Light Truck Drivers
Education & Training
To work as a light truck driver, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- complete short-term on-the-job training;
- be at least 18 years old (for in-state driving) or 21 years old (for driving across state borders); and
- have a valid driver's or commercial driver's license (CDL).
Education after high school
Some light truck drivers learn their skills through formal programs. Many private and public vocational schools offer driver training programs. These programs typically award a certificate or diploma and last less than one year. Completion of such a program should help you get a job as a trainee. However, you should check the school's reputation with area employers before enrolling.
Some states require you to complete a basic truck-driving training program if you have not attended a formal training program. This often is a requirement for a commercial driver's license. These programs usually take a few months to complete.
Experience operating equipment or driving safely is good background for this occupation. Some drivers begin as assistants. They drive part of the time and help the driver load and unload cargo.
As a new driver, you usually work with an experienced driver for a short time, usually about a month. You may ride along and observe for a period of time before getting your own assignments. You may also receive training in special cargo, such as hazardous materials.
Some branches of the military train people to be vehicle drivers. Training lasts seven to eight weeks, depending on your specialty. Further training occurs on the job.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
Helpful High School Courses
You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Diesel Mechanics and Repair
- Driver Education
- Physical Education
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.