Best Careers for Former Truck Drivers

May 4, 2022

Best Careers for Former Truck Drivers

If you have been a truck driver for a while and are looking for a career change, you may be wondering what kinds of jobs are available that utilize the skills you’ve acquired as a trucker. Below are some options that require a CDL as well as some that don’t require you to keep your CDL and endorsements current.

What careers have similar skills to truck driving?

Terminal Manager

As a terminal manager, you don’t need a CDL, but the experience of having driven OTR will be invaluable. You would be responsible for organizing, planning, and implementing transportation solutions for trucking companies.

Delivery Driver

If your biggest complaint about driving OTR was the time spent away from home, then becoming a delivery driver might be a good move for you. You’ll drive local routes for companies ranging from furniture sales to medical equipment suppliers. And you’ll likely get paid hourly instead of by the mile, like most OTR jobs.

Tractor Trailer Technician

While you don’t need a CDL to be a tractor trailer technician, it is certainly useful. You won’t be hauling anything, but you’ll be responsible for maintaining and fixing semi trucks. As a former OTR driver, you’ll know exactly how important proper maintenance is to keeping a fleet running smoothly.

Forklift Operator

You don’t need a CDL to operate a forklift, but many of the skills are transferable. You’ll probably work in a warehouse moving pallets of goods from one place to another. And you may even find yourself loading a trailer every once in a while.

Farm Hand

Again, you don’t need a CDL to be a farm hand, and you don’t need any formal training at all. Your work will involve plowing, sowing, watering, fertilizing, and harvesting crops. This can be a great option for a former driver who prefers working outdoors and perhaps has an interest in gardening.


As a dispatcher, you’ll manage freight for a carrier. This means using load boards and personal connections to find freight, talk to brokers, negotiate contracts, and set up routes for drivers. You may also review driver logs or track driver hours in a role like this, so experience as a trucker will definitely be useful.


If you’ve been a trucker for a while and know a lot about the industry, becoming a recruiter could be very rewarding. You will work to find new drivers and match them to jobs in the industry. And you’ll probably talk to a lot of people who have just gotten their CDL or who are considering getting it, and you’ll be able to share your experiences as a truck driver with them to help them decide if a career in transportation is right for them.

How else can I use my CDL license?

Getting a CDL takes a lot of time and dedication. And you may be reluctant to let all your hard work go to waste by letting your CDL expire or lapse, even if you decide that OTR driving isn’t for you. Below are some jobs that require a current CDL but that aren’t the same as driving long-haul routes across the country.

Bus Driver

Many former truck drivers become bus drivers after leaving the trucking industry. City buses, school buses, or even tour buses are all options if you have your P and S endorsements.

Highway Maintenance

If you decide to pursue a career in highway maintenance after getting your CDL, you may find yourself operating dump trucks, skid steers, or concrete mixers.

Heavy Equipment Operator

As an equipment operator, you might operate trash compactors, pump trucks, bush hogs, steamrollers, knuckle boom loaders, or a variety of other heavy machinery.

CDL Trainer

This is a great career option if you have an exemplary driving record. Carriers and CDL schools are always looking for qualified instructors, trainers, and mentors to guide the new generation of truck drivers.

Transportation Supervisor

If you’re looking for more administration and office work, you might like being a transportation supervisor. You will monitor the transportation budget, implement business objectives, and supervise employee performance. You’ll also likely be involved with making sure drivers and carriers adhere to safety standards and delegate tasks to drivers.

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