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Truck driving among Nevada's fastest-growing jobs

Posted at 6:50 AM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 10:11:02-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More than two decades ago, Jay Bell was looking for a career change.

"I decided let's try this out," he said after struggling to find stable work as an electrician. "I haven't been unemployed since I've been in trucking."

After crisscrossing the country several times over, Bell is now teaching the new crop of drivers at RTDS truck driving school.

"People come in that have never driven a truck in their life," he said. "They've never handled a manual transmission before in their life and we basically start from scratch."

A typical truck driving school lasts about four weeks and takes students from learning to drive a truck to passing their DMV test. RTDS has seen so much demand, they're planning to expand their lot off Blue Diamond Road in the southwest part of the Valley.

Instructor Robert Foreman attributed the growing demand for truck drivers to older, Baby Boomer drivers reaching retirement age. Plus, he said the majority of products we use every day are transported by truck.

"Everything we have, everything we do, everything that we have on -- clothing, food, everything -- is brought in on trucks," said Foreman. "Everything but the air we breathe."

Trucks don't quite transport everything but the air we breathe but according to the American Trucking Association, more than 70 percent of freight tonnage in the U.S. travels by truck. And between 2017 and 2018, reported truck driving job postings rose by 37 percent in Nevada.

Nermin Redzepagic began his truck driving course at RTDS this week. He said his passion for trucks combined with the current demand for drivers meant an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

"I love trucks and I think it's a good opportunity," the husband and father of two said. "Better life for your family."