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Truck drivers are always in demand. As of October 2022, American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimated that the trucking industry is short by roughly 78,000 drivers. Rising pay and other factors have helped to attract new drivers, but there’s still room for improvement. The shortage could swell to more than 160,000 over the next decade.

Fact vs. Fiction

There’s a lot of creative license taken when it comes to defining our nation’s truck drivers, whether it harkens back to a 1970’s TV show featuring a chimp for a sidekick, or promotes the negative stereotype of an opportunistic criminal.

In reality, truck drivers are highly skilled, well-trained, safety-minded professionals who are dedicated to delivering essential goods and committed to serving the businesses and communities that depend on them. The number of women and minority drivers grows each year, with efforts underway to increase that number even more. The industry is also paying close attention to the next generation of drivers – the promise of autonomous trucks will only get us so far!

Just the Stats

  • There are over 1,318,448 commercial truck drivers currently employed in the United States
  • 9.0% of all commercial truck drivers are women, while 91.0% are men
  • The average age of an employed commercial truck driver is 48 years old
  • In Oregon, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers held 21,830 jobs
  • Oregon truck drivers an average annual salary of $49,880
Truck Driver Collage

Oregon Truck Driver Tuition Loan Program

Oregon’s solution to the truck driver shortage has been to motivate interest and opportunity in our industry by providing loans of up to $3000 to help new drivers cover some of the cost of training through the Oregon Truck Driver Loan Program. This revolving loan program was established through the Oregon Legislature and originally funded with a $386,000 grant.

Interest in the program has been strong, and there was a need to add additional funding due to the slow loan repayment schedule. An additional $250,000 was added to the program in recognition of the driver need and certified schools now have an opportunity to help these potential students receive loans through the program.

As these loans are repaid, on-going loans will become available beyond the original principal. Worksystems, Inc. is the fiscal agent, and OTA manages the program.

Students can apply for the Oregon Truck Driver Loan Program through their local truck driving school. Feel free to contact us with any questions about the program.

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