Guide to 8 Exciting Career Opportunities for Truck Drivers Seeking a Change! It’s common for individuals to want to change their careers. A career change can help you learn new skills and gain opportunities that you didn’t have in your previous job. Understanding the positions where you can use your truck-driving skills may help you find a rewarding new position. In this article, we provide a list of several jobs for truck drivers who want a career change, with job duties and salary insights for each position.
Why might truck drivers change careers?
Truck drivers can decide to change their careers for a variety of reasons. It’s common for individuals to change their careers when they feel tired of their current position, so truck drivers may want a position that involves different duties from truck driving. Though, they still may want to pursue a career that involves similar skills they developed as a truck driver, like attention to detail, organization and mechanical knowledge. They may also want to change careers to gain new opportunities, like achieving career advancement, earning a higher income or receiving different benefits than their previous company offered.
8 jobs for truck drivers looking for a career change
Depending on the reason you want to switch jobs, you may pursue a career that still has driving-related responsibilities, or you may secure a job that has doesn’t have similar duties to truck driving. Consider the following jobs for truck drivers who want to pursue a change in careers. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:
1. Forklift operator
National average salary: $37,323 per year
Primary duties: A forklift operator is a manufacturing professional who transports heavy materials to different areas within a worksite. They often work in a manufacturing warehouse, factory, or storage site. Typically, forklift operators load their supply onto large pallets and unload it into the desired storage area. They may prepare the products beforehand to ensure they are ready for transport by wrapping them in protective material. Forklift operators also keep track of inventory by counting their supply. They maintain their forklift by performing regular inspections and making improvements as necessary, like applying lubrication and repairing small fixes.
2. Bus driver
National average salary: $39,559 per year
Primary duties: Bus drivers are responsible for transporting individuals from one location to another safely and in a timely manner. They may work for a city, school or recreation center. Bus drivers may enforce bus rules to riders, like no standing during a bus ride. They also collect payment when each individual enters the bus. They may follow a specific set of routes, or they may drive passengers to one specific location. Bus drivers may also assist disabled individuals with getting on and off the bus safely. They may report any issues with riders to their supervisors.
3. Equipment operator
National average salary: $47,312 per year
Primary duties: Equipment operators are construction professionals who transport materials to build and maintain infrastructure. They may work with paving materials and prepare a worksite for construction prior to the start of a project. Often, the materials they transport are heavy, so they may operate heavy equipment or large machines that can hold a large amount of weight. It’s important for equipment operators to calculate the proper sizes and weights for construction materials to determine which equipment may be the best match for a job. They often ensure that the machinery is in good condition before operating it.
4. Farm hand
National average salary: $49,007 per year
Primary duties: A farm hand is an agricultural professional who assists farmers with daily farming duties. They often handle farming equipment and heavy machinery, and they may drive tractors or other farming vehicles. It’s essential that they follow proper safety protocols and use a close attention to detail while operating farming equipment. Farm hands work with a variety of animals to train and herd them, including animals like cattle, fish, horses or goats. They often feed the animals and perform grooming tasks to keep them clean. Farm hands commonly clean the farming facilities and tend to crops.
5. Security officer
National average salary: $49,984 per year
Primary duties: A security officer is a law enforcement professional who ensures the safety of all visitors and employees within a specific area. They often check each individual entering a building or parking lot for identification, and they may also check their license plate number. They typically document each visitor who enters and exits an area so that they have an accurate idea of the numbers of visitors and employees they have within a building. Security officers also drive and operate company vehicles, and they may respond to emergencies to assist individuals within their assigned area.
National average salary: $56,857 per year
Primary duties: Dispatchers create transportation routes for drivers on their team to help them provide fast and efficient transportation services. They often use mapping software when creating routes to identify potential shortcuts or areas with heavy traffic. Dispatchers serve as liaisons between customers and drivers. They may communicate messages from one party to another, like information about a recent road closure or canceled delivery. Typically, dispatchers monitor their drivers’ locations and driving to ensure they’re safe and performing their jobs successfully. Dispatchers are available at all times to communicate with drivers to answer questions or provide advice for the drive.
7. Delivery driver
National average salary: $63,203 per year
Primary duties: Delivery drivers transport goods from one place to another in a timely manner. They follow proper driving protocols so that they can deliver the items safely. Often, customers can order items like food or household goods, and delivery drivers can transport the items within a certain amount of time. They also pack and unload the items into a vehicle and communicate with the customers to ensure that the items are correct. Delivery drivers may also fill out the proper documentation to show that they delivered the items on time and that the items arrived in good condition.
National average salary: $63,407 per year
Primary duties: An assembler is responsible for building a product or piece of equipment while following a set of blueprints. They often work on an assembly line where they have one specific part to assemble, or they may perform each assembly duty independently. After assembling an item, they often check the product to ensure the quality is good. Assemblers may read a blueprint before beginning a project, and they check for any defects to ensure the product maintains a high quality. They may also fill out documentation that verifies the quality of each product before they ship it.
