Iowa Trucking Jobs
Find Trucking Jobs in Iowa
Located in the midst of “America’s Heartland”, the state of Iowa is a major center for manufacturing and agriculture. Food processing is the largest manufacturing industry, with many of the nation’s biggest plants operating in Iowa. It is also the largest producer of both corn and soybeans, and produces numerous other agricultural products, such as hogs and cattle, as well. Needless to say, Iowa is critically important to feeding the entire nation, and its products and commodities need to get from this centrally-located state to every other part of the country. The trucking industry plays what is probably the largest role in making that happen. As a result, trucking jobs abound in Iowa and it is a great place to enjoy a career as a truck driver.
Every type of truck driving job is needed and available in Iowa. From the shortest distances (local driving), to cross country travel (Over The Road, or OTR), the goods produced in Iowa must be transported to every other state in the nation. This gives the truck driver a considerable amount of choice regarding the type of trucking job he or she wants. Local drivers are needed to drive regular routes with regular stops. Regional drivers stay within the basic geographic area, but do cross state lines to deliver their cargo. OTR drivers go out for two to four weeks at a time, experiencing much of the country, before coming home for some family time.
Requirements for Truck Driving in Iowa
The Iowa Department of Transportation oversees the issuing of commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years of age, or 21 if you wish to drive across state lines. You must first obtain your learner’s permit, by passing vision and knowledge tests and presenting proof of identity and legal residence in the state of Iowa. You will need to show your social security card. As is federally mandated, you must meet certain medical requirements and have a form completed to that effect. You will train to drive either a Class A, B, or C vehicle. Once you are ready for your test, you will need to pass a multi-component skills test demonstrating your knowledge of and control over the vehicle. Most people who wish to obtain a CDL train for it at one of the many professional truck driving schools located throughout the state.
Building Your Trucking Career
The Iowa Motor Truck Association is the group that represents the interests of the different parties in the trucking industry, including the drivers. The association points out that a safe truck driver is part detective. In addition to following strict regulations and staying current with local laws, they must manage a large and complex piece of equipment. They need to always be thinking “what if?” Even when he or she is not driving, the driver experiences a lot of exposure around their equipment, while at a shipper or receiver or terminal. Watching for unsafe conditions takes a “detective” mindset. Drivers should not only be watching for unsafe conditions but should be looking for the cause of the unsafe condition and report it to the appropriate authority when they can’t correct it themselves.
Potential Benefits of Truck Driving Careers
Qualified Iowa truckers are in the fortunate position of being in high demand, making the salary and benefits paid by employers very attractive. The median yearly salary earned by Iowa truck drivers is $40,000, which is higher than the US average of $38,700. Some Iowa truck drivers earn considerably more than that. Employers tend to offer attractive benefits packages, sometimes with signing bonuses. Medical, dental, and vision coverage are essentially standard. Retirement plans, in the form of 401k plans, are often a perk, sometimes with the employer matching contributions made by the employee up to a certain percentage. Paid vacation increases with years of service. Bereavement and military leaves are often given. And disability and life insurance policies may be paid by the company.
Join the Iowa Trucking Industry
If you are considering a career in truck driving in the state of Iowa, there is a bright future ahead of you! Take a few moments now to look into this exciting opportunity by contacting one or more of the schools listed below.
If you need CDL training, view our list of truck driving schools in Iowa for a school near you.