Focus at Four: Why a future in the trucking industry may be for you

It's the pervasive industry you don't think much about.

"Most people don't realize when they walk into their neighborhood store, and all that stuff is on the shelves, they don't understand how all that stuff got there," said John Lex, a truck driver representing the Share the Road program. "Well. it's been brought on the back of a truck."

In Texas particularly, the industry is crucial considering how spaced out the large cities are. Yet most of us don't think about the trucking industry until we're driving next to an 18-wheeler on the highway. That's why this week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, with a focus on smart sharing of the road.

"Truck drivers are given extensive training on how to expertly drive these huge trucks," said Ken Dupre, Blinn College Director of Technical and Community Education.

Still, Lex explains that regular motorists have to be cautious as well. His number one tip? "Stay off the doggone phone," he said.

Dupre explains that driving training is only one part of an intensive four-week course taught by a professional trucking company at Blinn. The course is 210 instructional hours and cost $4,200. But Dupre says, it could be worth it for you and your family.

"The average pay, right now in Texas, is about $45,000 a year," said Dupre. "And that's not bad. You spend four weeks training, it costs about $4,200, but you can earn ten times that over the next year."
Dupre also says that 95 percent of Blinn's truck driving graduates are placed in jobs right away.

If you're interested in joining the truck driving industry, the next course at Blinn begins Monday. If you miss that one, there are plenty more chances coming up. See the Related Links for more information.