Tips From a Recruiter: How To Stand Out When Changing Careers
In a 2020 Indeed survey¹ of over 10,000 job seekers, one-third of all respondents reported they are looking to switch fields—half of whom were unemployed. Unemployed job seekers looking to switch fields cited COVID-19 as motivation more than the general population of career transitioners. In comparison to a similar survey conducted in late 2019, it appears that a new pattern of career switching has emerged—one that results out of necessity rather than desire—those who must switch fields due to a lack of available opportunities in their chosen field.
Transitioning careers can be challenging under normal circumstances. Doing so while COVID-19 continues to impact the economy is sure to present additional obstacles. With unemployment numbers up and job numbers down, it’s likely that there’s an increase in applications for fewer open roles. As a result, it’s also likely that competition has grown across all industries.
Still, changing careers can be a healthy and smart decision whether you’re making an early, mid or late-career transition—especially if COVID-19 has limited opportunities in your current role or industry. While it may take longer to find a different role in a new industry, there are several actions you can take to increase your chances of getting the right job for you.
In this article, we sit down with Brendan Sullivan—recruiter at Indeed for marketing, finance, real estate and communications roles—to discuss tips for applying to jobs during a career transition. Sullivan also offers tips to avoid common mistakes and stand out from other candidates during your application process when transitioning careers.
Q: Competition for roles is high with unemployment up and the number of available jobs down. What extra care can someone looking to transition careers take to stand out from other applicants?
A: “I think follow-up messages are always appreciated and can often be impactful. Whether it be thanking an interviewer for taking the time to speak with you or thanking the employer for considering you for a role even if you weren’t hired, this can leave a good long term impression and is a useful practice to develop as you build your network. If I have a positive interaction with a candidate and they don’t get an offer but they send a thoughtful follow-up message, it helps me remember them so I can reach out for future opportunities they might be a better fit for.”
Q: What are the most common job application mistakes that someone transitioning their career should try to avoid?
A: “Avoid using the same resume you would have used in your previous career path as it doesn’t highlight your career transition and may appear as though you misunderstood the job description. While your previous positions may have encompassed many duties and accomplishments that you’re proud of, try to only include those that are relevant or at least somewhat related to the new role on your resume.”
“Use the job description—the role responsibilities, requirements and preferred qualifications—to help you decide which previous duties and accomplishments you should write about for this particular application. Avoid using jargon from your previous industry or role and instead, use language that mirrors the job description and your future career path.”
Q: It’s true that there’s no singular trick to submitting an application that’ll get you an interview, but is there a memorable applicant or application that stands out to you? If so, what did the candidate do well?
A: “This is tough because not only is there no singular trick, but also different things stand out to different recruiters. For me, some of the applications that stand out in recent memory are ones that have included some subtle, work-appropriate humor, although I know that’s not always easy to include on an application. Showing some of your personality—doesn’t have to be humor—can be a good way to stand out though!”
“Other more standard ways to create a memorable resume are having clean, simple resume formatting, relevant content that’s easy to read and a strong professional summary statement that’s concise—about three sentences—but clearly shows how your qualifications match the position.”
Q: Can you recommend any tips or considerations to help those who are transitioning careers search for the right role?
A: “I’d recommend aiming for job openings that list flexible ranges for required years of experience as those employers may be more open to candidates who are not coming from a directly-related role. For example, “1-5 years” or “3-8 years” rather than “5+ years of experience.”
“Another way employers hint at this could be when their job post has lists required years of experience but is purposefully vague in the area of experience or uses language like “or a related field/role.” For instance, the description requirements might read, “3+ years of experience in sales, customer service or a related field/role.”
Q: Often, those who are transitioning mid-career face the problem of not having enough experience that directly matches the job description but having too much work/life experience to qualify for junior roles (even if they adapt their resume accordingly). Do you have any suggestions to help these candidates in the job application process?
A: “Assuming you adapt your resume appropriately and get an interview, then I would say use the phone screen and interview to highlight what skills and expertise you gained in previous roles that would be an asset in this new role even if not directly related. This can be people management, communication and other skills that, while they may relate to many industries, are critical to have in the role you’re interviewing for.”
Q: Was there ever a time when you had to convince a hiring manager to consider a candidate who was transitioning careers? If so, what did the candidate do in their application to help you advocate for them?
A: “When I review an application, one thing I look for is the reason that led the candidate to apply for this role. Sometimes this can be seen by a clear trajectory formed by their previous positions, but for a career transitioner, I think customizing your resume to focus on your related roles, achievements and education can help tell that story. And, in turn, it can help me “sell” your experience to a hiring manager.”
“Another key element that I always look for is a headline statement or brief professional summary where that summarizes your experience or specifically mentions the career change you are actively trying to make. This can help explain why you applied for the role if it’s unclear by simply looking at your previous work history.”
Q: Any additional tips you’d suggest to help career transitioners find more success through their job applications?
A: “If this is a new industry for you, it can help to build your network in the field and look for groups and associations related to it that you can join. These kinds of organizations may even point you in the direction of job openings you may have overlooked.”