and the total weight with cargo can be from 11,794 kg (26,001 lbs). 


Now it's time to figure out how to pass the CDL test in the United States. First, pass a medical examination. Register on the website of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take the exams. Prepare using textbooks, mobile applications, and online simulators. The exam consists of two parts: theoretical (tests) and practical (driving).


Finding a job for beginners


The "truck driver" vacancies are published on almost every job search resource. There are many offers on the Indeed platform. However, the posts are in English, but you can use a translator. You can also look for employment options on the following sites: Monster Jobs, SimplyHired, etc. 


Among the most popular Ukrainian and Russian-language platforms for finding a job as a trucker, BAZAR.club definitely stands out. What is so attractive about the service? New vacancies appear almost every day. You immediately get access to all the necessary data: conditions, responsibilities, salary, employer contacts.


You can search for current vacancies on social media. There are many Facebook groups and Telegram communities where information about jobs for Russian speakers regularly appears


Salary at the start


Perhaps the most interesting question is how much a trucker earns in the United States. Truck drivers are paid by the mile. The salary depends on the employee's qualifications and experience, the distance between the starting and ending points, and the characteristics of the cargo. 


Newcomers to the position of truck driver are offered an average of 50-60 cents per mile for transporting ordinary cargo and 70-80 cents per mile for transporting dangerous cargo. 


According to the American job site Indeed, the average annual salary of a truck driver is $81,631. The income of beginners is about $52,518, and experienced drivers receive up to $126,882. 


Truckers are paid in one of two forms. W-2 is for employees who are on the payroll of an American company. Most taxes are already calculated from each check. It is more difficult for those who work as an independent contractor under the 1099 form. In this case, all taxes will have to be calculated and paid independently. 


Future prospects


Working as a trucker can be the start of a good career. After driving for 2-3 years and gaining experience, you can move on. The most common option is to buy your own truck and become an owner. Such specialists are paid more, but they are responsible for themselves and their vehicle. 


Later, the driver can open a  transportation company in the USA and run his own business. Trucking services are always in demand in all regions of the United States, so there will be constant orders.

Conclusions


Working in the United States as a pickup truck driver is a good option for immigrants. Even without knowledge of English, you can find a good job with decent pay. The transport infrastructure in the United States is well-developed, and there are special areas for trucks on the roads where drivers can park for a rest. Truckers usually drive brand new, comfortable trucks. The advantages include a high salary, career development opportunities, and long vacations. 


We recommend that you soberly assess the disadvantages of the profession. Keep in mind that the work is completely sedentary, which affects your health. There are dangerous accidents on the road. The driver is responsible for the cargo and often faces stressful situations. If this doesn't bother you, start searching for vacancies today.



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