Over-the-road truck drivers are still mostly comprised of men. However, times are changing, and truck driving jobs for women are on the rise. As the demand for truck drivers increases, the industry is committed to having women to fill hiring needs. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), 6% of truck drivers are women. At Knight Transportation, 9.9% of our Driver Associates are women, which’s 65% more than other trucking companies! If you’re a woman considering a job as a trucker, now is a great time to enter the transportation industry. Learn more about why we need women truck drivers and how women can find top-paying trucking jobs.
Demand is High for New Truck Drivers
Beroe Inc. reports the shortage in the number of truck drivers looks to deepen in the U.S. by the year 2026. And according to American Trucking Association, the trucking industry will need more than 1.1 million new drivers in the next ten years. There are many reasons for the driver shortage:
- Waves of experienced truckers entering retirement
- Lack of qualified drivers to backfill jobs vacated by retirees
- COVID-19 pushing many drivers to exit and not return
- The desire of younger drivers for more home time
Changes in Trucking Culture
Women are entering the trucking industry because of a change in our culture, making it easier for women to apply for trucking jobs. It is no longer a cultural norm for a woman to stay at home and take care of the family. Single women, entrepreneurs interested in owner-operator roles, and women with older children are in the perfect position to start a career as a trucker.
There are trucking jobs that don’t require drivers to be gone away for weeks at a time. Trucking jobs for women can include regional dry van routes and port and rail driving jobs. These trucking jobs allow drivers to be home every few days, which often can be better suited for women with families.
One of the fastest-growing areas of trucking is team driving. Many women are entering the industry as team drivers, driving alongside a spouse or significant other. Traveling with someone else is more social, less isolating, and can make some women feel safe.
Trucking companies have also relaxed some of the rules around pets and companions to help attract female truck drivers. Knight Transportation Driver Heather Krebs, recently featured on thetrucker.com, travels with a hairless Sphynx cat. “If I couldn’t bring her, I wouldn’t have done it,” Krebs said. “I wouldn’t have even wanted to go into trucking at all.”
Opportunities Increasing for Women in Trucking
Today, women are in all areas of the trucking industry, from CEOs to dispatching, truck driving, accounting, payroll, recruiting, and marketing. Check out the List of Women to Watch in Transportation.
The Knight Transportation podcast called Beyond The Rig is co-hosted by Linda Dominy, Vice President of Driver Development. Linda moved up the ranks at Knight Transportation and once held the position of Director of Payroll.
Anderson, Indiana-based Carter Express, Inc. promoted Jessica Paugh Warnke to the company’s chief executive officer. She is the company’s first female CEO and will oversee trucks, cross docks, and drivers.
Many female truck drivers join WomeninTrucking.org which exists for bringing gender diversity to transportation. According to the site, it’s a “non-profit organization with the mission to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles face by women working in the industry.”
Our YouTube Channel features a series called The Knight Life | Women in Trucking. In this episode, Linda Dominy, Director of Payroll for Knight Transportation rides along with Susan Hoagland, Veteran OTR CDL driver at Knight Transportation. Flat Tires, Broken mud flaps, and traffic jams are a little taste of what Linda and Susan experience on this trip to Las Vegas and back.
Reasons to Become a Truck Driver
- Top Pay – Truck driving is one of the highest paying jobs not requiring a college degree or certificate.
- Excellent Benefits – Trucking companies typically have better benefits packages than other companies.
- Sign-on Bonuses – Most truck drivers are receiving large cash sign-on bonuses.
- Technology Advancements – From Electronic Logging Devices (EDLs) to apps for locating the best truck stops to cab ready cookware, it’s easier than ever to be on the road.
- It’s Not a Desk Job – Get out from the 9 to 5 grind, the commute, and the reporting to 8 bosses routine.
- You Can Team Up – Partner up and share the experience of today’s trucking with friend or spouse.
Final Thoughts Women Truck Drivers
The trucking industry needs and wants women to become a more prominent part of transportation. Entering as a truck driver is an excellent and rewarding place to start. If you are a female CDL truck driver searching for trucking jobs or looking to enter transportation, contact Knight Transportation to join our diverse team. Looking to get into trucking? Visit our CDL School Training page.