MEET THE PRO: Ushma Harris, Truck Driver

By Arkansas Next on Monday, October 25, 2021

Jacob Slaton

Hometown: Forrest City
Age: 21

Where I trained: East Arkansas Community College

What I earned: Certificates of proficiency in commercial driver training, refrigeration, heat exchange, technical certificate in major appliance service

Job title: Company driver
Employer: USA Truck

Ushma Harris had dreamed of being a truck driver ever since he was a kid. Having grown up in a family of truck drivers, he would occasionally get to tag along with his uncle and grandpa on their routes. Years later, Ushma made that childhood dream come true by attending school at East Arkansas Community College. While there, Ushma earned certificates of proficiency in commercial driver training. He also received technical certificates in refrigeration, heat exchange and major appliance service to have other options if truck driving didn’t work out as planned. He now works at USA Truck delivering cargo all over the country.

Because truck drivers are in such high demand, Ushma quickly jumped into the workforce much faster than someone who might have chosen to go to a four-year college. Ushma’s career has given him the means, and the wheels, to see more of the world than he would have if it weren’t for being a truck driver, a title that Ushma gets to wear proudly every day.

"I like that it’s a pretty easy job and you have a lot of freedom, plus the pay is good. I feel the perks of me taking this route is that it didn’t take me long at all to get here and there’s a high demand for truck drivers right now." – Ushma


A truck driver picks up and transports goods from one location to another. They often cross state lines and travel long distances to deliver their loads.


  • Deliver cargo on time
  • Protect transported goods from damage/loss

Education needed: On-the-job training or a certificate of completion in commercial truck driving and a CDL license

Jacob Slaton

Job Outlook

► +7% expected growth by 2028 in Arkansas

► 40,280 jobs in Arkansas by 2028

► 4,690 annual job openings in Arkansas

This option is for you if

  • You’re a safe driver
  • You love the open road or are adventurous
  • Working behind a desk sounds boring
  • You’re punctual
  • You're patient

High-end earners (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$44,280 Annual
$21.29 Hourly

• Arkansas State University–Newport
• Arkansas State University–Three Rivers
• Black River Technical College
• East Arkansas Community College
• Lexicon Inc.
• North Arkansas College
• Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
• Simmons Foods
• Tyson Foods Inc.
• UAM College of Technology–McGehee
• University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
• University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
• University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana
• University of Arkansas–Pulaski Technical College

• Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
• CalArk International
• Lexicon Inc.
• McGeorge Contracting Company
• McKee Foods Corporation
• OK Foods
• Simmons Foods
• Tyson Foods Inc.
• Welsco

Source: and