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Tanker driver

Tanker drivers transport bulk materials and liquids by road.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: up to 56 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

If you don't have the required licences, you can start off as a 'crew' person, accompanying a qualified driver while you train.

If you’re working with hazardous goods, like fuel oil, you’ll also need an ADR driver training certificate.

The Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) lists providers of LGV and ADR training.

You can find out more about licensing for lorry and tanker drivers on GOV.UK.

The Road Haulage Association and Freight Transport Association have more information on becoming a tanker driver.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to follow delivery instructions
  • the ability to stay alert for long periods
  • excellent time management skills

3. 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

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Shift allowances and night work can increase your basic pay.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work up to 56 hours a week. Many jobs include shift work, which can mean some driving at night or at weekends.

You may also drive loads from the UK to Europe, if your employer has overseas contracts.

The job is physically demanding and you’ll need to concentrate for long periods.

6. 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.

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Last updated: 07 December 2016