If you joined the military right out of high school, and that’s the only job you’ve ever known, it can seem daunting to choose from various careers after the military. Fortunately, the trucking industry offers many exceptional opportunities for qualified military servicemen and women. Truck driving careers after the military require the discipline, punctuality and work ethic you learned and honed in the military, yet being a truck driver offers additional freedoms not often experienced in the tight regimen of military life.
Take Air Force veteran Nelson Peel, for example. After 22 years in the Air Force and experience driving for US Express, he applied for a job with Prime, Inc. He was intrigued by the flatbed option and lease program. Peel’s natural love of traveling, ability to communicate well, and desire to perform his job with the same dedication he had in the Air Force makes truck driving the perfect match for him. Peel spent many of his 22 years in the Air Force training and now gets to apply those skills he acquired in the military to his current role at Prime as a Driver Trainer. He’s been with Prime for seven years now and would recommend the company to any aspiring truck driver due to the lease program and quality equipment.
Here’s a look at why a professional driving career could be perfect for you as well and how to get started.
Why Trucking Jobs are the Perfect Careers After the Military
- You love a good challenge: Trucking is not for everyone. As a truck driver, you will face a number of things that are beyond your control, such as poor road conditions, inclement weather, traffic jams and construction. These are not usually life-threatening situations, like the ones you may have encountered in the military, but they are certainly enough to get your adrenaline pumping.
- Great salary: Expect great pay and benefits, such as $600 per week while training, insurance coverage for you and your family, a retirement plan, and more.
- Perks for military veterans: Military students enjoy shorter contract periods. Plus, you can use your G.I. Bill to pay for your degree while earning a living on the road. Ask about Prime’s Success Scholars Program and Bethel University partnership to learn more.
- A rewarding job environment: You don’t have to stare at a computer screen all day, working an ordinary 9-to-5 job when you find trucking jobs after the military. Instead, you get to travel across the region or even the country and see amazing sights.
How to Find Trucking Jobs After the Military
- Brush up on your driving skills: If you’ve been out of the military for a while, or you haven’t driven a truck since early in your military career, it’s wise to enroll in a truck driving school. However, this isn’t necessary if you have two or more years of experience driving big trucks.
- Learn the rules and regulations: Military driving rules aren’t the same as those that apply to the trucking industry, where big rigs frequent highways and cross state borders. Study up in preparation for a written knowledge test.
- Get your commercial driver’s license: Thanks to the Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012, you can earn your CDL while still on active duty, even if you’re stationed somewhere other than your home state. In addition, FMCSA points out that 43 of the 50 states will waive your driving skills test if you can prove you drove for the military for at least two years. If these conditions apply to you, simply go to a state licensing agency to obtain the CDL needed for truck driving careers after the military.
- Look for a job: With the preliminary work behind you, all that remains is to find a truck driving job. Look no further than Prime, Inc. if you want stable work, a great opportunity, a strong freight network and excellent pay.