This article may be of interest to anyone who has seen ads for used commercial vehicles online, but is unsure if employment with this truck would be prolific or challenging. Vacuum truck driving could be a great job for anyone who loves operating commercial trucks.

Drivers of these vehicles collect, move and unload various materials. These materials come in a variety of forms, including fresh and salt water, crude oil, sewage, and toxic chemicals. Considering the types of materials involved, these operators must undergo various types of training, various certification programs, and must adhere to the operating procedures of the contracting company in order to perform the job productively and safely. An applicant for a job with these types of vehicles must know the requirements necessary to operate them if they are interested in pursuing this field of demand.

Educational Prerequisite

Although there are no specific educational requirements, some companies will only accept those who have graduated from high school or received a General Education Diploma (GED). Additionally, the applicant must have a clean driving record. Work experience in a repair shop can also be an advantage.

driving experience

Hiring requirements based on experience may vary from company to company. For this type of vehicle operation, the applicant is generally required to have two to five years of commercial trucking experience.

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) explains that “driving experience” means that the vehicle handler was previously employed by a business that required the operation of commercial trucks, such as vacuum trucks. Subsequently, the applicant must have passed a practical skills test conducted by a certified licensing and testing office recognized by each state. Most importantly, after the test and during the applicant’s employment at their previous company, they must have operated commercial vehicles for at least two years.


A vacuum truck operator must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and be certified by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) as having completed the requirements established by them.

The following are requirements that one must complete in order to be qualified to receive a commercial driver’s license. They must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age or older and be in good physical shape. Some states accept 18 year olds, but are limited to working within that state. Being 21 years old allows one to drive from one state to another.
  • Pass a medical exam every two years. The physical exam includes:

1. Auditory and visual test
2. Blood pressure test
3. Drug tests
4. Alcohol tests

  • Have normal upper and lower limbs.
  • Pass a written test on certain rules and regulations.
  • Demonstrate that they can operate the vehicle.
  • Have a good driving record. According to the DOT, a “good driving record” means they cannot have another license or have a revoked license and cannot have serious traffic violations.


Training for a vacuum truck operator is done on an informal basis. New hires are required to attend a one or two day training seminar where they learn: general rules; company policies and security operations; and complete any necessary paperwork. Some states offer a type of “hands-on” seminar to improve the operator’s knowledge of handling the vehicle. Certification is awarded after passing the training seminar.

Finding a vacuum truck for sale is not that difficult; however, becoming a vacuum truck operator may require more effort. One must undergo various training and skills tests to become certified. The government requires vehicle operators to have a commercial driver’s license. In addition to this, the applicant must undergo medical examinations to ensure that he is in good physical condition to operate the vehicle. The company usually provides safety training regarding the operation of the vehicle.

Hopefully the above information will be helpful to those interested in seeking employment in the field of vacuum truck driver and operator. Best of luck finding that desired job!

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