Is Truck Driving a Good Next Step After the Military?


Why are Truck Driving Jobs a Great Fit for Veterans?

The gallant men and women that have served our country often wonder what to do with their lives after they return from a tour of duty in the military. Not everyone is a computer programmer or a doctor when they decide to leave the military, and many don’t want to be tied down to a factory job, doing the same thing day in and day out.

Truck drivers serve the country.

Our veterans are used to being mobile, moving on a moment’s notice, and taking the initiative to get the job done. The military even instills a sense of adventure.

Think about the skills that you learned in the military.

If you have already handled heavy equipment in the military or transported supplies from location to location, then you can use those same skills in the trucking industry as a veteran and make a lot of money doing it.

Veterans that have already handled hazardous materials are also well-prepared to handle loads which require a hazmat endorsement. 

Here are several reasons why veterans make good truck drivers:

  • They are used to working in all weather conditions and under all different stress levels.
  • Veterans are more aware of their surroundings, such as traffic, road conditions, the environment, etc.
  • Veterans have experience in detail-oriented process, such as route planning and timing. 
  • Veterans work well in teams, but they also thrive with a degree of independence. They don’t have to micromanaged.  They just get the job done.
  • Veterans have the mental and physical stamina to endure long routes and extended driving time.

Military veterans know what sacrifices must be made to get the job done. A truck driver just can’t call in sick when he doesn’t feel like working. They know there is no one else that can take their place and the load must get through if all possible. It may be a critical load of great importance. The driver may be delivering much needed food or medicine. The American economy would shut down if the trucks stopped rolling.

Veterans have a set of unique skills.

Veterans, like experienced drivers, know that the only obstacle that should halt the job is when the weather conditions are simply too dangerous to proceed.

If that truck can roll safely, then it needs to roll.

Veterans are experienced at reading maps and planning routes. They always have a backup plan, just in case something goes wrong. And veterans know that something usually does go wrong.

Former military persons have a strong awareness of their surroundings. They have good instincts to know when to take an alternate route. Whether because of construction or an accident, no driver wants to get stuck on the road and wait around for hours. Experienced drivers know how to get around these obstacles, and this skill comes quickly to veterans as well. 

Why Should Military Veterans Consider Truck Driving?

 You just rotated home, and you have no idea what you want to do yet. Here are some reasons to consider truck driving as a career:

  • You don’t want to return to your hometown just yet. You joined the military because you wanted to see the world, and you’re not ready to give that up.
  • Now that you have seen other countries, you want to see your home country. Trucking pays you to travel the country you worked hard to protect.
  • You want to travel for a while to figure out what you want to do.
  • You want a great career that offers good pay and requires little schooling.

Especially for veterans that grew up in a small town, the military reveals just how large the world is. Many returning veterans are not ready to go back to their roots and settle down.  

Veterans can see the country with trucking.

Government agencies, like the FMCSA, proudly support our armed service members, and they are committed to assisting returning veterans obtain new careers in the transportation industry.

Veterans with driving experience in the military can even apply for a waiver from the road skills test.

With a military skills waiver, veterans earn their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) much faster than other aspiring truckers.

Even if you don’t get a waiver, the GI Bill offers financial support for veterans looking into trucking school.

Many veterans simply find it difficult to get a job when they return. Truck driving is a great job with strong pay and benefits.

A career in truck driving does not require veterans to attend a four-year university and sit in a classroom all day to get a job.

The transportation industry, as a whole, has many opportunities as well. Driving is just the tip of the iceberg. Transportation includes jobs in logistics, training, and even management.

All of these careers are well-suited to veterans, and they would not possible without some knowledge of how trucking works. And the best place to get that knowledge and experience is by getting behind the wheel yourself. 

Truck driving allows veterans to immediately take employment after deployment.



About The Authors
Contributor: Franklin Thompson (10+ experience in OTR truck driving, training, and technical writing).

Expert Review: William Mason (Current CDL Instructor and former truck driver with 20+ years of experience), Luke Nold (Experienced truck driver for 5+ years and published writer for Fleet Magazine).

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