Here are hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs ... and nobody wants them

Red semitruck cab

Need a job?

It pays pretty well, you only need a high school diploma, and it gives you the opportunity to travel all over the country.

According to a story I saw this week on CNNMoney, there are as many as 200,000 openings for long-haul truckers that can’t be filled.

Demand is growing, too.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers will grow 21% between 2010 and 2020, or an increase of 330,100 jobs.

A big bonus: The median pay for truckers is $4,000 more than the median pay of all jobs. According to the BLS, median pay in May 2010 was $18.16 an hour, or $37,770 a year. The top 10% of truckers make over $57,480 per year.

With the unemployment rate above 8%, it's a wonder that more Americans aren't considering this route.

Some of the largest long-haul trucking companies are even aggressively recruiting drivers on their sites, CNNMoney reports.

Why don't more people want to drive a truck?

CNNMoney points out that it's difficult to get certified. It requires an eight-week training course that will run you approximately $6,000. If you're unemployed, that's a big hit to your checking account.

You also have to pass a pretty rigorous background check.

"It's incredibly risky putting someone behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck with your company's name on it," trucker Brett Aquila told CNNMoney.

That's for sure.

There's also deadline pressure, lack of sleep, confined living in the cab of your truck and a lot of time away from home.

But for those that can handle the swings, it can be a highly lucrative job.

At the end of the story, CNN speaks with an owner-operator -- he owns and operates the truck -- who says he can gross $300,000 a year. With expenses like fuel, maintenance, insurance and truck payments, he can net as much as $150,000 per year.

The call of the open road and $150,000 a year. I may have just found a new career.

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