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Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

Tow Your Way to the Future at Top Speed

Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers will operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight capacity of over 26,000 pounds over intercity routes, state lines, and sometimes even across national borders. With a current need for transport of all kinds of goods, the top industries hiring transporters are petroleum, mining, and grocery services. Long-haul drivers dominate the profession, typically in teams of two for efficient travel times.  Drivers must often load and unload their cargo before and after driving. Owner operators, drivers who buy or lease trucks to work as independent transportation services, are especially responsible for all parts of loading, unloading, and transporting. Owner-operators perform driving as well as administrative duties in order to serve their clientele.

Some Important Factors to Consider:

  • Drivers are on the road for long periods of time away from home
  • Most of the job is done inside the cabin of the vehicle
  • Must (at times) be able to freely cross state and national borders

Estimates show the Gulf Coast Region will be needing almost 1,700 drivers per year.


975 Job Openings Annually due to Growth and 720 Job Openings Annually due to replacement

Demand will cause almost 10,000 jobs to be created by 2024. 

  Truck Drivers No. of Jobs

There was 42,360 truck drivers in 2014, and predictions say we will need 52,100 by 2024

How do you become an Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver?

Along with a high school diploma or the equivalent, many companies will require employees to attend truck driving schools or programs at the local community college certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI), but the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering mandating this prerequisite. In addition, all truck drivers must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) with the various endorsements displaying which special types of vehicle they are licensed to transport. 

Once qualified and licensed, new drivers will receive on-the-job training for 1 to 3 months with an experienced mentor-driver in the passenger seat teaching them about the routes and specific type of truck they are responsible for.

Gulf Coast Region Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driving  Programs

Community Colleges

Major Employers in the Region

Related Occupations: Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators, Construction Equipment Operators, Water Transportation Workers, Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators


If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact

*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.

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