A trucking career earns you an average salary of $69,175 per year (see base salaries here). Few professions exist like trucking, where you can go to school for three to four weeks and make at that level. Most occupations require four years of college to earn the same, and you struggle to find a job. With a 59,500 driver shortage, you can start driving easily in trucking because companies always need drivers.
Best Paying Jobs in Trucking
Most veteran truckers look to the niche markets to search for trucking jobs. Niche markets work as a specialized segment where you have a specific line of work in the segment. The niche market usually requires experienced drivers who have specialized equipment and knowledge of how to drive safely. Within the niche market, you have jobs with varying dangers that you must stay alert. Not every trucker wants these types of employment because of the risks associated with them.
How to Get the Higher Paying Trucking Jobs
To win the higher paying trucking jobs, trucking companies prefer drivers with experience because of these jobs’ dangers and complexities. You have a higher risk than if you haul dry freight loads with a van trailer. The things to prepare for with a job like this includes:
- Remote work environments
- Five years or more of driving experience
- Greater liability
- Clean driving record
- Higher complex skill level
That shouldn’t steer truckers away from these jobs, but they need to know what they will be getting themselves into with them. Let’s have a look at where to direct your efforts for the highest paying trucking jobs for those with a CDL license.
Owner and Operator Jobs
Owner and operator jobs are perhaps one of the best ways to earn big in trucking. You can earn as much as $100,000 to $200,000 per year. Although the high earnings look attractive, you must remain aware of the responsibilities. You have more responsibilities with truck ownership, and the costs associated with truck ownership can demand as much as 70 percent of your salary. When done correctly, you walk away with one of the best-paying jobs in the industry.
Tanker and Liquid Hauling
This trucking job comes with its share of dangers like hauling gasoline or other explosive liquid materials. To do this line of work, you may have to earn your TWIC card, but tankers earn an average of $56,741 yearly. Not only do you risk explosion, however, but in some cases, you have to drive loads that expose you to toxic fumes.
Perhaps one of the best ways to earn, private fleets offer much higher pay, but they will often have higher demands. For example, Walmart pays $70,000 to $85,000 per year, but they have higher expectations than most companies. You must maintain a clean driving record and have a clean criminal record. Most private fleets require this of drivers, but they pay much better than the standard jobs.
Ice Road Trucking
Ice road trucking ranges in pay from $20,000 up to $75,000 for three months of work. You may find this trucking job more challenging to pull because of the show “Ice Road Truckers,” which increased awareness of these jobs. You face a variety of dangers too, which include:
- Icy roads
- Freezing temperatures
- Poor road conditions
- Insane winter snowstorms
How to Get the Higher Paying Trucking Jobs
To earn better pay, you should seek out the jobs where they pay better. Look to the niche markets if you want a higher salary. You have a good chance of getting them because of how trucking companies need drivers. If you’ve got your CDL license with a few years of experience, some trucking companies even do driver recruitment to fill these positions. As a driver, you have a responsibility, however, to go out looking for these jobs. Whether you want to pursue a trucking job for the short term or the long term, seek the most money possible.
Why Some Trucking Jobs Pay More
Some trucking jobs pay more because of higher responsibilities or because of the greater danger. Frac hauling, for example, pays between $60,000 to $80,000, but many truckers call it treacherous work. You have some who won’t do it because they’ve had bad experiences. That raises the pay rate.
How to Get Started
Hopefully, this shows you the potential in trucking. To begin, look for driver recruitment programs. With many of the trucking jobs, you need to have a few years of driving experience. For example, to become an owner-operator, people usually strike out on their own like this after going under a company for a couple of years. A beginner will have to put in the time behind the wheel before getting started with the higher-paying jobs, but he can move in that direction. The market looks promising because they always need drivers to fill the positions. You start at the bottom and work your way up to it like in other professions. Starting, you earn according to your experience.
Six Figures: Realistic Expectations?
You hear about truckers who earn six figures per year, but you should come to it with realistic expectations. Most truckers earn an average salary of $50,830 per year. The scale ranges anywhere from $21,000 per year to $82,000 per year. You can break six figures as a trucker, but it tends to be the exception rather than the rule. Owner-operator drivers have the highest chance at breaking six figures per year, but they have many expenses that interfere with the earnings.
When you look at what truckers earn per year, they make as well as many of the other high-paying professions like developers, teachers, and nurses. A trucking career shows a lot of promise because you can get started sooner than other occupations without massive college debt. The demand means that you don’t spend as much time looking for work either. Truckers remain in high demand, and economists believe the need for employment will grow five percent from 2014 to 2024.