Whether you’re a man or a woman, getting your Class A CDL license and becoming a professional truck driver can be a great way to build a successful future for yourself and your family (especially with the current truck driver shortage).
For women who have heard the tired old stereotypes about Trucking being “a man’s job,” though, the idea of getting your CDL may seem like a questionable choice.
But it shouldn’t.
Every day, the trucking industry is becoming a more and more viable option for women as the outdated stereotypes are broken down and those in the industry see that professional truck driving clearly boils down to character and work ethic, not gender.
So, in order to help women continue to become a more integral part of the industry, we’ve put together some helpful tips for what you, as a female, can do to increase your chances of having a positive experience from the start and earning a great career as a professional truck driver:
1. Be Confident
One of the most important things you need to remember with Trucking — well, really, with anything in Life — is to believe in yourself.
Many articles have been written about what’s known as the “Confidence Gap” between men and women. According to one such article, a variety of studies have shown that men are more likely to enter competitions, apply for promotions and generally go after opportunities with confidence, whereas women are much more hesitant and less likely to try in the first place.
But here’s the kicker: Most of the time, the women in these studies — when they actually went for the opportunity — performed about the same as the men.
Now this isn’t to say that you should be reckless. You shouldn’t. But if you’re considering becoming a professional truck driver and the only thing stopping you is the thought that you might fail? Just remember that you’re likely just as qualified as — if not more qualified than — many of the men who are taking advantage of the opportunities presented by a career in Trucking.
2. Use All Available Resources
Sometimes, even though you know you should believe in yourself, it can be difficult. We’re all human and we all have doubts at times. Fortunately, you don’t need to go on your journey alone.
Within the industry, there are a number of helpful resources and organizations committed to empowering female truck drivers by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to be successful.
A good place to start is with Women In Trucking (WIT). Their website features a ton of great information and tools to put you on the road to a successful truck driving career, and as an organization they do a great job of building a community of female truck drivers. These women who have gone before you can help you in a number of ways to achieve your goals, so be sure to reach out and use this resource to your advantage.
3. Pick A Training School That Respects You
Another way to feel (and actually be) prepared to start your Trucking career is to get the best possible training for your Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) exam. To do that, you need to make sure you pick the right truck driver training school. That means making sure whichever school you choose has a good attitude about women in the industry and that it treats all of its students — both the men and the women — with the same level of respect.
One way to do that is to try to attend a school that has a mix of both men and women working for it.
Roadmaster Drivers School, for example, has a number of women working within our organization, including in leadership positions. Even if the trainers or other staff at a school are mostly male, that doesn’t mean you won’t get good training as a female student. Obviously, men can teach women and women can teach men. But by attending a CDL training school with a staff that includes women, you might be better able to find the support you need if, for example, you have questions that require a uniquely female perspective.
So remember: Believe in yourself, make use of all the resources available to you (including other females who already have gone through the process) and pick a training school that respects you. By doing all of these things, you’re more likely to have a positive experience in the trucking industry right off the bat.
Ready to enroll at a CDL training school that values and respects all of its students, regardless of gender? Roadmaster’s friendly Admissions Representatives are here to answer your questions and put you on the road to success!
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises