Smith & Solomon Sees Demand for Truck Drivers Exceed Supply
Smith & Solomon, an industry leader in truck driver training for over 20 years, is seeing a divergence between the baseline supply of truck drivers and the demand for truck drivers. According to their research, they project a demand of 1.65 million truck drivers yet a supply of only 1.45 million truck drivers*. And looking at the trend supply, the divergence is only going to grow for the foreseeable future.
One of the biggest factors that can be attributed to this supply and demand curve is the increase in the number of truck drivers that are reaching retirement age. Smith & Solomon analyzed industry data on male truck drivers by comparing potential hirees to impending retirees. Since 2011, there has been a sharp increase in the number of impending retirees. That number is projected to increase over the course of the next decade by nearly half a million. At the same time, the number of hirees has been decreasing since 2011 and is expected to continue to decrease by roughly 200,000 (NPTC 2011 Annual Benchmark Survey).
Demand is up for all types of truck drivers but especially for heavy duty and tractor trailer truck drivers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) the expectation is for this group to achieve 11% growth in employment over the next decade, which is slightly higher than the overall average for the vehicle operator industry.
Smith & Solomon views this as a great opportunity for a new career. Not only is the demand great but the compensation is also great. New drivers earn up to $43,000 annually and quickly elevate to near $50,000**. Compensation is very competitive, relative to other job industries.
One thing that sets the trucking industry apart from other industries is the relatively low barrier to entry to get started. All it takes is truck driver training through an approved school. Graduates will receive their CDL, which is the main qualification for getting started in the truck driving industry. From there, Smith & Solomon advises that there would be even more opportunities for growth.
*American Trucking Association - Driver Shortage Analysis 2012
** American Trucking Association – Driver Statistics 2014Study