TULSA -- If people are looking for jobs right now, then they can likely find plenty of openings at trucking companies across the U.S. and in Green Country.
The American Trucking Association recently reported that the industry needs to hire about 50,000 truck drivers before the end of the year. The association blamed the shortage on a number of factors, including aging drivers, regulatory challenges and lifestyle issues.
In response, the association reported that companies are raising pay and offering other incentives to attract more drivers. Money is what led David Lykins to change careers and pursue becoming a professional truck driver.
"I just didn't know there was such a demand for truck drivers and what they actually paid truck drivers," Lykins said.
"The salaries I'm seeing," he added," are 60- to 70-thousand (dollars). I know that some over-the-road truck drivers, it's my understanding, make upwards of 90-thousand dollars a year."
Lykins enrolled at Tulsa Tech's professional truck driving program in August. Tulsa Tech launched the program in 2016 because of the growing demand for truck drivers. The first 40 students all found work, according to Donnie Tulk.
"America moves by truck," said Tulk, coordinator of Tulsa Tech's professional truck driving program. "To keep things on the shelves for food, clothing, shoes, things like that, trucks have to keep moving."
Experts said that if companies cannot hire enough drivers, then consumers could feel the effects in terms of product shortages and higher prices at stores.
This is another reason why trainees, like Lykins, are finding jobs more easily accessible to them.
"Actually, I have an internship lined up," he said, "so I have a job here waiting on me probably in the next week or two."
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