Illinois Owner Operator Jobs
There are many benefits to both truck driving and business ownership. You can combine the best of these two careers by becoming an owner-operator. Owner-operators purchase their own tractor-trailer, do all of the driving themselves, and also handle business management tasks. This career option may give you more freedom in your schedule and the loads you take, in addition to increasing your income potential. If you want to become an owner-operator in Illinois, you can read on to learn more about the benefits and training requirements of this opportunity.
Looking at average trucking salaries in Illinois can help you figure out how much you may earn as an owner-operator. O*Net claims that most truck drivers earn between $27,800 and $68,800 per year, with an average salary of $42,300 per year. However, you may earn more or less as an owner-operator. Typically, those in their first year of operation earn lower salaries. This is because you need to land clients, work out your business plan, and establish yourself in the community. As you gain experience, your income may increase accordingly.
The need for skilled truck drivers and owner-operators is significant in Illinois. Your clients may include manufacturing companies, shipping companies, and retail stores. It's important to be flexible, as clients may have tight deadlines or long routes that they need covered.
While the business ownership aspect of your new career is important, you must start with a solid base of truck driving skills. Learning how to properly drive a truck, load and unload trucks, and deliver loads on time is what may keep your clients coming back. You can attend a CDL training course in Illinois to get started. You must choose a course that is approved by the state to be eligible for licensure.
Consider attending a Class A training course. A Class A program can prepare you to carry larger loads and drive bigger trucks, which may make you a more attractive choice to clients. In about six to eight weeks, you can learn about driving laws, basic and advanced driving skills, record keeping, and assessing your truck for safety.
At the end of your training, you can go to the Illinois Secretary of State to get your commercial driver's license. They will require you to pass a written test and a skills exam before giving you your license.
You must also register and license your business before you can start working. The Department of Financial & Professional Regulation oversees business licensure. You may be expected to provide proof of appropriate business and liability insurance before you begin operations.