After a downturn for years in the oil industry, prices and production are beginning to improve. Oil production is coming back, the need for qualified truck drivers is at an all-time high. It's not just drivers to haul oil, an upswing is freight transportation is expected to climb as well.

The Texas Trucking Association says that we are currently facing a driver shortage across the state. John Esparza, president of the association, says the trend of driver shortages is expected to continue for the next several years.

The American Trucking Associations said the industry needed more than 50,000 drivers across the country by the end of 2017. They predict that by the year 2026, there will be a need for around 174,000 drivers if trends continue.

Experts in the industry say that there is less interest in trucking jobs compared to years past. Part of that plays into the oil industry struggles of 2014, when trucking jobs in the oil industry outnumbered the amount of oil that needed to be hauled.

However, community colleges such as Amarillo and Austin, who have trucking programs, say recruiters and businesses are constantly contacting them in need of new drivers. And in many of those cases, the new jobs come with incentives such as sign-on bonuses, food, and housing.

A quick Google search for "West Texas Trucking Jobs" quickly returned a number of websites and job openings. If interested in pursuing a trucking career, contact your local community college or trucking school about CDL programs offered. Many times those programs provide career placement assistance as well.