WHAT DO DRIVERS DO?
It's time to put the pedal to the metal and put your career in drive. Drivers, simply put, move people and objects around in cars. They operate vehicles from cars and small trucks to buses and tractor trailers. Drivers have to know the highways and roads, observe traffic laws, and be able to stay focused on the road whether you are delivering a wedding cake or transporting 100 unruly teenagers to Space Camp.
Driver jobs include delivery drivers, heavy truck/tractor trailer drivers, bus drivers, and taxi drivers/chauffeurs.
HOW MUCH DO DRIVERS MAKE?
It depends on the job and the experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for delivery truck drivers in 2010 was $13.00/hour or $27,050 a year. Tractor-trailer drivers made $18.16/hour or $37,770 a year. Bus drivers made $14.02/hour or $29,160 a year, and taxi drivers made $10.79/hour or $22,440 a year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
The minimum requirement for any driver job is a valid driver's license in the state in which they work. For smaller vehicles and truck/van drivers, this is enough, and you will receive more training on-the-job. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs, however, must get a taxi/limo license for their state.
Anyone transporting more than 16 people at a time or operating a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer must get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for their state. For bigger vehicles like these, there are specialty schools in which you can take truck driving classes.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Hand-Eye Coordination: You will be operating a complex machine while trying to find addresses, talk to passengers and observing other drivers on the road. You will need great hand-eye coordination to make sure you are accident free.
- Hearing: You will need to hear passenger instruction, talk to dispatchers, and speak with people at the delivery site. Good hearing is a must.
- Stamina: Long days on the road and lifting and moving materials can all be part of your day as a driver.
- Good Vision: You will have to watch everything on the road for potential collisions, accidents and mishaps.
- Map-Reading Skills: Don't get lost. Learn to read a map.
- Punctuality: Drivers are expected to get to their destination on time. Being able to manage your time wisely will help you with that.
- Math Skills: In some driver jobs, you will have to make change, count supplies and use basic math.