Trucking Salaries

All About Trucking Jobs

Naturally, someone who’s interested in becoming a trucker wants to know about truck driving salaries. Truck driver salaries vary with the type of freight a trucker takes on as well as its weight. For instance, there is specialized freight trucking and generalized freight trucking. Trucker salaries also depend on a person’s training and experience. The following looks at the different types of truck driving jobs as well as their salaries.

A Heavy Tractor Trailer Truck Driver

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), heavy tractor trailer truck drivers earned an average annual salary of $37,770 in 2010. These truck drivers have CDL training as well as a high school diploma. A truck driver of this type can earn a higher salary as he or she gains more hauling experience and establishes a stellar safety record. With more industry activity and new businesses opening up, this trucking occupation is expected to grow.

Over the Road OTR Truck Drivers

OTR truck drivers salaries differ depending upon what the person is hauling. OTR trucker salaries range from $40,000 to $60,000 a year. A trucker who is driving a refrigerated truck has to have the training and experience to handle the great responsibility of that type of hauling. Not surprisingly, he or she will be at the higher end of the OTR driver salary range. Alternatively, an OTR truck driver hauling dry goods or non-perishable items has less responsibility than a refrigerated truck driver so he or she usually earns less.

Specialized Freight

When a truck driver is hauling specialized freight, he or she has a higher salary than a trucker hauling generalized freight. One example of specialized freight trucking would be someone who drives a truck that delivers new cars to an automobile dealership. Truckers who handle these trucks have to learn how to maneuver these special rigs to get the cars to the dealership safely and without any damage to the load. These truck drivers salaries are approximately $50,000 a year depending upon experience.

Tanker Truck Drivers

A tanker truck driver may haul gasoline and other hazardous materials. Tanker truck driver salaries range from $45,000 to $60,000 a year. In some cases, a tanker trucking company may train drivers to handle these special vehicles, and then hire people who successfully complete the training program. The more experience a tanker driver gets, the more he or she can earn. Of course, in this type of hauling, a truck driver must maintain a clean driving record and refresh his or her specialized driving skills periodically.

Finding Truck Driving Jobs

Attending a training program offered by a particular trucking company is one way to find a truck driving job. Another way is to join a trucking forum. A truck driver looking for work may pick up some leads from other truckers communicating on the forum. TruckersReport has a forum for truck drivers with all types of information helpful to drivers. For instance, an individual may be able to find out more specifics regarding the truck driving salaries paid by certain companies. A driver can also learn more about truck insurance. Sometimes just a tidbit of information found on a trucking forum can lead to solid employment in the trucking industry.

Oil Field Truck Drivers

These truckers haul a variety of materials to oil fields. Some oil field truck driving salaries can be as high as $65,000 a year. This type of hauling requires experienced drivers with excellent driving records. These drivers are sometimes responsible for hazardous materials and therefore have the opportunity to earn a high salary. With the fracking industry being explored, this type of specialized truck driving is in more demand. Oftentimes, these drivers work at a particular site and are able to be home every evening after work. This is something that many professional truck drivers appreciate.

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2 comments. Add a comment.

  1. MH says

    Im thinking these numbers re old now, and may not reflect tue dollar amounts. I started working the oil patch in Canada and up until my incident when I broke my back, my last years was 135,000.00 and the years from 2003 onward never earned less than 100.000.00 (or more) If you don’t mind chaining up a few times a day and getting your hands dirty, the oil field is rewarding and dpending on the person can be fun and enjoyable

    • says

      The numbers are from 2 years ago, and I don’t think they’ve changed more than a few percentage points since then. Oil field jobs pay much, much more than the average trucking industry job. Additionally, a large portion of CDL positions are filled by a constant churn of inexperienced drivers who make significantly less than an experienced driver like yourself, further pulling the average down.

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