Transport Truck Drivers

Occupation:Transport Truck Drivers
Category:Trades and Transportation

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

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 secondary 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.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

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)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Transport Truck Drivers6,375decline slightly495Moderate
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $18.75
Maximum: $26.67
Minimum: $11,476
Median: $42,140
Maximum: $72,070
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
Transport Truck DriversCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time92%89%
Percent self-employed5%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentTransport Truck DriversCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton14%$36,27613%$32,974
Annapolis Valley17%$37,41813%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeTransport Truck DriversCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Median Age5247
GenderTransport Truck DriversCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
EducationTransport Truck DriversCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school31.0%$32,27218.2%$25,753
High school26.0%$32,51625.5%$28,089
Trades certificate24.1%$38,49029.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma16.1%$30,82622.6%$39,023
University certificate or diploma0.9%$26,9351.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degree1.6%$20,9292.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diploma0.1%x0.2%$41,705
Master's degreeN/A$12,8690.3%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.0%$3,714
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful 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

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
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.
See all 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
Program Name:Ground transportation - Other
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Ground Transportation.
See all 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
Program Name:Truck and bus driver/commercial vehicle operation
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
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.
See all 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
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.