When we were young, our parents and teachers often told us to dream big. We were encouraged to take up prestigious degrees in college like medicine, business, law, or engineering. Fields outside of those courses are considered unsustainable, with the costs of living in the Philippines ever-rising. But what if your passion is simple, but an enjoyable one? What if it’s driving?
To say that you’re a driver in the Philippines implies that you drive a public transport vehicle, even though the term is quite broad. In reality, there are different types of professional drivers, such as company drivers, truck drivers, etc. And contrary to popular belief, drivers can make a lot. The average yearly salary of a driver in the Philippines is Php163,361, according to Economic Research Institute. While that’s not a lot of money by Filipino standards, it can be enough to make a comfortable lifestyle, if you’re a single individual with no dependents.
If that salary isn’t enough to sustain you, you can always make driving a side hustle. Below are your professional driving career options in the Philippines:
1. Ride-sharing Driver
To help reduce the congestion of Metro Manila’s highways, consider being a ride-sharing driver. Grab is the most popular ride-sharing app in the country. The company’s requirements for its drivers are:
- A professional driving license
- A medical certification declaring that you’re fit to work (if you’re 60-65 years old)
- Drug test clearance
- NBI clearance
- Valid government ID of new Peer
- GCash number of new Peer
- LTO official receipt or Certificate of Registration (CR) from your vehicle dealer (sales invoice or delivery notes are acceptable alternatives)
- Auto insurance policy
You will attend and complete online training before starting. Then you’ll receive a confirmation from Grab once your application is successfully submitted.
Being a ride-sharing driver is just risky these days, with the Delta variant spreading fast in the Philippines. Hence, Grab has required its drivers to install plastic barriers in their vehicles and to use a sanitation kit.
2. Valet Driver
Being a valet driver has irresistible perks, especially if you’d work at a five-star hotel. You can experience the luxury cars of high-profile people. As such, it’s one of the best jobs for luxury auto enthusiasts.
However, valet driving is more demanding than meets the eye. Aside from good driving skills, you also need to be obedient to traffic rules, have excellent customer service skills, a sharp memory, and most of all, be trustworthy. Parking vehicles won’t be your only job. You’d also address your customers’ concerns regarding their vehicles.
With online shopping becoming more popular in the Philippines, many couriers have switched from motorbikes to trucks. Transporting customer orders might be a suitable job for you if you love exploring. However, the pressure can be stressful. Couriers operate within given hours. They must complete all their deliveries within schedule. They may face penalties if they fail to deliver even one item.
If you’d work for a small company, your delivery load may be lighter. Your employer can send you on an individual run, then ask you to come back to the office to wait for another pickup and delivery. The downtime may be unproductive, but at least, you can recharge before traveling to a new location.
4. Truck Driver
Truck driving is another stressful job, as it also follows a strict schedule. To have more control over your job, you can be an owner-operator. Starting a trucking business in the Philippines is just like opening any other business venture. You need a solid business plan, registration documents, and permits and licenses.
The rough part begins in purchasing your first truck. There are myriad brands out there, all with amazing trucks at competitive prices. If you need a fleet, you can lease instead of buying to save money. But if one truck is enough to kickstart your business, then go for the best brand. A Volvo distributor, for instance, offers high-performance long-haul trucks perfect for the rookie and experienced truckers. They may be a more cost-efficient option than cheaper trucks.
5. Driving Instructor
If you want to develop future auto enthusiasts like you, perhaps offering driving lessons will suit you. To be a driving instructor, you just need to pass the LTO-accredited exam. Note, however, that this exam is tough. One driving instructor swears that it was harder than his final exams in college and post-graduate school. The test also takes two hours to finish. You’d have quite a wild ride.
To ace your exams, manage your expectations from yourself, and be prepared to be treated as an average student. Being passionate about driving, or being an auto aficionado, doesn’t automatically make you a skilled driver by LTO’s standards. Suffice it to say, many drivers have been humbled by the LTO exam.
Hence, it’s crucial to hone your skills and to keep on learning, no matter the professional driving career you choose. It’s an occupation as serious as any other job title. It also requires hard work, patience, and humility.