Occupational Outlook

Introduction/Overview | Curriculum Requirements | Industry Skills & Proficiencies | CDL Program Highlights | Instructors | Occupational Outlook

Like many community college programs, the Huntsville Center plays an essential role in the professional development and specialized training of an ever-increasing, diverse, and dynamic workforce.

Quick Facts: Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

2010 Median Pay

$37,770 per year
$18.16 per hour

Entry-Level Education

High school diploma or equivalent

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

1 to 5 years

On-the-Job Training

Short-term on-the-job training

Number of Jobs, 2010


Job Outlook, 2010-20

21% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2010-20


Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds per gross vehicle weight (GVW). They deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.

Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations. As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving. Trucks transport most of the freight in the United States, so as households and businesses increase their spending, the trucking industry will grow.

Job prospects for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers are expected to be favorable. Because of to the demanding lifestyle and time spent away from home, many companies have trouble finding qualified long-haul drivers.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers typically perform the following job duties:

  • Load and unload cargo/Drive long distances
  • Report to a dispatcher any incidents encountered on the road
  • Follow all applicable traffic laws
  • Inspect their trailer before and after the trip, and record any defects they find
  • Keep a log of their activities
  • Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
  • Keep their truck and associated equipment clean and in good working order