Transport truck drivers operate heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial and international routes. This unit group also includes drivers of special purpose trucks and shunters who move trailers to and from loading docks within trucking yards or lots.
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People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 12,860
Long-haul transport truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:
Short-haul and local transport truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:
Working conditions for long-haul truck drivers and local truck drivers differ to some degree. Local truck drivers typically make many deliveries throughout the day. Because they serve local businesses, their hours are mostly dictated by regular business hours.
Long-haul drivers move goods between cities and across the continent. They often drive throughout the night when traffic is low, for shifts up to, but not exceeding, 14 hours. Schedules may also be flexible. Because long-haul drivers can spend a significant time away from home, many trucks are equipped with "sleeper" cabs and modern amenities, such as TVs, microwaves and computers.
Truck drivers spend most of their time driving and sitting in seats that are generally comfortable. However, it is not uncommon for drivers to develop back or neck injuries from sitting for long periods of time or from loading and unloading cargo.
Most truck drivers work alone. Some long-haul drivers may drive with a co-worker and rotate shifts.
Source: 2016 Census
There is currently no minimum training standard for truck drivers, however, this may change in the next few years, as the industry has recognized a need for one. Employers typically establish their own standards for hiring and may require a minimum of a secondary school level education, some previous experience, or completion of driver training. Some employers provide on-the-job training. Other requirements include:
Drivers must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a Class 3 licence, and at least 19 to obtain a Class 1 licence. All drivers must also meet required medical standards before receiving a licence. Vision, hearing and physical and medical conditions are screened prior to licensing.
Drivers making deliveries to the United States must be at least 21 years of age, pass a standard drug test, and participate in an on-going random drug and alcohol testing program. Other qualifications that are beneficial to drivers:
Many British Columbia colleges and private institutions offer truck driver training programs. Standard programs are typically three to four weeks in length, but programs offering more extensive training can last from 12 to 14 weeks.
For more information about the Canadian trucking industry, visit TruckingHR Canada at https://truckinghr.com
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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Since this is a large occupational group, a significant number of openings are expected. New openings will result from growth in the Transportation and Warehousing industry.
Many additional openings will result from a high rate of worker turnover, especially in entry-level service sector positions, such as food delivery.
Industry sources report a current sufficient supply of qualified truck drivers, but expect this to change as the economy improves.
Truck drivers can progress to the control of heavier equipment by upgrading their licences.
Advancement into supervisory or management positions, or into non-driving occupations such as dispatcher, safety officer or driving trainer, is possible with additional training or experience.