“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck

Is truck driving the perfect job? If you are married with kids and want to be home every night to see them, maybe not. But for lots of people who are more nomadic in personality, truck driving has several advantages. Truck drivers are currently in demand in the United States, and they can make good money because of that demand:

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make?

“There is currently a massive driver shortage within the United States. In 2019, there would need to be 1.1 million new drivers added over the next 10 years in order to keep up with demand. The e-commerce boom, competition from traditionally more “attractive” careers and an aging driver population all contribute to the shortage.”

If you want to learn more, this video is a great starting point:

Truck Driver Salary: Here’s What It’s REALLY Like to Be a Truck Driver!!

A person cannot become a truck driver instantly – it does require a bit of training as described above to get a commercial drivers license. However, if you look online with a search like:

https://www.google.com/search?q=truck+driving+school

What you will find is that you can get your license in as little as 4 weeks and at most a few months. Be sure to check local community colleges, as they may have programs. Shop around.

Be Aware of Scams

Be aware of certain scams in the trucking industry so you have your eyes open. For example:

How to Avoid Being the Victim of Trucking Scams

As well as lease/purchase scams:

https://www.google.com/search?q=truck+driver+scam+lease-purchase+truck

Good Jobs for Truck Drivers

The upside is that truck driving can be a good job. This article published today:

Old Dominion Freight Line on Push to Hire 800 Class A CDL Truck Drivers Over the Next Three Months

“All new truck driver hires will be non-union, full-time employees with average annual pay ranging from $73,000 for pick-up and delivery drivers and $99,000 for line haul drivers, additional benefits such as health insurance including an option at no cost to the employee, company sponsored 401(k) and paid time off. In some locations, Old Dominion is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for qualified Class A CDL truck driver candidates.”

This sounds pretty good compared to a minimum wage job.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs

Today Newsweek ran an article that seems like it would be right in the sweet spot of this series:

19 Jobs that Pay More Than $70,000 a Year and Don’t Require a College Degree

This sounds great! However… As I mentioned previously, all articles like this need to be taken with a grain of salt. The article is helpful in that it lists the number of open positions nationwide, and also lists the credentials you would need. Let’s take a look at the Newsweek Nineteen…

The Newsweek Nineteen

  1. Gas Plant Operator
  2. Agricultural manager
  3. Transit or railroad Police Officer
  4. Electrical Power Line Installer/repairer
  5. Lighting Technician
  6. Railroad Signal and Track Switch Repairer
  7. Petroleum Operator
  8. First-line Supervisor
  9. Gambling Manager
  10. Transportation Inspector
  11. Mail Superintendant
  12. Power Plant Operator
  13. Criminal Investigator
  14. Elevator/Escalator installer and repair
  15. Commercial Pilot
  16. Power Distributor/Dispatcher
  17. First-line Supervisor of Police
  18. Transportation Supervisor
  19. Nuclear Reactor Operator

Let’s take the last one, Nuclear Reactor Operator (this is adjacent to Homer Simpson’s job BTW). You may not need a college degree, but there are two problems:

  • There are only 5,300 of these positions in the country, and the number is contracting, and…
  • You need “extensive on-the-job training and a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission”.

This is the grain of salt part – this really does not seem like a viable option for anyone not steeped in the industry. Power Plant Operator at #12 is a little better, but still difficult to break into without a long-term commitment.

These are not like the plumber and electrician and HVAC jobs described previously, where there are open slots and a demand for people. In any supervisor position seen above, for example, there is going to be a lot of applicants for each slot, not only from the people already working there, but people on the outside applying in. You will also need experience and perhaps certificates to be considered, and anyone with a college degree likely has a leg up, even if the degree is not required.

So this list is interesting, and several jobs in the list are intriguing enough to investigate further. But many of the jobs in this list are non-starters. So we will continue the search.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?

In this series we are going to look at many different types of jobs that are available in the U.S. economy. Some of them require special skills, some of them require a college degree… but what if you have none of that? What if you have no skills in particular, yet you do not want to work a minimum wage job? In the following video he opens with this question: “How do I get into the skilled trades when I have no skill?”

How To Start In The Skilled Trades | Who Makes The Most Money

He also talks about which trades make the most money. Around 8:10 he describes how plumbing, electrical and HVAC are three areas that pay well. He also mentions surface repair, countertops ($100/hour is mentioned).

Around 10:00 he talks about getting two certificates from a community college.

He then talks about coming in as a gofer, and then picking up knowledge osmotically and becoming more valuable each day.

Diving into the Handyman Channel

His channel is fascinating because he demonstrates many of the tasks he does in his line of handyman work. There are also these three fascinating videos on where a handyman path could take you:

You can see that the path he is describing is not instantaneous, but it is a path to a good job. Something to think about as you are considering ways to make more than minimum wage.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”

Would you like to get a better job? It is an easy question, and it applies to a lot of different people in the United States today:

  • You might be a teenager in high school, and you know that you want something better than a dead-end minimum wage job
  • You may actually be in a dead-end minimum wage job and you are looking for something better
  • You may have gotten a college degree, but it turns out that you can’t get much of a job with the degree you have, so you are looking for something better.
  • You may have been pushed out of your job by the pandemic, or automated out of your job by robots, or downsized out of your job or whatever, and now you need to do something new.
  • You may be in the middle of your life and you simply want to try something new.

