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Education and Training None

Salary Median—$9.67 per hour

Employment Outlook Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Movers load household goods or office equipment onto trucks, transport it to a new location, and then unload it. The may move as few as one or two items or the contents of an entire house or office.

Some movers work for large companies that move cargo across the country. Smaller companies operate within state borders. Other movers work independently, using their own trucks or vans and operating within limited areas.

One of their main objectives is to transport items without damage, so they know the best way to pack delicate items such as china, glassware, and mirrors. They may disassemble furniture, such as beds, so it fits through doorways or into elevators. They may place furniture in special containers designed to protect it or build crates for irregularly shaped items. Movers also maintain inventories of the items they transport.

Because moving is a time-sensitive business, drivers must know how to make minor truck repairs.

Education and Training Requirements

Some companies offer on-the-job training, including driving instruction. Courses on packing and mechanics may also be available. The job has no educational requirements.

Interstate movers must comply with the guidelines of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Many states have licensing standards for intrastate movers; for example, drivers may need commercial driver's licenses, which require written exams and driving tests.

Getting the Job

Job seekers can apply directly to moving companies, which are listed in the Yellow Pages. Many movers begin as helpers, loading and unloading cargo.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Movers may become dispatchers, responsible for overseeing the activities of vehicles in transit. Some may specialize in giving estimates, setting rates, responding to customer complaints, or maintaining safety standards. Others become owners of moving companies, who may also act as agents for large interstate moving businesses.

Employment is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all jobs through 2014. While economic conditions in some areas may affect the number of jobs, turnover in the field is fairly high. Openings regularly occur when experienced workers retire.

Working Conditions

The work requires physical strength, stamina, and good organizational skills. Hours tend to be long and irregular, and the job may involve a great deal of driving. Moving is a seasonal trade—the busiest months are June through September.

Where to Go for More Information

American Moving and Storage Association
1611 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA 22314-3482
(703) 683-7410

Earnings and Benefits

In 2004 the median income for all movers was $9.67 per hour. Self-employed movers may earn between $750 and $1,200 per week. Benefits for movers who work for large companies may include paid holidays and vacations, medical insurance, and retirement plans.

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