California Owner Operator Jobs
Truck driving can be a lucrative business, especially for those that own trucking businesses. If you want to learn how to drive a truck and use your knowledge to become a business owner, you may want to look into becoming an owner-operator. This involves purchasing your own truck, getting your trucking business licensed, and marketing your services and skills to potential clients.
Becoming an owner-operator requires a special set of skills on top of regular trucking skills. It's important to learn more about this career path so that you can prepare for the responsibilities that come along with it.
As an owner-operator, you don't need to look for a trucking job at local shipping companies or truck driving companies. Instead, you begin building your business. You may have to find your own clients and loads. You need to look for clients whose routes fit your schedule and where you are willing to drive. It's important to avoid being too picky; particularly in the beginning stages of your career, earning clients may involve working long hours or driving inconvenient routes.
Just like any other type of business, trucking has a wide range of salaries. In many cases, you may earn a more modest salary in the beginning of your career. The average salary for a tractor-trailer driver in California is $40,500 per year, according to O*Net. Your income may increase as your business becomes more and more successful.
Though owner-operators need business skills, you still need to develop your truck driving skills at a trucking program. You may find a training program at a community college, technical college, or independent truck driving school. If possible, you may wish to find a program that includes business skills in addition to core truck driving skills.
As a trucking student, you may learn about California driving laws, how to safely store and unload cargo, and how to maintain proper documentation of loads delivered and miles driven. You can plan on earning your Class A license in about eight weeks at most schools. Once you've completed your training, you can get your commercial driver's license at the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
You must also take the proper steps to license your truck driving business. The Department of Consumer Affairs oversees all business licensing in California. Having a business license prepares you to keep your business funds separate and insure your business.