Reporting Sandra McNeill
DETROIT (WWJ) - Experts are warning of a coming crisis: a shortage of truck drivers.
The Associated Press reports demand is so high that more than 100,000 trucking jobs are expected to go unfilled each year through 2016.
Mohammed Khan, the Director of the Great American Truck Driving School in Detroit told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil he’s seen a 50-percent jump in enrollment at his school since 2010.
“People do want to become truck drivers. The fact is that the demand just ups the supply right now,” said Khan. ”There are a lot of truck driving jobs that are wanting because they just can’t find enough people. And our school has gotten very busy over the past two years.”
Khan said recruiters are looking for someone with a brain.
“They want somebody who can think. It’s not just a dumb job anymore. There are a lot of computers and a lot of statistics to know … which path to take. They want thinkers,” Khan said.
Khan’s school’s four-week course draws the interest of people from all walks of life. He’s recently seen some former Detroit police offices go through the program. About one of five of his students are women.
Khan said mature folks looking for a new career are always welcome but everyone must be able to pass a federally required physical.
So what about your driving record?
“It doesn’t have to be perfect — they accept things like if you have speeding tickets … minor violations are acceptable. Even if you have a DUI, if it’s been five years they’ll accept you,” Khan said.
Khan said the jobs can pay up to $45,000 a year right out of school. The best paying routes require you to be away from home for as much as two weeks at a time.