The U.S. economy has its ups and downs, but some jobs keep chugging along. Truck driving is one of those jobs that is cruising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the trucking profession will expand nearly 15 percent by 2020, with top-tier earners taking home about $60,000 a year in current salaries.
For Jeremy Turner, 35, driving trucks is more about adventure than anything else. Turner’s first careers were in property management and as a gas station manager.
“I wanted to experience something different,” Turner said. “I was ready to do something better and it dawned on me that if I wanted to do it, now was the time.”
Turner had never seen the inside of a truck before signing up for the North Idaho College Workforce Training Center Commercial Driver’s License program in 2012. He knew he enjoyed driving and the idea of traveling to new places every day appealed to him.
“I always wanted to see Graceland, New York City, jump in a warm ocean. I’ve already done all these cool things already,” he said. “Truckers have a lot of good stories.”
Turner said what surprised him the most out of his new career was that he actually sees his family more than he did before he got on the road. Some of his family members are spread out across the United States. Trucking gives him the opportunity to drop by and visit when he’s in town. The family time has been a nice surprise, and so has the actual job itself.
“This is the only job I’ve had in my life where I’m not only good at it, but I love everything about it,” Turner said.
Mitch Sigmond enrolled in the CDL program in February 2013 and is already finishing up. A retired brick layer, Sigmond wanted a job to make some extra cash and “something where Mother Nature doesn’t get the best of you and it’s a little easier on your joints.”
He said he already has a job lined up after he receives his license.
“It just seems like it was meant to be,” Sigmond said.
There will be an information session for the CDL program from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 at the NIC Workforce Training Center in Post Falls for anyone interested in seeing what the program has to offer. The next CDL classes will be held from April 8 to May 3.