Simply put, everyone wants more money out of their job. It can be pretty easy to find trucking jobs these days, but how do you find the highest paying trucking jobs? Regardless of what type of truck you drive, there are always companies that need your services. With high paying truck driving jobs, you can afford to better manage your household budget, address issues with debt, and save for your future.
Different Types of Trucker Pay
What are the Averages?
Before we dive into the different types of trucker pay, let’s look at the industry overall to see where the average pay for truckers stands. There are many sources of information related to average trucker pay, but the most accurate source is probably the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This organization, which is a branch of the Department of Labor, organizes a massive amount of data related to salaries every year.
According to their most recent information, which is for 2014, “Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers” average $39,520 a year. This is above the average for all occupations by about $4,000.
So how does the money arrive in a trucker’s wallet? Let’s find out.
While hourly pay is not typical in the trucking industry, it is a potential type of trucker pay. This type of pay functions just like any hourly job: you clock in, work your shift, and clock out when you’re done. Hourly trucker pay is generally used for local driving jobs, where the trucker can arrive at the office, clock in, get their agenda for the day, and return home at night.
The advantage of being paid hourly comes from a more predictable income and more home time. However, hourly truckers may miss out on some of the pay benefits available to truckers who get paid by the mile.
By the Mile
Most truckers will get paid by the mile. Although it can be more complicated, essentially the more miles you drive, the more you get paid. There are often bonus programs from companies, usually involving drivers’ efficiency. This type of pay usually adds up to a decent hourly wage, although it will depend on bonuses, per-mile rate, and how the company structures their payment system.
There are a few obvious disadvantages to by-the-mile trucker pay. For example, if you are driving in town, you have to go slower, which means you’re logging fewer miles and earning fewer dollars per hour. If you were hourly, it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going.
Long haul truck drivers are generally paid by the mile with bonus plans, which help the driver earn more when the company makes a better profit. Despite some flaws, most truckers seem to prefer by-the-mile pay, as experienced drivers stand to earn a substantial income.
Some trucking companies offer trucker percentage pay. With this form of trucker pay, you earn a percentage of the gross pay load. In essence, it works like this: drivers get somewhere around 25% of the pay from delivering the freight. So if the pay for the shipment was $1,000, the driver walks away with $250. It is a rare form of pay, but many truckers and trucking companies prefer this system, as it can increase efficiency and income while creating a mutual goal of success.
Top 3 Highest Paying Truck Driving Jobs
The highest paying trucking jobs tend to have a number of characteristics in common, and trucking companies are eagerly searching for the types of individuals who are willing to really work for their wages. If you are ready to put in a bit of effort, you can certainly find success when pursuing these types of positions. In some cases, you may need certain qualifications; in others, you just need to be willing to do what others are not.
If you’re new to the trucking industry, it is unrealistic to expect to start your career with the most lucrative CDL jobs. As with any job, it takes time to build experience and prove yourself, not to mention that there are other drivers competing with you to find the highest paying trucking jobs. But if you put in the time and effort, you can quickly land the job you really want.
1. Over the Road Jobs
The most common of the high paying CDL jobs are often the ones where you are on the road for long periods of time or traveling long distances. These types of jobs, called “over the road” or “OTR” jobs, which require drivers to crisscross the country and chase down a number of different cargoes, one after the other. OTR truck driving jobs generally pay very well since they take a person away from their home and family for weeks or months at a time. It is a tough job to do, but trucking companies are willing to compensate you handsomely for it.
2. Hazardous Materials
Hauling hazardous material can also significantly bump up your wages. These positions generally pay more because it’s not only more dangerous than moving around dry goods, but it also requires special certifications that can be tedious or costly to acquire. Still, if you put in the effort to get those certifications, these types of truck driving jobs will pay well and may not send you all over the country.
3. Owner Operators
Many high paying trucking jobs are offered to Owner Operators. These jobs allow you to work independently, set your own schedule and own your truck and equipment. In some cases, you may have to set up your own contracts, and you are accountable for running the business as well as driving your truck, but it can be very rewarding and lucrative work.
Additional Advantages of High-Paying Driving Jobs
There are several advantages to taking the really high paying truck driving jobs, besides the obvious increase in your paycheck.
For example, if you’re always working over the road jobs, you don’t have to worry as much about common expenses that a more grounded lifestyle would entail, like utilities and personal transportation. If you are willing to move hazardous materials, you will acquire experience that may be favored for other jobs. As an owner operator you may be able to be more selective about your loads and only take jobs you really want.
Some legwork is required, but if you’re willing to do the research and get your endorsements, you too can have access to the highest paying trucking jobs.
Find High Paying CDL Jobs
There are a number of high paying trucking jobs available, though it is not always clear how somebody goes about actually getting into those positions. Truck driving jobs are not easy to get unless you know what you’re doing, so it is particularly important to understand the industry and know what to expect before jumping in. However, once you understand how trucking companies operate, how scheduling works, and what you need to do in order to get the most out of this great opportunity, you too can start landing jobs that pay you handsomely.
Trying to find high paying driving jobs online can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. With so many websites and trucking companies posting openings, finding and applying for trucking jobs that fit your credentials can take hours and hours of time that you simply do not have. CDLjobs.com offers a one-stop search for many high paying driving jobs with hundreds of different trucking companies. You can search by trucking company, filter by carriers hiring in your area, or browse through open OTR truck driving jobs to find that special job that most suits your needs.