Truck Drivers (NOC 7511) may also be called:
- Dump truck driver
- Tow truck driver
- Moving van driver
- Flatbed truck driver
- Long haul truck driver
- Heavy truck driver
What Would I Do?
As a truck driver you transport goods and materials in trucks and cube vans. Some truck drivers make deliveries on local routes, while others drive long distances all across North America.
As a Local Pick-up and Delivery Driver, you are responsible for picking up and delivering small shipments within a set local area. You will likely drive a smaller truck, such as a pick-up truck or cube van.
As a Short-haul Driver, you’ll usually leave your terminal early in the morning, setting out to make a series of deliveries and pick-ups that are usually within a half a day’s drive or so. In some instances, short-haul drivers may be responsible for loading and unloading their trucks, so a reasonable level of physical fitness is required.
As a Long-haul Driver you cover long distances, often driving coast to coast or on long international routes all over North America. Long-haul Drivers may also be involved in loading and unloading trucks, and other duties including customer relations and business development.
Other duties for all types of truck drivers include:
- conducting safety checks and maintenance on trucks
- ensuring loads are evenly distributed and secure
- driving cargo to its destination, monitoring traffic and road conditions
- obeying road safety and transportation laws
- maintaining logbooks and delivery paperwork
- Career Cruising database (Profile for Truck Driver)
Am I Suited For This Job?
Truck Drivers need to
- Meet minimum age requirements
- Have good judgement
- Have a clean driving record
- May have to pass drug screenings
You must have excellent driving skills. Good judgment, quick reflexes and an ability to remain focused for long periods of time are also important. You should enjoy meeting new people as well as working alone. Time-management skills and organizational abilities are also recommended.
You are expected to be aware of various regulations governing truck transportation, including:
- record-keeping requirements
- weights and dimensions regulations
- acceptable routes
Truck drivers spend most of their time driving and sitting in seats that are generally comfortable. However, you may develop back or neck injuries from sitting for long periods of time or from loading and unloading cargo. Long hours on the road can also cause fatigue and stress.
As a long haul truck driver you should be comfortable leaving home for long periods of time and travelling alone. You often drive throughout the night when traffic is low, for shifts up to 14 hours. Long-haul Driver must be familiar with customs and border crossing requirements and procedures.
What Are The Wages And Benefits?
In British Columbia, the median annual salary is $52,140. Your wage depends on the distance you drive, the type of vehicle you operate and where you work.
As a long distance driver you may be paid a certain amount for each kilometre you drive. Local drivers are more likely to earn a set hourly wage.
In BC’s regions, you can expect to make:
Source: Job Bank Wage Report [Search 7511]
If you work full-time you may receive benefits such as health and dental coverage and vacation.
What Is The Job Outlook In BC?
There are approximately 36,900 truck drivers in British Columbia. This is a large occupational group and a large number of job openings are expected.
Industry analysts project 9,000 job openings for truck drivers between 2017 and 2027 in the Lower Mainland/Southwest region of BC alone, with over 5,000 more openings in the rest of the province. Most new job openings will come from the need to replace retiring workers.
Chart from WorkBC (NOC 7511)
Sources:WorkBC and BC Trucking Association
How Do I Become A Truck Driver?
There is currently no minimum training standard for truck drivers in BC. However, this requirement may change in the next few years.
Employers usually set their own requirements for hiring. Some employers ask for a minimum of a high school education, some previous experience, or completion of driver training. Others may provide on-the-job training.
Basic requirements include:
- Class 3 commercial licence to operate vehicles with more than two axles, which include smaller commercial vehicles such as tow trucks and dump trucks. You must be at least 18 years old for a Class 3 licence
- Class 1 driver’s licence for trucks with semi-trailers. You must be at least 19
- An air brake endorsement to operate a truck with air brakes
All drivers must meet required medical standards before receiving a licence. Vision, hearing and physical and medical conditions are screened before licensing.
If you make deliveries to the United States you must be at least 21 years of age, pass a standard drug test, and participate in an on-going random drug and alcohol testing program.
Other useful qualifications for all drivers include:
- a good driving record and no criminal history
- the ability to read and write English fluently
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods certification for drivers who transport hazardous products or dangerous goods
For information about types and classes of driver’s licences in B.C., go to:
Many British Columbia colleges and private institutions offer truck driver training programs. Standard programs are typically three to four weeks in length, but programs offering more in-depth training can last from 12 to 14 weeks.
For more information about training programs see:
How Do I Find A Job?
Where do Truck Drivers Work?
Truck drivers work for a variety of businesses including:
- Trucking and transportation companies
- Manufacturing companies
- Mining or forestry companies
- Shipping companies
- May be self-employed
Finding Advertised Jobs
Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in The Province on Sundays.
Online Job Postings
Finding “Hidden Jobs”
Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.
Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers
You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who employ truck drivers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter “trucking” and click SEARCH.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies
Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.
Networking and the Hidden Job Market:
When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.
For additional tips see:
Applying For A Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
For more information see:
Where Can This Job Lead?
You can progress to driving heavier equipment by upgrading your Class of Licence.
With additional training or experience you may advance into supervisory or management positions, or into non-driving occupations such as dispatcher, safety officer or driving trainer.
Where Can I Find More Information?
STEP is a no-fee employment program that helps immigrants get jobs in the construction industry