Tanker drivers transport bulk materials and liquids by road.
Salary range: £20,000 to £35,000
How to become a tanker driver
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- training with a private training provider
You can get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a large goods vehicle driver.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You can start off as a ‘crew’ person, accompanying a qualified driver, whilst you train to get your licences.
You can take private training to get your large goods vehicle (LGV) licence and the Certificate of Professional Competence, known as a Driver CPC.
You’ll also need to complete ADR training to carry dangerous goods like chemicals. ADR is the shortened name for the European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.
You can find LGV and ADR training providers through the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training. It’s recommended that you compare several providers before signing up, to see what they offer and to make sure it fits your needs.
You can find out more about lorry driving careers through The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to operate and control equipment
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- be over 18 years of age
- have a driving licence that includes LGV for lorries, or PCV for buses, if you work with these vehicles
- have between 1 and 2 years’ experience of driving lorries
- have a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) – this is known as the Driver CPC
If you’re working with hazardous goods, for example fuel oil, you’ll also need an ADR driver training certificate. ADR is the shortened name for the European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- checking delivery schedules and noting any special instructions
- supervising or helping to load the tanker
- carrying out safety checks before you set off
- travelling to the delivery site
- clearing an area to unload the tanker
- connecting hoses or pumps, or removing manhole covers to unload materials into fuel tanks or storage silos
- updating paperwork and making sure relevant staff sign for deliveries
- keeping accurate records of driving hours and activities using a tachograph system
You could work on the road.
Your working environment may be you’ll travel often, cramped and physically demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could specialise in transporting particular loads or set up your own haulier business.
You could also move into transport and freight planning, driver instructor training, or distribution or haulage management.