Truck Driving in Canada: Demands, Jobs, and Qualifications

Want to pursue a career in truck driving in Canada? With the growing demand for transportation services, the trucking industry in Canada is an attractive option for those looking to start a new career. 

In this guide, we’ll cover the demands of truck driving in Canada, the jobs available, and what qualifications are necessary. Read on to find out more about the opportunities that await you as a truck driver. 

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An Overview of Canada’s Trucking Industry

The trucking industry is one of the contributors to Canada’s economic growth. Here are some important figures in this industry you should know:

90%

of Canadian consumer products are shipped by truck.

3.5%

of Canada’s GDP is brought by the trucking industry.

60%

of Canada-US trade is moved by truck.

46,000

Businesses in Ontario alone are supported by the trucking industry.

18,310

Truck driver positions were unfilled in 2021*.

$50,000

The average Canadian truck driver can earn approximately $50,000 yearly.

Figures provided by *Statista and Gitnux.

These statistics prove that the trucking industry is vital to the Canadian economy. There is a continuous need for truck drivers in the country to further support jobs and businesses. Without truck drivers, inefficiency and shipment delays will take place, disrupting the supply and trading chain.

Trucking Jobs in Canada

A fleet of white trucks.

Canada offers a variety of jobs to licensed truck drivers. Generally, the trucking jobs are divided into two broad categories: long-haul and regional.

Long-haul drivers are responsible for transporting goods from one province to another. They usually drive across Canada as they have to travel further distances compared to regional positions.

Alternatively, regional truckers are responsible for transporting goods from one city to another. These positions may require them to drive within their own province or across Canada. Unlike long-haul trucking, regional truck drivers won’t be away from their families for a long time.

Both long-haul and regional truckers transport merchandise on flatbeds, tankers, container ships, and livestock carriers.

Qualifications to Obtain a Truck Driver License in Canada

A student driver operating a vehicle with a driving instructor.

To become a successful and safe trucker, there are certain qualifications that must be met. Since maneuvering a truck is not as simple as driving a car or minivan, truck driving requires a special license one needs to obtain before applying as a truck driver in Canada.

General Qualifications

  • One must be 18 years old or older.
  • Must undergo a medical examination and an eye test.
  • Obtain a written driver’s test.
  • Complete an entry-level mandatory training course.
  • Holds a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) or passed a CDL exam.

One of the most important requirements for becoming a truck driver is having a valid Class 5 or higher provincial/territorial driver’s license. Depending on the province or territory, Class 5 licenses may have additional restrictions such as age limits and requirements for a certain amount of driving experience before taking the test.

Truckers must also obtain an Air Brake Endorsement from their local licensing office in order to operate an air brake vehicle. This written endorsement tests an applicant’s knowledge of operating a vehicle with air brakes.

Lastly, an aspiring truck driver shall obtain the required truck licenses depending on the truck type:

  • For straight-body trucks, a Class 3 or D driver’s license is required.
  • For long-body combination vehicles, a Class 1 or A license shall be obtained.
  • For trucks equipped with air brakes, an Air Brake Endorsement is required.

Lastly, an aspiring truck driver must obtain one of the four types of truck licenses: Class 1 (also known as a semi-trailer), Class 2 (buses and school buses), Class 3 (tractor-trailers and heavy trucks), or Class 4 licenses. THIS IS INCORRECT INFORMATION

Are You Ready for the Rewards & Demands of Trucking?

Overall, Canada provides great job opportunities for aspiring truck drivers. However, one should be able to pass all the required tests and qualifications before obtaining a truck driving license; those include: passing a vision test, a valid full-provincial driver’s license holder, and passing a road test assessed by a government examiner. Now that you know the qualifications needed to become a truck driver in Canada, are you ready to be one?


Gennaro Transport Training is ready to help you be a licensed truck driver. We offer comprehensive truck driver training and practical courses to prepare you for the road. So if you’re an aspiring truck driver or would just want to take a refresher course, we’re ready to guide you! Contact us today.