Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations.
As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving. Trucks transport most of the freight in the United States, so as households and businesses increase their spending, the trucking industry will grow.
Global positioning system (GPS) technology and better routing can make trucks more productive, limiting the need for more drivers. Also, as fuel prices rise, some companies may switch their shipping to rail to lower costs.
However, rail is unlikely to take much market share away from trucks, because even with high diesel prices, trucks are more efficient for short distances. Additionally, many products need to be delivered within the short time frame that only trucks can handle.
Job prospects for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers are expected to be favorable. Due to the somewhat difficult lifestyle and time spent away from home, many companies have trouble finding qualified long-haul drivers. Those who have the necessary experience and other qualifications should be able to find jobs.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition