Inspiration for these childhood dream job features normally comes from what the GoThinkBig team wanted to be when we grew up. This time, however, we’re taking inspiration from an actual child. My friend’s 2-year-old goddaughter announced the other day that when she grows up she wants to be a lorry driver (and I’m pretty sure she’s not the only child to have had this dream). So, here is the GoThinkBig guide to achieving that childhood dream and becoming a lorry driver.

What do you need to be a lorry driver?

The first, most obvious, and most important thing you need to be a lorry driver is a licence. But that’s not just your average driving licence for driving a car. You’ve got to get a special type of licence to be a lorry driver. Which licence you need depends on what time of vehicle you’ll be driving – most likely it’ll be the Category C licence that you need (you can check on the gov.uk site before you start applying though).

To go about getting the category C licence, you’ll first need to have a UK driving licence and then apply for the provisional entitlements on your licence. Once you’ve done that there’s another theory test and hazard perception test, which is different to the one you took to get your car driving licence – so make sure you brush up on your highway code and check out the theory knowledge that is different (there’s loads of books and websites to help with this).

Obviously there’s also a practical element to the test, which is similar to the car driving test but you’re in a lorry so it’s a bit harder (we guess, none of the GTB team have ever been allowed behind the wheel of a lorry, for good reason). There’s also a few bits of the test that are slightly different to the car driving test – for example you have to do an s-shaped reverse into a bay (whatever one of those is – sounds tricky to us) and there’s also a few different show me/tell me questions, check those out here.

There’s a lot of different ways that you can learn to drive a lorry – and lots of training providers who offer courses. It’s worth doing a fair amount of research and sussing out who’s offering the best deal before you sign up to anything as courses can be expensive. For more information about what you need to be able to work as a lorry driver, check out the gov.uk site.

What does the job actually involve?

Funnily enough, there’s quite a lot of driving involved with being a lorry driver. This means that as well as being a good driver, you’ll need to enjoy driving and be ok with spending quite a lot of time on your own. But being a lorry driver isn’t just about driving – there’s also likely to be a lot of loading and unloading of the lorry (so you’ll need to be reasonably fit) and dealing with various customers when you pick up or drop off goods.

Where are the jobs?

Lorry driving jobs are often advertised in all the usual places – the jobcentre and websites. But also, you’ll probably find that a lot of jobs come up through agencies – both permanent and temporary jobs – so it’s worth doing a Google search to find an agency in your area. They’ll probably be able to offer some advice on training too so it might be worth contacting an agency before you do your training as they’ll probably know which courses in your area are a good deal and which aren’t.

It’s worth noting that lorry driving can actually be quite well paid too – the starting salary for most drivers is around £17,000 and you could earn extra money if you’re driving a lorry that carries chemicals or fuel as there’s an extra risk involved.

For more information on getting your licence and becoming a lorry driver, check out the gov.uk site or the National Careers Service site.

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