Transport Truck Drivers

(NOC 7511)

in All Trades and Transportation

Transport truck drivers operate heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial and international routes. They are employed by transportation, manufacturing, distribution and moving companies, and trucking employment service agencies, or they may be self-employed. This group also includes drivers of special purpose trucks and shunters who move trailers to and from loading docks within trucking yards or lots.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 495 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available (yet overall job prospects are still considered good due to other factors). With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Transport Truck Drivers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 52% of Transport Truck Drivers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $49,548. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$18.75

Median

$26.67

Maximum

Annual Pay

$11,476

Minimum

$42,140

Median

$72,070

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Transport truck drivers operate heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial and international routes. They are employed by transportation, manufacturing, distribution and moving companies, and trucking employment service agencies, or they may be self-employed. This group also includes drivers of special purpose trucks and shunters who move trailers to and from loading docks within trucking yards or lots.

Job duties

Long-haul transport truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and drive primarily tractor-trailer, long-combination vehicle and straight-body trucks weighing over 4500 kg to transport goods and materials over long distances.
  • Plan trip logistics and obtain required documentation to transport goods.
  • Perform pre-trip, en route and post-trip inspection of vehicle systems, equipment and accessories such as tires, lights and turning signals, brakes and cold storage.
  • Ensure cargo is secured properly in accordance with safety requirements and follow safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods.
  • Obtain special permits and other documents required to transport cargo on international routes.
  • Record cargo information, hours of service, distance travelled and fuel consumption.
  • Administer bills of lading and manually or electronically maintain log books.
  • Communicate with dispatcher, other drivers and customers using communication devices and on-board computers.
  • May perform emergency roadside repairs.
  • May drive as part of a two-person team or convoy.
  • May transport hazardous products or dangerous goods.

Short-haul and local transport truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and drive primarily straight trucks to transport goods and materials mainly on local routes and short inter-urban routes.
  • Perform pre-trip, en route and post-trip inspection and oversee all aspects of vehicle such as condition of equipment, and loading and unloading of cargo.
  • May drive special purpose trucks such as tow trucks, dump trucks, hydrovac trucks, or cement mixing trucks.

Sample job titles

  • fuel oil truck driver
  • long haul truck driver
  • moving van driver
  • oil transport driver
  • short haul truck driver
  • tow truck driver
  • tractor-trailer truck driver
  • transport driver
  • truck driver
  • truck owner operator

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should enjoy driving and be able to function under minimal supervision. You must be alert, responsible, and self-motivated. An awareness of safety is important. You must also get along well with people, as drivers often deal directly with customers. For some jobs, you should be willing to drive over extended periods of time and long distances. Long-haul drivers, especially, must have good map-reading skills and remain calm when driving in unfamiliar territory and navigating congested city traffic.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • On-the-job-training is provided.
  • Completion of an accredited driver training course of up to three months duration, through a vocational school or community college, may be required.
  • A Class 3 or D licence is required to drive straight-body trucks.
  • A Class 1 or A licence is required to drive long combination vehicles.
  • Air brake endorsement (Z) is required for drivers who operate vehicles equipped with air brakes.
  • Transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) certification is required for drivers who transport hazardous products or dangerous goods.
  • Additional licensing endorsement or certification may be required to drive articulated trucks.

Other considerations

Progression to supervisory positions or to non-driving jobs, such as driver trainer, safety officer or truck dispatcher is possible with additional training or experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

6,375

employed in 2016

92.5%

employed full-time

10.3%

self employed

3.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
97%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
51.7

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

29.6%

Halifax

25.4%

Northern

16.9%

Annapolis Valley

14.4%

Southern

13.6%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

52.7%

Transportation and Warehousing

11.1%

Construction

8.3%

Wholesale Trade

6.6%

Retail Trade

3.7%

Management, Admin & Other Support

What is the age of Employment?

28.2%

45-54

25.8%

55-64

20.5%

35-44

12.2%

25-34

8.6%

65+

4.7%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

31.0%

Less than high school

$32,272 median annual income
26.0%

High school

$32,516 median annual income
24.1%

Trades certificate

$38,490 median annual income
16.1%

College certificate or diploma

$30,826 median annual income
1.6%

Bachelor's degree

$20,929 median annual income

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Ground transportation - Other

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Ground Transportation.

Institutions providing this program

McKenzie College

74 Townsend Street

Sydney, NS B1P 5C8

(902) 562-8549

Commercial Safety College

Highway #2, Masstown PO Box 848

Truro, NS B2N 5G6

(902) 662-2190

Truck and bus driver/commercial vehicle operation

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to drive trucks and buses, delivery vehicles, for-hire vehicles and other commercial vehicles. These programs include courses in operating gas, diesel, or electrically-powered vehicles; loading and unloading cargo or passengers; reporting delays or accidents on the road; verifying load against shipping papers; arranging transportation for personnel; and keeping records of receipts and fares.

Institutions providing this program

Breton Commercial Truck Training

270 Stable Drive, Harbourside Commercial Park

Sydney, NS B1P 6H2

(902) 562-2088

McKenzie College

74 Townsend Street

Sydney, NS B1P 5C8

(902) 562-8549

Foundation Career College

9 Pettipas Dr, Unit 1

Dartmouth, NS B3B 1K1

(902) 468-8999

Maritime Environmental Training Institute

301 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2E8

(902) 539-9766

Commercial Safety College

Highway #2, Masstown PO Box 848

Truro, NS B2N 5G6

(902) 662-2190

Operating Engineers Investment Limited

251 Brownlow Avenue

Dartmouth, NS B3B 2A9

(902) 865-8844

South Shore Training Centre

320 Logan Road

Bridgewater, NS B4V 5J8

(902) 521-2443

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association
105 Englehart Street, Suite 800
Dieppe, NB E1A 8K2
Tel: (506) 855-2782
Fax: (506) 853-7424
Service Nova Scotia
PO Box 2734
Halifax, NS B3J 3K5
Tel: (800) 670-4357
Fax: (902) 424-0720
Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic
14 Court Street, Suite 301
Truro, NS B2N 5V2
Tel: (902) 893-8410
Fax: (902) 895-6984
Transport Canada
45 Alderney Drive, Suite 1475
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6
Tel: (902) 426-6030
Safety Services Nova Scotia
201 Brownlow Ave. Unit 1
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1W2
Tel: (902) 454-9621
Fax: (902) 454-6027

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

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