Ideal for people that don't want to be stuck in an office all day, this job gets you driving and exploring the country all in the name of work.
With a shortage of drivers and an industry keen to find more recruits and appeal to young drivers, there's never been a better time to consider a career as a lorry driver.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Working as a lorry driver, you will be responsible for the safe delivery of goods nationally or internationally, it's that simple.
Your duties will involve...
- Ensuring goods are safely secured
- Keeping your vehicle in good condition
- Loading and unloading the vehicle
- Taking the quickest route to your destination. (so map reading always an advantage)
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The nitty gritty
Most drivers work for a manufacturer, distributor or road haulage firm. Working an average of 48 hours per week, drivers can’t spend more than nine hours per day on the road, although they can work more hours if they’re engaged in non-driving duties.
If you’re a long-distance driver you may have to sleep in your cab which will be equipped with a sleeping area so you can still get a decent night's snooze.
Experience will bring the opportunity to drive bigger loads further distances. Logistics covers a huge range of jobs and, with the right training and an in depth knowledge of the industry, you could look at progressing to operations manager or distribution manager.
Money, money, money
Newly-qualified drivers will start off with a salary in the region of £14k per year which can increase to £35k per year with experience.
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The good points...
“The best thing is not having a boss breathing down your neck all the time and the freedom of the open road. Having to make decisions yourself and structure your day to suit the job is also rewarding” says Pat Nicholson from the Professional Driving Association.
...and the bad
“The worst thing is the long, unsociable hours and the animosity we get from the general public when we're in their way.”
Is there study involved?
You need to be aged 18 or over, have a clean driving license and pass a medical test to work as an LGV (large goods vehicle) driver.
You'll also need to earn a few certificates, including holding a LGV license in categories C (smaller, rigid vehicles) or C+E (larger, articulated vehicles).
You'll also need to hold a Certificate of Professional Competence – a practical and theory test taken every five years to prove a driver’s suitability. Basic motor maintenance skills would also be useful.
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OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
You’ll need to be self-motivated and happy to spend long periods of time alone as it's often just you and the road.
A love of driving is essential, if you hate being on the roads before you've even started the job, you'll hate it even more when you have to drive through the night.
A keen awareness of health and safety issues is also a big advantage in this career.