The Job Landscape for Truck Drivers

by | Jan 15, 2016 | Transportation and Logistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies the average pay for trucking jobs to be around $39,000 a year. As communities around the U.S. continue to experience growth, the lack of adequate, trained and professional drivers is growing. Currently, there are about a million trucking jobs available in the market, with only 800,000 drivers to get the job done. With that kind of shortage, opportunities for drivers are plenty.

Drivers’ Compensation
One of your chief concerns naturally involves putting together a list of the best trucking companies to work for. Careful consideration of the perks and disadvantages of working for each of these companies should be considered. Trucker’s Training mentions that most of the truck-driving positions advertise for heavy trucks and tractor-trailer rigs. These drivers made about $42,000 a year in 2013, says the BLS. On the other hand, light truck and delivery drivers were earning about $35,000 during the same period.

Self-Employed Drivers
However, self-employed contract drivers that deliver freight across the country are the real winners. They can earn as much as 150,000 in a year, CNN says after the maintenance and fuel expenses have been deducted. That’s quite a lot of money and nearly four times higher than the rate you can expect as a tractor-trailer rig driver. However, there’s a reason the rate is that high. Drivers who take on these jobs can look forward to months spent driving on the road, away from their families, with nowhere to sleep or spend the night but in their own cabs or in roadside motels.

Training and Experience
If you’ve got the training and experience to make it as a heavy truck driver or tractor-trailer rig driver, then you can look forward to a higher salary than light truck drivers and delivery drivers. However, if you don’t, you can always take the extra training and certification to qualify you for the position. You can also go for the training to qualify you for more specialized driving duties that could raise your salary prospects even higher.

Trucking Opportunities
If you’re new to the industry, you can expect to put in, at least, five years of driving full time before you get the certification and experience you need to put you on top of your game. When that time comes, you can expect to get great offers from the trucking companies in town.

So if you’re thinking about a career, building one in the driving industry doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Given its career prospects and salary, it’s a good, solid opportunity to explore if you haven’t got anywhere else to start.

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