Alabama Owner Operator Jobs
With Alabama's proximity to several major commerce and shipping states, including Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, the state has a fairly sizable trucking industry. If you are interested in driving a truck and owning your own business, you may wish to become an owner-operator. This career path permits you to own your own straight truck or tractor-trailer, decide on your own routes, and make all the major business decisions.
In Alabama, the average salary for a truck driver is $35,300 per year (O*Net, 2013). It's important to note that salaries earned by owner-operators can vary significantly. When you start out, you need to find possible dispatchers and clients to fill your schedule. Until you get a regular client load, your income may be lower than average. However, once you build a reputation and have a full work schedule, your income can significantly increase.
The job outlook in Alabama is promising, so you may have a range of clients and routes to choose from as an owner-operator. O*Net reports that the demand for truck drivers is expected to increase by 20% between 2010 and 2020.
You should remember that owner-operators do not receive the same benefits as company drivers. As a business owner, you may be responsible for purchasing your own health insurance, business insurance, and liability insurance. These factors should play a role in your business planning.
The path to becoming an owner-operator has many of the same steps as becoming a company driver. Before you can successfully run a trucking company, you must be a licensed commercial driver. Earning a Class A driver's license may give you the most freedom to transport heavy loads.
The Alabama Department of Revenue oversees the licensing of all commercial truck drivers. You may wish to complete a training program before applying for your license, particularly if you plan on owning your own business. A training program can teach you about loading and unloading a truck, keeping a record of deliveries, operating within legal limits, and driving safely.
After you complete your training program, you can apply for your commercial driver's license. This process involves passing a written test and going through a thorough driving exam. After you get your license, you can begin the process of becoming an owner-operator.
Since you must operate your own business as an owner-operator, you must register your business with the Alabama Secretary of State. This includes choosing a business model and setting up dedicated accounts for your business. Once you have the business set up and your truck purchased, you may begin your career.