There are two categories of delivery truck drivers -- those who drive light trucks up to 26,000 pounds and those who drive tractor trailer trucks weighing 26,001 pounds or more. The demand for light delivery truck drivers is expected to increase by 167,500 jobs between 2010 and 2020. The demand for those driving tractor-trailer delivery trucks is expected to grow by 330,100 jobs over the same time period. To get one of these jobs, you must meet the minimum qualifications.
Age, Education & Experience Qualifications
In many cases, a delivery driver must be 18 years of age or older with a high school diploma or GED. Some employers only consider drivers who are at least 21. Depending upon the type of delivery driver job you are seeking, the employer may require several years of experience. For instance, if you want to work as an tractor trailer delivery driver, you generally need two or more years of experience driving a commercial vehicle on short or local routes.
Active Driver's License
To work as a delivery driver, you need an active, state-issued driver's license. If you intend to make deliveries with a truck weighing more than 26,000 pounds, you need a “Class A” or “Class B” commercial driver's license, or CDL. The exact CDL you need depends upon the type of vehicle you will drive and the weight of the vehicle. To get a CDL, you must attend a CDL training school and pass an examination administered by your state's department of motor vehicles, or DMV. If the deliveries require you to transport hazardous materials, or HAZMAT, you need a HAZMAT endorsement on your license. To get a HAZMAT endorsement, take and pass a written HAZMAT exam and pass a criminal background check.
Clean Driving Record
Most companies will check your driving record before hiring you to work as a delivery driver. If you have moving violations on your record, they can hinder you from getting the job. Before seeking employment, order a copy of your driving record from the DMV. By doing so, you can review your record for erroneous information and take steps to correct the errors.
Knowledge of Region & Ability to Travel
Delivery drivers must be able to deliver items efficiently, so it helps if you are familiar with the area you will be making deliveries to. To ensure prompt deliveries, you should know how to read a map or use a global positioning system, or GPS, device to navigate unfamiliar territory. If you want to work as an over the road, or OTR, delivery driver, you must be able to travel and be away from home for weeks at a time.
A delivery driver must have good people skills. You should be able to verbally communicate and connect with each client or customer you make a delivery to. You should also be in good physical condition, since deliveries sometimes require you to load and unload heavy items. Lastly, you need good inventory skills to keep track of the goods you pick up or deliver.
- Snag a Job: Delivery Driver Job Description
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Commercial Driver's License Program
- California Employment Development Department: Truck Drivers, Light or Delivery Services in California
- UPS: Drivers and Mechanics
- Pennsylvania Driver & Vehicle Services: Obtaining Your HAZMAT Endorsement on Your Commercial Driver's License
- U.S. Department of Labor: Delivery Truck Drivers Occupational Outlook Handbook
- U.S. Department of Labor: Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Drivers – Occupational Outlook Handbook
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