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How to become a Truck Driver

Truck Drivers are responsible for driving and operating trucks of all different sizes. You might find yourself transporting all sorts of different things, including food, consumer goods, mail, chemicals, raw materials, animals, and even other vehicles.

If you enjoy being behind the wheel and want a job that can take you nearly anywhere across the country, you might like to consider becoming a Truck Driver.

 

About you:

 

  • Punctual and reliable
  • Great awareness
  • Excellent problem solver
  • Can work independently
  • Stays calm under pressure
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Able to work long hours
  • Safety conscious

 

The job:

 

  • Organising upcoming shifts and deliveries
  • Loading and unloading goods
  • Ensuring freight loads are fixed securely and meet weight requirements
  • Driving both long and short distances
  • Regularly checking vehicle parts and safety
  • Meeting delivery deadlines
  • Checking loading documents and condition of goods before departure and on arrival
  • Liaising with other workers, such as logistics managers and yard workers

 

Lifestyle Impact: High

 

  • Part Time opportunities: Low – only around 18% of Truck Drivers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 49 hours a week, which is above average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Train Drivers’ salary (median) $71,000* per year (source: ato.gov.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Stable (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • You will most likely need to work early mornings and nights on occasion, and shift work is common.
  • Long hours on the road can be dangerous, so safety is key.

 

Truck Drivers are most in demand in these locations:

 

Job availability for Truck Drivers is spread fairly evenly across Australia, with higher than average demand in regional and rural areas. Most Truck Drivers work in the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry.

 

How to become a Truck Driver in Australia

 

While formal qualifications aren’t necessary to work as a Truck Driver, you will need to have the appropriate licence level for your State or Territory to drive certain classes of vehicles.

 

Step 1 – Complete Year 10 with a focus on English and Maths.

 

Step 2 – Start learning to drive and obtain a class C license as soon as possible. In most states this process takes around 4 years, and you can start once you turn 16.

 

Step 3 – Continue with licence progression. To progress to the next class of vehicle, you generally need to have held your current licence class for at least a year, and there are 5 more classes of vehicles to consider (light rigid, medium rigid, heavy rigid, heavy combination, and multi-combination). This means it will take a minimum of 5 years after obtaining your class C licence to be fully qualified to drive any class of vehicle.

You may also be required to take written or practical tests (including an eyesight test) in order to upgrade your licence class.

 

Step 4 – Start working as a fully qualified Truck Driver.

 

Find out more here –

https://www.nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/driver-and-rider-licences/heavy-vehicle-licences/getting-a-heavy-vehicle-licence

https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/licensing/driver-licensing/upgrading

https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/licences/licence-and-permit-types/heavy-vehicle-licence/how-to-get-a-heavy-vehicle-licence

https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/s/article/heavy-vehicle-driver-licensing-tab-overview

https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/driving-and-transport/heavy-vehicles/getting-a-heavy-vehicle-licence

https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/vehicle-classes.asp

https://nt.gov.au/driving/licence/getting-an-nt-licence/get-your-heavy-vehicle-licence

https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/licensing/non-car_licence_or_ancillary/heavy_vehicle_licences

 

Similar Careers to Truck Driver

 

Logistics Manager

Pilot

Train Driver

Drone Operator

Delivery Driver

Engineer

Bus Driver

 

Find out more about alternative careers.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What do Truck Drivers do?

 

Truck Drivers are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of a variety of trucks and vehicles.

 

Which industries employ Truck Drivers?

 

Truck Drivers are mostly employed in the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry.

 

What options are there for career progression?

 

There are several different classes of vehicles you can drive (depending on your license class), so you might find yourself working your way up towards driving the biggest trucks. Once you have lots of experience, you might even like to consider moving into roles in Management or Logistics.

 

Do I need to go to university to become a Truck Driver?

 

No, you do not need to go to university to work as a Truck Driver in Australia. However, you will need to obtain appropriate licencing.

 

Where do Truck Drivers work?

 

As a Truck Driver, you’ll be spending a majority of your time on the road. You might also attend team meetings and drop trucks off once your shift is over at your employer’s depot. You could find yourself picking up and dropping off goods just an hour away, or making long-haul trips to remote destinations.

 

What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Truck Driver?

 

If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Truck Driver is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Start working on getting your license as soon as possible. It can take some time to upgrade through the different classes of licence, so the sooner you start the better.
  2. Consider taking professional driving lessons, including defensive driving courses, to maximise your awareness and skills on the road. Read up about rules and regulations in your state or territory and make sure you know them well.
  3. Talk to a Truck Driver to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in transport.
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