Montana Truck Driving Jobs
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With its mountainous layout and remote communities, the state of Montana can certainly present some challenges to those who take on truck driving jobs within the state. However, Montana’s geography and its population spread are the two reasons that its trucking industry is so very important. Knowing this can help you get established in a rewarding truck driving career in this area.
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The job outlook for truck drivers in Montana is very positive, possibly due to how much the state relies on truck drivers and trucking companies. While the national demand for truck drivers is expected to increase by 11% between 2010 and 2020, O*Net expects the demand to increase by 15% in Montana (O*Net, 2010). This growth may create almost 250 new driving jobs each year in this time frame (O*Net, 2010).
The employment statistics of Montana can show you that driving is a very important field in the state. By the year 2022, O*Net predicts an 18% increase in Montana trucking jobs, exceeding the national average of 11%. In addition, salaries in this state tend to be slightly higher than those reported on a national scale. Montana truck drivers earn an average income of $41,400 per year (O*Net, 2014). You may be able to earn even more if you take on difficult routes or those that keep you on the road for long stretches of time.
A huge number of truck driving companies have set up shop in Montana, including local companies that transport within Montana and national companies that send drivers all over the country. Some of these companies offer sign-on bonuses to new drivers, which can increase your income. Major trucking employers in the state include Groendyke Transport, BNSF Railway, Gordon Trucking, and Gibbs Truck Centers.
Before you can take a job as a truck driver and start your new career, you have to meet certain requirements laid out by the Montana Motor Vehicle Division. You must get a commercial driver's license that allows you to drive a straight truck or tractor trailer. A Class B license allows you to drive a straight truck, while a Class A license allows you to drive both types of trucks.
The classroom portion of your truck driving class should prepare you for the written exam administered by the Motor Vehicle Division. Your training should cover this first, since you must take the written exam and get a learner's permit to begin driving.
After getting your learner's permit from the Motor Vehicle Division, you can practice driving a straight truck or tractor-trailer. You can schedule your skills exam with the MVD after you have used your learner's permit to get plenty of driving experience. Your CDL is good for one to five years, depending on what age you are when you get your license.
Since truck driving is such a solitary profession, it's crucial to network and build connections with others in your industry when you can. One of the easiest ways to do this involves joining a local organization like the Motor Carriers of Montana.
This group offers legislative updates on laws that may affect your business, discounts on trucking gear, and information on local trucking carriers. You may also be able to attend members-only events, like an annual conference, truck driving championships, and educational seminars.