What does a driver do?

Many drivers work as delivery drivers. They form the center of the supply chain and are responsible for making sure that deliveries arrive on time. Delivery drivers either load and unload cargo from their trucks or oversee the workers who handle the loading and unloading. They must also communicate with clients and follow a set schedule. Drivers need to take care of their trucks and report any issues they find to help their employers save money. As a driver, you may need to take payments from clients and complete paperwork, too.

Drivers have different roles

Other types of drivers include truck drivers and passenger drivers. Truck drivers have many of the same responsibilities that delivery drivers do but drive much larger trucks. They may have local routes and drive a specific route through a city or region every day. Long-distance or long-haul truck drivers may drive thousands of miles every week and cross the country on a regular basis. Passenger drivers are responsible for transporting passengers between two destinations. As a passenger driver, you may transport kids on a school bus or adults on city buses or in private vehicles.



What is the average salary of a driver?

The average salary of a driver depends heavily on the industry where the driver works. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a delivery driver is $34,340 per year or $16.51 per hour. This figure does not include any tips that the driver receives. When you deliver flowers and other items to customers, they may reward you with a small monetary tip. Passenger drivers earn a median salary of $16.67 per hour or $34,670 per year, which is slightly higher than what delivery drivers earn. Truck and tractor drivers earn the highest salaries at $47,130 per year or $22.66 per hour. 

Most positions come with benefits for full-time workers, such as health insurance and paid time off (PTO). When working as a driver, you should also receive a truck from your employer that you use on the job. Though you may need to maintain the truck, your employer is responsible for paying for any needed repairs. Your employer will also pay to insure the truck.



Working as a driver

When working as a driver, you may have the same route every day, or you might be assigned different routes.  Because you will usually work independently throughout the day, you need to have strong communication and time management skills but also feel comfortable working on your own. Drivers usually do not need a college degree but do need a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

What are the responsibilities of a driver?

Your average duties and responsibilities as a driver will depend on the type of driving you do. Delivery drivers are often responsible for loading their trucks at the beginning of the day and unloading the packages they drop off along their routes. They work with a dispatcher to stay on track and need to let the dispatcher know about any problems they encounter on the road, such as traffic accidents and closed streets. Other duties include keeping track of paperwork and talking with their customers.

Responsibilities of passenger drivers

As a passenger vehicle driver, you need to pick up and drop off your passengers at specific locations. You may drive a city bus and take passengers on routes around a small part of your city. As a school bus driver, you need to pick up students in the morning at designated spots and keep them safe on the bus until you take them back home after school ends. If you want to work as a truck driver, you need to maintain daily logs to ensure you follow federal safety laws. Truck drivers are also responsible for securing truck loads and driving across long distances.

What type of equipment do drivers use?

Drivers use either trucks or vans. Delivery drivers usually drive small cargo vans that hold dozens of deliveries while truck drivers drive big rigs or semi-trucks with space for thousands of packages. As a passenger vehicle driver, you may drive a large bus or a smaller vehicle. Passenger vehicles can hold a single person or dozens of people. You will likely use a communication device to ensure that you stay in contact with the dispatcher and a GPS unit to help you follow your designated route and anticipate delays. Some employers use governors on their vehicles that prohibit workers from driving above a specific speed limit or a tracker that helps them keep an eye on their workers in the field.

What is the work environment of a driver?

Most drivers spend long hours working on their own. As a long-haul driver, you should expect to spend more than 40 hours a week in your truck. Many drivers have dogs or cats that travel with them to keep them company, but other drivers bring along their spouses or partners. You will need to drive in all types of weather conditions, including rain and snow. When working as a passenger vehicle driver, you will see some of the same passengers every day but also have the chance to meet new people along the way. 

Driving jobs come with an increased risk of injury due to the nature of the work. . These injuries can range from pulled or strained muscles caused by loading and unloading boxes to broken bones and serious injuries that occur during traffic accidents. You should work with your employer to ensure your vehicles are properly maintained and that you have the most up-to-date driver training to minimize 

Who are your colleagues as a driver?

Drivers do not always work with colleagues. If you choose to work as a truck driver, you may only work with the dispatchers in your pick-up and drop-off locations. Those dispatchers provide you with any instructions you need about your load and how to handle it. . You will work with the same dispatcher and others on the road. They will ask that you check in to make sure you're on the right route and making good time. If you have a stalled truck or are in an accident, the dispatcher will ensure that you get the help you need. 

Sometimes, you will work with other drivers as a team to manage one vehicle and its loads. . Working as a part of a crew allows you to work with another driver and take turns behind the wheel on the road.

What is the work schedule of a driver?

The basic schedule of a driver varies between industries. You should expect to work a minimum of 40 hours a week as a full-time driver. Local drivers often work the same set schedule every day and week, but other positions require more flexibility. You may work from 9 to 5 on one day and then from 1 to 8 the next day. The Department of Transportation has set rules on how many hours a week a driver can work. DOT regulations for truck drivers state that they must take a 10-hour break after driving for 11 hours when carrying property. Drivers who transport passengers can only drive for a maximum of 10 hours per day.


What is the career outlook for a driver?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for delivery drivers is positive and growing at a rapid rate. The need for these drivers will increase by 12% by the end of 2030, which equates to more than 182,000 new jobs. Passenger vehicle driving jobs will increase by an estimated 25%, which is much faster than average and will equal about 215,300 new positions. The need for truck drivers will grow at a rate on par with other jobs at 6%. This still represents an increase of more than 100,000 driving jobs between now and 2030.

Automated drivers

Some drivers have concerns about automated drivers, especially as Google and other companies introduce self-driving vehicles. Those vehicles combined with drones can replace both passenger and delivery drivers. You should not worry about seeing fewer driving jobs in the future, though. There’s more to a driving job than driving a vehicle. Self-driving cars cannot complete the job the way a person can. Now is a good time to take driving classes that help you show you are a good driver and become better equipped at working on your own and managing your time. There will always be a need for trained and qualified drivers.

What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a driver?

Spherion makes it easy for you to find the top driver jobs for you. Some of the advantages of working with Spherion to find your next job include:

  • You get paid every week to get the money you need when you need it.
  • Drivers will find open positions that offer the flexibility they need, whether it's a job with hours that change every week or one that offers paid time off.
  • You can look for training programs and opportunities that help you find even better driving jobs.
  • Spherion lets you search for driving jobs in cities across the country.
  • You can work with a contact person to get help as you apply for jobs and once you go to work.



What education do you need as a driver?

The minimum education that you need to have to work as a driver is a high school degree. Some employers also hire drivers with a general educational development diploma. Truck drivers often attend driving schools that help them obtain the commercial driver’s license (CDL) license required to operate a semi-truck and gain more experience behind the wheel. A CDL is a special type of driver's license that shows you can handle driving a commercial vehicle. You can earn more as a driver of hazardous materials, which will require an “H” endorsement on your license. This requires that you pass both a background check and a general knowledge/skills exam.

Skills & competencies

Drivers need strong driving skills along with a clean record. If you have a history of accidents, you may not get one of these jobs. Many employers will release workers convicted of certain criminal charges such as a DUI because this conviction voids their CDL licenses. 

You also need good customer service skills because you will work with customers daily in the field. Employers may prefer drivers who have special endorsements on their licenses that show they can transport different types of materials. It's also helpful to have strong communication, organization, and time management skills.




Drivers pick up and drop off packages as part of the supply chain. We answer some frequently asked questions about becoming a driver below.

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