Truck and bus driving programs teach individuals how to manage and operate these vehicles. Due to the size and weight of Buses and Trucks, and the awkward turns and various other issues with driving large machinery, licensing is required to be able to drive a truck. Schools that specialize in such education as well as local community colleges may have the courses necessary to train and prepare an individual for a highly lucrative career in driving.
Though a formal education may not be necessary to enter the industry, some employers require at least two years of related experience or a minimum of a high school education. As the industry becomes more regulated the demands for trained individuals will increase. This will particularly be true for interstate drivers who may in the future be required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to take courses in truck driving.
An education in truck driving is valuable for multiple reasons, it educates individuals on how to operate a large vehicle in a variety of situations, provides an education in maintenance, allows access to vehicles for practice and helps individuals develop skills necessary for successful transit through training by experienced instructors.
A truck driving curriculum may include:
- Basic Operation
- Safety Practices
- Advanced Operation
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Non-Vehicular Activity
Trucks and Buses, as heavy vehicles, require a lot of attention and patience. A truck driver must be able to maintain his or her vehicle, operate it with established safety standards and arrive to his or her destination in a timely manner. The cost to entry is minimal, and work hours are varied.
Truck driving is a dangerous profession, especially for interstate truck drivers, as fatigue can set in unexpectedly. Individuals pursuing a career in truck driving must have good hand eye coordination, excellent hearing, strong vision, and in good physical shape. A truck driver must also recognize when rest is needed, pulling over or finding a rest stop in order to recover.
Truck drivers are in high demand due to the limited amount of drivers due the dangerous nature of the work. Over the next decade demand is expected to grow for truck drivers as more goods will need transit across short and long distances. Some jobs may be lost to rail transport, and others may be cut due to better tracking technology creating more efficient routes and reducing the need for large fleets of trucks. Intrastate jobs should see a much larger increase as they are most efficient form of delivery for short distances.
A bus driver will have more standard hours, though will usually make less than a truck driver, though many of the skills necessary for operating a large vehicle are the same. Bus drivers typically operate on specific routes, and have set periods for breaks along those routes. A bus driver will be responsible for him or herself and the passengers the bus carries, and as such an emphasis of safety is placed on bus driving that exceeds that of truck driving.
The average salary for a truck driver is approximately $38,000 per year, for a bus driver it is about $29,000. The job growth rate for truck drivers is expected to be faster than average for the foreseeable future, for bus drivers it is expected to remain about average.