Driving jobs skills and training required

Becoming a professional Driver needs different skills and experience dependant on the type of vehicle you want to drive. Below we have listed the various types of trucks, lorries, vans, and forklifts available, and the different qualifications and experience needed to drive them.

Driving jobs and skills needed

There are many different types of driving jobs available. Whether you want to move goods in an articulated lorry, drive a tanker full of hazardous chemicals or be a local, Final Mile Delivery Driver, they all require a different category of drivers’ licence, qualifications and skills.

For example, if you’re interested in working as a Reach or Counterbalance Forklift Truck Driver, as well as undertaking the correct training to gain a certificate, you will need to be a methodical team player with a positive attitude, be able to meet the physical demands of the job, have good organisational skills, be able to follow instructions and stay focused in a busy or loud environment.

On the other hand, to drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), also known as a large goods vehicle (LGV), the training is more intensive, and you must:

  • Have a full car driver’s licence.
  • Be over 18.
  • Get the professional driving qualification, Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
  • Undergo a medical test.
  • Gain practical training.
  • Pass your theory test.

There are certain skills that are required for all driving jobs. These include:

  • Good communication skills when interacting with customers.
  • The ability to complete all necessary paperwork and logbooks.
  • Attention to detail.
  • The ability to stay calm.
  • Patient driving at any time of the day or night.
  • The ability to stay focused for long periods of time.
  • Able to work well under pressure.
  • The ability to problem solve.
  • Knowing how to use a computer.
  • The ability to operate and control equipment.
  • Able to plan safe and efficient driving routes.
  • Excellent understanding of road safety.
  • Knowledge of loading and unloading vehicles, if required.

Licences and qualifications needed for driving jobs

There are various kinds of driving licences. The table below explains what each one allows you to drive professionally.

For more information on becoming an HGV C1 Driver, click here

To find out more about HGV Cat C Driver, click here


To know how to become an HGV Cat C+E Driver, click here


For information on becoming a Reach Forklift Truck Driver, click here.


To learn about what’s required to become a Counterbalance Forklift Truck Driver, click here.


Driver training process

Before investing in the training needed to be a Driver, think about whether this is the right role for you. You will need to be professional, hardworking, proactive, reliable, and responsible. You will also need to be able to work independently and have a high level of alertness when driving in many different situations and weather conditions.

The training process to become an HGV Driver takes about 8-10 weeks. You will need to:

  • Request and complete the D2 application form.
  • Submit this form to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), so they can add provisional HGV Driver entitlement to your licence.
  • Take a D4 form to a doctor, so you can be passed as medically fit to drive larger vehicles.
  • Find a reputable HGV training provider and sign up.
  • Revise for the HGV theory tests. This will include multiple choice, hazard perception and the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
  • Pass your HGV theory test.
  • Pass your practical and CPC tests from your training provider.
  • Get your licence updated by the DVLA to a fully qualified lorry driver

Click here for more information on HGV Driver training.

Click here to find out more about the driving sector.

Getting the right qualification for the type of Driver you want to be can be a minefield, so make sure you are on the right training route and that this is the best career path for you.

Once you are fully qualified, there are lots of job prospects and career progression within the driving industry. The shift work on offer can give you flexible work patterns and there are plenty of opportunities to drive around the UK or abroad, meaning that no two days are the same.

Where next?  

Visit our Driving Jobs page to keep a lookout for new opportunities or visit us on Facebook for latest updates. 

For more career advice, tips and guides click here.

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