More women are becoming truck drivers amid industry labor shortage – Axios
The state of play: There were a total of 234,234 female drivers in 2018, but women still only accounted for just 6.6% of the 3.5 million truck drivers on the road, according to the ATA.
- The U.S. is experiencing a severe shortage in truck drivers that is predicted to grow to as many as 175,000 by 2026. The median annual wage for a truck driver was $43,680 in May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Meanwhile, technologies like modern transmission systems and automatic loading and unloading equipment are making the job more accessible to more people.
- To become a trucker, applicants typically need a high school diploma and must attend a professional truck driving school.
Yes, but: Some industry officials say women still face obstacles in the male-dominated industry. Most of the trainers in professional truck driving schools are male, though some companies try to pair female trainees with female trainers.
- “Then there are on-the-job concerns. A 2017 survey by Women in Trucking asked female drivers how safe they felt at work; the average response was 4.4 out of 10. One of their main concerns is finding a safe, well-lit place to park overnight when there aren’t enough spots,” per the WSJ.
The big picture: Women are joining the trucking industry as it enters a transformative period. With numerous companies developing and testing autonomous and remotely operated heavy-duty commercial trucks, some experts believe that these technologies could revolutionize the profession.
Go deeper: Truck driving could soon be a desk job