In 2018, there were approximately 7.4 million full-time jobs in the trucking industry in America. That number accounts for 5.8% of all full-time workers in the United States.
A job in the trucking industry can be very lucrative, and doing the right job usually leads to higher pay and better benefits within a shorter period of time. Of course, there are certain sacrifices that come with trucking jobs. That’s one of the reasons truckers deserve decent pay for all the long hours they spent behind the wheel, numerous miles away from home.
So what local trucking jobs are the most lucrative this year? Well, usually, the highest paying jobs are found in the niche market. That means that truckers in specialized segments in the trucking industry receive relatively higher CDL driver salaries.
In this article, we show you nine lucrative jobs in the trucking industry, and why these jobs are worth pursuing. Read on to find out more.
1. Private Fleets
Some companies in the country have their own fleet of trucks. These companies offer some of the highest salaries in the industry. Their rate of pay for truck drivers can go up to $85,000 per year.
Typically, companies with private fleets require drivers to have a clean driving history with no preventable accidents or serious violations. They also require a clean criminal check, as with all other companies that provide lucrative careers.
The expectations for drivers of private fleets are usually higher than most other trucking companies. In return, these companies provide higher than average pay.
2. Ice Road Trucking Jobs
How would you like to make anywhere between $20,000 and $75,000 for a few months’ work? Most ice road drivers earn that much. One of the reasons that these jobs pay that well is because of the many challenges it involves, including excessive winter storms, extreme temperatures, and poor road conditions.
3. Liquid Hauling
Hauling products like gasoline and other explosive liquid materials involves a lot of hazards. As a driver, you’re going to not only be hauling dangerous goods, but you’re often exposed to dangerous chemical fumes when you’re piping off the hazardous chemicals. For this reason, truck drivers salary in this niche tends to be higher than average.
4. Trucking Jobs in the Mining Industry
Lots of mining companies in the United States have behemoth dump trucks that need specialized training. Drivers of these trucks have some of the most lucrative jobs in the industry. Some mining companies in the country, for instance, offer six-figure salaries to drivers per year.
5. Team Driving
Some truck driving teams are highly successful financially. Team driving is often considered to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to get rich as a truck driver because these jobs pay remarkably well.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in team driving is that drivers can suffer from burnout. The schedule is technically legal, but keeping up with a hectic and stressful schedule for long periods of time can be quite challenging. Often, bad weather and loading delays cut down on the number of miles for the team.
So what teams are most successful? A husband and wife team can do quite well, provided both are drivers. The team can live away from home for extended periods of time, especially if they don’t have obligations for home time.
The ability of the trucking company when it comes to the efficiency of loading is one of the most significant factors that determine the success of a team.
6. Owner Operator Jobs
An independent owner-operator or an owner-operator leased to a trucking company can earn a lucrative salary. Of course, the amount of risk and responsibility tied up in truck ownership is a lot higher. However, the payoff can be awesome, especially if you do your job well and operate your trucks as a true business.
7. Union Drivers
Truck drivers that belong to a union usually earn higher than the average truck driver. Why? Because the union sets a standardized rate of payment for drivers, and every driver is paid for all the work they do. In other words, it’s not the trucking company that decides what job pays the most; it’s the union.
Unions ensure that there are standards of living raises factored into the salary packages of their members. The drivers’ wages are thus a cut above the salaries of the average truck drivers whose wages aren’t indexed with the cost of living.
8. Oversized Loads
Drivers of overloaded trucks and double-wide trucks usually require specialized training and a special license. Typically, these Class A CDL jobs pay a lot better than the ordinary truck driver jobs. Drivers must be conversant with how to drive certain types of trucks, and they are paid more for that skill.
In the United States, Hazmat CDL Jobs that involve oversized loads can provide a seven-figure salary if the drivers are willing to work hard and sacrifice family time doing this job. Seven figure salaries are feasible for experienced drivers.
9. Specialty Car Haulers
Specialty car haulers transport damaged cars or cars that need to be delivered to customers. This niche is one of the most lucrative in the industry. Drivers who specialize in delivering luxurious cars can even earn better wages working in this niche.
The starting salary for specialty car haulers is approximately $60,000 for drivers with little experience hauling cars.
Join the Trucking Industry Today
There are many factors that determine how much you can earn in the trucking industry, including the type of job you do, the benefits, and the company you work for. Having a CDL, especially Class A, can put you ahead when it comes to getting a job in the industry.
All in all, there are lucrative trucking jobs out there for those who are willing to look for them. Once you’ve made up your mind regarding which of the nine niches above is best for you, make it a point to start the job hunt today.
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