Whatever the reason, this series is going to look at the job landscape in America today and help you, dear reader, find sweet spots where the “good jobs” exist and there are openings to be filled.

There are many good jobs that go empty in America today

Let’s start the search with two videos from PBS that definitely set the stage:

Despite rising salaries, the skilled-labor shortage is getting worse
With millions looking for work, stigmas create a dearth of skilled tradespeople

The beginning of the first video is talking about $100K+ job opportunities. At the 2:45 point, electrician jobs are described at $90 an hour as fairly routine. And there is a lot of demand.

These videos are talking about “skilled trades”. But there are so many other jobs hidden throughout the economy that: A) pay way better than minimum wage, and B) have lots of openings.

A sample job

Just to get us started, let’s talk about a very simple, very easy-to-understand job opportunity in America today that everyone has heard about. In this case, the job title is “Plumber’s Helper”.

Is this a great job? No. But it is a good entry-level job. The advantage of this position is that a healthy person could walk into the job with no training, and then there is an obvious upward career path toward a solid middle-class lifestyle. If you watch the first video above and then look at a position like this, you can see the path. Getting a foot into the profession is a reasonable first step.

What if you do not want to be a plumber? Or what if you already have some kind of college degree? Let me give you another quick example. You can easily find articles like this in Google:

9 High-Paying Jobs That Require Little or No Experience

The jobs described here include:

  1. Transit and Railroad Police
  2. Claims Adjuster
  3. Web Developer
  4. Power Plant Operator
  5. Elevator Installer
  6. Nuclear Technician
  7. Radiation Therapist
  8. Construction Manager
  9. Air Traffic Controller

This article demonstrates that you have to take lists like this with a grain of salt. No one is going to get a “#8 Construction Manager” job with “little or no experience” as stated in the title. However, several of these jobs do fit the stated criteria.

Going forward, we will be on a search for the jobs in America that pay well – much better than minimum wage – without requiring a PhD or some sort of super-power.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain published this week

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain is 2020’s breakthrough book analyzing 25 of the biggest natural and man-made threats that humanity faces. https://doomsdaynow.com is the companion website for the book providing additional multi-media content and breaking doomsday news. “The Doomsday Book” is available now – You can order the book from Amazon and other fine retailers.

You will never look at “Climate Change” in the same way again after reading this book, because Climate Change results in many different effects that are all doomsday scenarios unless humanity takes immediate action:

In the same way, you will never look at asteroids in the same way again. Or terrorism. Or drones. Or robots/automation. The Blog covers doomsday events and doomsday scenarios as they unfold in real time.

My New TEDx talk on Elon Musk’s Mars Colony

Here on MarshallBrain.com you can find the free book:

I was able to do a TEDx talk on this topic on October 3, and the video just became available on the TEDx Youtube channel today:

Imagining Elon Musk’s Million-Person Mars Colony | Marshall Brain | TEDxYouth@BriarWoodsHS

I was given 8 minutes for the talk – for lots more detail on Elon Musk’s Mars Colony please see the book. A synopsis of the book would be:

This book introduces a new economic system that aims to eliminate all of the poverty, inequality, hunger, slums and so on found on Earth today. This new system is introduced as a thought experiment within the context of the million-person Mars colony recently announced by Elon Musk. This new system will radically improve the quality of life for the vast majority of humans living on planet Earth today.

Will 2020 be seen as the tipping point year for Artificial Intelligence? Two Examples

Artificial Intelligence has been making great strides over the past decade on many different fronts. Here are three notable achievements:

  • IBM’s Watson beat the best human players at Jeopardy in 2011
  • Self driving cars and trucks have been getting better and better, to the point where Tesla seems to think the whole problem will be solved shortly
  • Tools like Alexa and Siri have become a part of normal life with their speech capabilities.

A lot of this feels like the inevitable march of progress and not that consequential, yet. But as described in Robotic Nation and The Second Intelligent Species there is going to come a point where AI starts to have a real impact of jobs, especially white collar jobs. And I wonder if we are going to look back and see 2020 as the tipping point year for that.

This video is fascinating. It describes AI designing and then building a car in great detail:

A.I. Designed this Car
Czinger 21C: the world’s first 3D printed hypercar | Top Gear

The advantages are so compelling that this kind of AI tech is going to take over the car industry. And this is the first company of this kind. Imagine what it will look like in a few years when the big players start adopting the technology.

Then there is this amazing article this week in Wired:

Give These Apps Some Notes and They’ll Write Emails for You – Entrepreneurs are building tools that create emails or marketing copy using GPT-3, text-generation technology released earlier this year.

GPT-3 is showing so much promise/potential, and is proving able to do so many amazing things, that it is mind blowing. These two videos try to explain what is happening:

From Essays to Coding, This New A.I. Can Write Anything
OpenAI GPT-3 – Good At Almost Everything! 

There is a graph in the second video where GPT-3 is getting close to human-level functionality in certain realms. It really starts to make you wonder about how many things AI will be taking over and how many jobs will be lost in the not-too-distant future. For more info see:

The Official Site for Marshall Brain