Just like every other job, trucking jobs in the construction industry have many pros and cons that come along with the position. In reality there are always negative aspects to a job, whether they be substantial or minuscule. However, in a successful career, the benefits of a job significantly overshadows the negative aspects of the career. So, how does a job as a construction truck driver stack up? Are the pros of a job in the trucking industry worth it? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.
Good Income Potential
It comes with no surprise that the base pay isn’t spectacular for a construction truck driver. The average salary during 2012 for a full-time position was just over $34,000. However, the true potential for income comes during overtime hours. Generally speaking, an employee is paid time-and-a-half for any overtime work. Overtime work consists of any work done that exceeds the 40 hours a week maximum. Furthermore, due to the unpredictable nature of construction work, most construction workers find themselves working well over the 40 hour work week maximum, especially when projects are looming the foreseeable future. Therefore, the potential for significant income is definitely abundant. It’s just a bit dangerous to rely on overtime pay to supplement the base pay.
Being a construction truck driver isn’t a dead-end job. After working in the industry for a few years, some workers go on to start their own construction related firms. Once the worker becomes educated on the processes, equipment, skills, and methodology of the industry, workers feel comfortable opening their own firm and taking a more management-type role. Be warned, this opportunity is contingent upon having enough capital to invest in your own company and may not be applicable to everyone.
If opening up your own firm doesn’t interest you, there is always internal growth available within a company. Construction companies would rather promote from within than hire an outside worker. This is because a current employee is already educated on the company’s equipment, procedures, etc. So, management-type positions are always available and can be easier to obtain if you’re already a current employee.
A significant downside to working in the construction industry is the fact that construction is very rare in the winter. This is especially true up in the northern part of the country. Simply put, it isn’t ideal to start construction with a foot of snow on the ground. As a result, construction companies cut their workforce significantly in the winter. Inexperienced and/or expensive workers will be laid off first. There is no guarantee that an employee will be rehired once the weather improves either. So, there is a significant level of job uncertainty as a construction worker. Job security isn’t a perk for some inexperienced, young workers.
Poor Hiring Outlook
Despite what some recent economic reports may say, the country is still in economic trouble. When the economy is not looking optimistic, less homes, office buildings and shopping centers are being build. Thus there is less of a need for construction workers. Obviously, this correlates to fewer jobs within the construction industry. So as of right now, the job market is tiny. Employers are selective and able to hire only employees with several years of experience as a construction truck driver. This means little to none opportunities are available for younger workers with little experience.
Having said that, in the long run, the economy will recover. Years down the road jobs will open up due to an increase in construction. Eventually everything will pick up, but that time is not right now.
Air conditioning isn’t standard on a construction truck. There’s no such thing as a heated seat, or any amenities seen in our cars. Furthermore, construction is done completely outside in the elements. So, when December rolls around (assuming you still have a job), you have to face the elements head on. Also, when it’s July and you’re working on site at job in Miami, you have to deal with the extreme heat. There is no way around this part of the job. It’s just a matter of adjusting to this type of work day. You have to take extra precautions to remain hydrated in the summer and warm in the winter or else you may develop serious health concerns.
Construction truck driving isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can handle the extreme weather conditions, lack of job security, and poor job outlook that is associated with construction truck driving. Having said that, others may love working outdoors and wouldn’t mind dealing with only seasonal work. Construction truck driving does have its perks. Overtime hours are abundant and can add up to make a nice paycheck. Additionally, the opportunity to grow internally at a firm or even start your own firm makes for intriguing and exciting opportunities. When it comes down to it, choosing to work as a construction truck driver is up to personal tastes and preferences. If your personality fits the bill as a construction truck driver, you’ll excel. If not, look elsewhere for a career.