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How to Advance Your Truck Driving Career

Driving a Big Rig May Just Be the Start of Your Career

Whether you’ve been working in the trucking industry for decades or you’re interested in pursuing a new career in truck driving, there is always room to reevaluate your goals. In generations passed, people used to stay in one job for their entire careers, but this is no longer the case.

Regardless of how—or when—you got your start driving 18-wheelers, there is always room to grow. Below you’ll find simple tips for advancing your truck driving career.

If you’re looking to take the next step with your truck driving career or embark on a new journey, there are a variety of resources for advancing your skills and reaching new heights in the trucking industry. Many of these options—such as taking college and online courses, and networking within the industry—will enable you to become your own boss.

Enroll in College Courses

While truck driving is one of many trades that does not require a formal college education, that doesn’t mean your career won’t benefit from additional knowledge. If you’re interested in learning about business, accounting, or entrepreneurship, many local community colleges and higher education programs offer courses that will directly apply to your day-to-day life as a truck driver.

Differing from the usual truck driving school options, which are mostly aimed at earning a commercial driver's license and other necessary skills for driving an 18-wheeler, college courses give you the option to earn a degree, ask questions, and gain knowledge specific to your goals and ambitions.

When you take a business, accounting, or entrepreneurship class, you arm yourself with the necessary knowledge to become the owner-operator of your own trucking business. Don’t limit yourself to the obvious programs. Many college courses offer a wealth of information with unique applications to your business.

Call an admissions counselor today to find out your options for pursuing your higher education. Don't be intimidated by the price tag of college classes. Financial aid is often available.

Informal Continuing Education and Professional Courses

If the price tag of college courses or the commitment to a formal learning environment is daunting, many local community colleges, universities, libraries, and community centers offer informal continuing education programs for adults looking to advance their careers or learn a new skillset.

Whether you're looking to start a truck driving business or expand your presence in the truck industry, professional courses offer a breadth of knowledge. Professional courses are often more affordable than formal college courses and require less time commitment.

Many professional courses are expressly aimed at helping adults learn the necessary skills to manage, grow, and operate a successful business. Examples of applications these professional courses cover include brushing up on your basic computer skills, learning how to make the most of word processors such as Microsoft Office, keeping track of invoices and expenditures through QuickBooks, and a variety of other program-specific courses.

Free Online Courses

In-person classes and formal learning environments are not the only way to grow your skillset. MIT offers a huge range of open-source online classes in just about everything you can think of. Other options include Coursera and EDx, both of which offer free online courses taught by talented instructors from colleges all over the country.

The sky is the limit with free online courses. With no financial commitment, you can delve deeper into anything that’s ever piqued your interest and use your new-found knowledge to enrich your trucking career.

Networking

As mentioned above, truck driving does not require a formal college education or degree. If you're intimidated by school, or it's simply not in the budget right now, don’t despair, there are many other options available to you in your quest to advance your truck driving career.

One of the best ways to grow your business is networking. By attending industry conferences, community meetings, building industry associations, and joining your local Chamber of Commerce, you will forge connections with networks of people from all over the industry.

This will not only grow your clientele, but give you a wide range of resources, partners, and the most up-to-date knowledge of industry trends and technology. Many conferences, such as the Mid-America Trucking Show and the Great American Trucking Show, offer educational seminars and tons of other resources for networking within the truck industry and growing your industry associations.

Industry associations and unions are often membership-based and offer a wide range of resources, such as webinars and public forums, for understanding the truck industry on a deeper level.

Learn a New Language

Your truck driving career has the potential to take you all over the North American continent. As such, you may need to cross borders, communicate with border patrol, and explain your need to enter the country. Knowing the language of other countries increases your ability to communicate with border patrol as well as multi-lingual colleagues and employees. 

With even basic knowledge of a new language, you can diversify your clientele, grow your business, and make the most of your communication skills. Colleges, universities, and local adult centers may offer hands-on language or tutoring programs for learning a new language. If you’d like to make a more casual commitment to learning a new language, apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone are conveniently available for desktop, tablet, or smartphone device.

Advancement in your given career path is always a good idea. It can lead to promotions, better job opportunities or maybe a different avenue in this career you never knew existed. Additionally, you may find a new interest along the way. With a variety of ways to learn new skills in the trucking industry, you’re next step into your career is waiting for you!

What Happens if You're Hurt in an 18-Wheeler Wreck?

Truck accidents can occur due to many reasons such as mechanical errors, careless drivers, negligent actions, or bad weather. If you're involved in a wreck or other trucking accident you'll need to hire a personal injury attorney that has experience handling and winning truck related lawsuits. Texas 18-wheeler accident lawyer Joe Stephens is ready to put his 30+ years of experience and legal expertise to work advocating for Texas truck drivers' rights in all accident situations.

Types of Trucking Accidents We Handle in Houston and Across Texas:

  • Jackknife Accidents

  • Truck Rollovers

  • Tire Blowouts

  • Truck Driver DWI

  • Wide Turn Accidents

  • Blind Spot Accidents

  • Read End Accidents

  • Brake Failure

  • Underride Accidents

  • Lost Load Accidents

  • Headon Collisions

  • T-Bone Collisions

Hire an Attorney With Experience Winning Truck Accidents

Cases involving big truck collisions can be very complex and present difficulty proving negligence of the truck driver, the trucking company, or both. Joe's experience with these cases allows him to get right to the heart of the matter, his clients rights and owed compensation. At Stephens Law Accident Firm, we make ourselves available to our clients 24/7—call our hotline at 281-682-1701 or request a free consultation. 

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