Truck Drivers Salary
Entering the trucking profession can be stressful but also rewarding. The average salary for truck drivers is around $65,000. However, there is the opportunity to increase earnings depending on the specific position. For example, positions that require more experience, education, specialized equipment, or navigating rough terrain tend to pay more.
To help current and future drivers on their journey to become some of the highest-paid truck drivers in their field, we’ve outlined some of the highest-paying CDL jobs currently available today.
Ice Road Trucking
As made famous by the TV show Ice Road Truckers, ice road trucking can be risky but profitable. Ice Road Trucking is one of the jobs that involve more challenges and dangers on the road. Typically employers want at least five years of experience and a clean record. Average earnings for ice road truckers are between $30,000 and $50,000 for seasonal winter work, though there is potential to earn more.
Tanker Hauling is the hauling of liquids. Some hauls may be dangerous and explosive, such as gasoline. Hauling liquids can also be anything like water or milk. As the load can be unstable, this trucking position offers a higher salary. Tanker drivers earn close to $70,000 annually. A tanker CDL endorsement is required since hauling liquids is more difficult than other positions.
Oversized load truckers are those that haul extra-large loads. Truckers in this position can earn up to $90,000 but average about $54,000. While this position pays more, more requirements and endorsements are needed to haul oversized loads. As a result, many companies focus their hiring on those with five or more years of experience.
Team driving allows for longer distances to be covered in a shorter amount of time. In team driving, one person is driving while the other is sleeping. Since you can cover a longer distance, these positions typically pay more than solo jobs. The average annual salary is roughly $80,000 but can easily be pushed into a six-figure salary.
Like tanker hauling, hazmat truckers need to have specific CDL endorsements since loads are hazardous. Hazmat hauls include the transport of gases, flammable liquids, or corrosive substances. Pay for hazmat truckers averages at $62,000.
Private fleets are private corporations that hire their own drivers, such as Walmart, Coca-Cola, and AT&T. Salary for private fleet drivers is roughly $86,000 annually. While the pay for this position is greater, the competition for these jobs is steep. Most private fleets require three or more years of experience, a good employment record, and a clean driving record.