The logistical nightmares, shipping bottlenecks, and capacity crunch that developed during the pandemic has helped fuel unprecedented increases in female truck drivers. With the shortage of truck drivers expected to double by 2030, the percentage of women in trucking is likely to increase.
Many women truckers opt to stay closer to home, taking on dedicated trucking jobs that allow them to know with consistency how where they are going, how long they will be gone and who they will be servicing. Still other women truckers drive their rigs both regionally and cross-country, filling the need left by the shortages that won’t soon be resolved post-pandemic.
What’s Driving the Shortage and Why Women Truckers Are Filling the Gap
There’s no single cause driving the shortage, which means that there’s no single fix either. Even with significant pay increases and improved working conditions, there will be 80,000 trucking jobs available this year alone. That’s projected to rise to 160,000 by 2030. Why? About half of all drivers will be retiring and many are leaving before retirement. Some drivers have been pushed out of the industry because of the pandemic, failing drug tests, or lifestyle issues like the amount of time required away from home.
The trucking industry will need upwards to one million drivers to fill the need in the coming decade. Today, about seven percent of all big rig drivers are women. Women are discovering that call to the open road and are stepping up to traverse the nation’s highways, earning comparable opportunities and higher pay in the traditionally male-oriented industry.
The amount of female truck drivers has risen 68 percent since 2010. Pandemic aside, higher pay, fast-track education, and flexibility are three key reasons why women truckers are flocking to the professional driving profession.
Higher Pay Means a Living Wage
Women can bring home over $75,000 a year as a seasoned truck driver. Although the wage gap between male and female truckers is tightening, this still amounts to around 82 cents for every dollar male truckers earn on average. However, depending on the type of trucking job and the company, the earning power of women continues to escalate.
During the pandemic, it was tough for driver schools to attract and retain students. With little more than a few weeks of CDL training, women have found that they aren’t relegated to traditional service jobs like hospitality, cleaning, or childcare. They can drive the big rigs. They have choices to work as a dedicated truck driver, or taking on regional or over-the-road, cross-country jobs. It doesn’t take four years to earn your CDL, it takes just about four weeks. And that is enticing to women who don’t have a college degree who need to earn a living wage.
Many women are attracted to the trucking industry because there is a certain amount of flexibility involved in driving. Some prefer to drive alone. Some drive with a partner or their spouse. Some want to see the countryside. Some want to be home at night with their kids. With nearly a quarter million female truck drivers hitting the road at any given time, the independence and flexibility to change their lives while supporting their customer’s needs is often a game-changer and a powerful reason to give the trucking industry a try.
Contact Veltri Inc. Today
Gender diversity is good for the trucking industry. We hire only the best to join our fleet. Find out what Veltri Inc. can offer both men and women drivers in our New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania markets. If you would like more information regarding dedicated or regional trucking opportunities, contact us today.