semi truck driver

The news may be flooded with stories about the lagging U.S. economy and disappointing jobs reports, but it appears there is at least one profession that could use a few more applicants. USA Today reports that there is a genuine shortage of truck drivers, and the problem is leading to pricier deliveries and longer waits on packages.

There are plenty of reasons for the driver shortage, with a raft of retiring baby boomers and the $4,000 to $6,000 price for a six-week training course being among the main culprits. Another potential issue is a requirement for trucking companies to publish their safety records, which has reportedly led to some companies looking only for drivers with clean records. And the problem could become worse in the next year as the federal government enacts strict federal limits on the time drivers can spend behind the wheel of a big rig.

The good news is that drivers at least 21 years of age have plenty of opportunities for employment. Pay has gone up as well, with compensation jumping five percent year-over-year to an average of $50,000 per year. And with pay jumping that fast, a few thousand dollars worth of training becomes more of an investment.