PEI has approximately 2,000 truck drivers, and a total of about 4,000 people work in the industry on the Island. “In the next three to four years, we expect to need up to 800 new employees,” says Brian Oulton, Executive Director, PEI Trucking Sector Council.
“We will need more people in every position in the trucking sector: drivers, mechanics, dispatch, administration, human resources, and more.
“At the same time, we encourage those with training or expertise outside trucking to seek opportunities within the industry, as we hire a wide assortment of professions: accountants, paralegals, healthcare professionals, social media experts, etc.
“The most critical need is for truck drivers. Half of our truck drivers are over age 45, and almost 30 percent are over 55. We also have a lot of industry growth, but there are fewer new entrants.”
Facts about the trucking industry
- The average time a long-haul truck driver is away from home is five days or less.
- There is great opportunity to earn a high-paying salary in most of its occupations
- The industry can be flexible and provides great opportunity for those who want to work non-traditional work schedules
“A 12-week program can take you into a $60,000 job very quickly, and there are endless opportunities for a career once you get in,” says Brian. JVI offers a 12-week truck driver training program. Visit www.jvidrivertraining.com
Wages for truck drivers
Long haul truck drivers on PEI earn an average of about $63,000 per year. “Many of our drivers earn well above this, and some earn six figures.”
Truck mechanics are also in big demand. “The retirement rate is high, and there are few new entrants to the field,” says Brian. “Unfortunately, mechanic training is not available on the Island.”
The average wage for mechanics on PEI is about $52,000 per year. “This number includes all mechanics, not just those with a Red Seal,” says Brian. “Red Seal Mechanics start at $25/hr and range up to $40/hr.
“It is a misconception that mechanics is a greasy job. More and more of the work these days is done in diagnostics, and much of that is done by computer.
“There is a big demand for apprentices. If you have any kind of mechanical background, and even if you don’t, it could be the right career for you.”
For more information, contact the PEI Trucking Sector Council at 902-566-5563.