If you’re ready for something new, but you’ve got a bit of experience as a truck driver, what careers can you go into which make use of your skills?
Accredited driver trainer
What better than to pass on your knowledge to people just about to enter the transport industry?
Check the requirements in your state (e.g. this is for Queensland), but you’ll need to do some qualifications.
There are other qualifications you can obtain so that you can instruct on other vehicles such as forklifts and EWPs. These are TAE40116 Cert IV in Training and Assessment, EWPA Yellow Card Assessor and a WorkSafe Individual Assessor Authorisation.
You can then either work for yourself, a company that trains drivers, or as an internal driver trainer.
As long as you have the right heavy vehicle licence, you’ll need to have a clean driving record and you will need to complete a course, such as the Bus Driver Authority Courses in New South Wales. The course may be available online.
You can do TLI31216 Certificate III in Driving operations if you don’t have this already.
Hours will vary, but the pay is reasonable. If you drove trucks because you don’t like being around people, steer clear of this job.
Taxi or ride-share driver
There are a few steps to becoming a taxi driver – here’s how you do it in Sydney. The hours aren’t that flash and they pay isn’t as good as being a bus driver or truck driver.
It’s easier to become a ride share driver. You’ll still need a Passenger Transport licence code to be added to your driver licence.
Buy a van and you can become a courier. There are no specific qualifications required. If you hate traffic, this is not the job for you. You’ll need to be fairly physically fit so that you can be quick with the pickups and deliveries. There’s a growing need for couriers due to the increase in online ordering.
Agricultural or construction machine driving
If you still love driving big machinery, but you just don’t want the long hours away from home, you might go for driving a tractor or harvester, or a road roller or grader. You may need additional qualifications such as a Certificate III in Civil Construction.
Locomotive or train driver
These jobs pay quite well – up to $130,000 – but it’s often shift work and you’ll be away from home a lot. There are some medical requirements. Options include freight, passenger, agriculture (e.g. sugar cane) or mining.
Truck or trailer sales
You’ve done the miles on the road and you know the gear, so you might be a person who is best-placed to sell that gear to other drivers. You’ll need to be personable and well-presented to do well in sales. Commissions can be high if you are successful.
Places like TR Group often employ experienced drivers to assist other drivers who are renting or leasing trucks and trailers. You’ll have the knowledge to understand a driver’s requirements, and the skills to give them an induction on the vehicle.
Use your driving skills to operate other machinery such as forklifts, straddle carriers, empty container handlers, reach stackers, mobile cranes and more. You may need additional qualifications.
Work at a trucking company
There are roles for dispatchers, warehouse team members, mechanics and managers. Be prepared to be asked to fill in when a driver is sick, though. Roles at a company like this are more likely to be stable with office hours, rather than on the road. Plus, if you’re doing dispatch, you’ll know what makes a smooth job with the drivers because you’ve been on the other end of it.