Highest Paying Truck Driving Jobs in 2022

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There are many different types of trucking you could go into — this isn’t a "one size fits all" industry. Find out what trucking jobs are out there, and which ones are the highest paying. The more you know, the more money you could potentially earn.

Top Paying Truck Driving Jobs

OTR Tractor Trailer: You’ll be on the road for days or weeks at a time, so you can earn high pay to compensate for these hours. 

Tanker Drivers: You’ll need a tanker endorsement if you’re going to be a tanker driver. You’ll be hauling around liquids that can be very unstable, so it’s a dangerous position that requires skilled knowledge. Tanker drivers tend to be compensated well for the work they do. 

HAZMAT loads: In order to drive HAZMAT, you need to get your HAZMAT endorsement. This type of driving is also very dangerous, so you have to know how to handle potentially toxic materials properly. In return, HAZMAT drivers are oten paid more. 

Union Drivers: Some truck drivers are a part of unions where they benifit from conistent raises and good benefits. 

Instructor: Instructors teach the next generation of drivers how to safely operate a tractor trailer. As an instructor, you can still drive a truck everyday but you don't have to go deliver loads or travel far from home. Truck driving instructors tend to be well compensated. 

Recruiter: If you enjoy working in an office, but would still like to be a part of the trucking world, becoming a truck driver recruiter may be a good choice for you. Recruiters connect potental drivers with various trucking jobs for many companies, and they often are well paid.

Do Truck Drivers Make Good Money? 

With truck driving, the more you’re on the road, the more you’ll earn. Just starting out, you can expect to make around $700-$800 per week. After some experience, you may be rewarded with pay ranging from $47,000-$58,000. It’s not uncommon to earn more than the average, it just depends on who you’re driving for.

Heavy load and tractor trailer drivers earned an average annual pay of $53,090 in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the top 10% of drivers had an average annual pay of $75,220.

A way to increase your pay is to become specialized, for which you’ll need endorsements. Also, owner-operators can earn up to high six-figure salaries, but they put in a lot of work and are responsible for their trucks, initial investments, and running their own business.

What State Paid CDL Drivers the Most in 2022? 

Of course, it’s always nice to live in a state known for paying your chosen profession well. It’s also nice to have the flexibility to follow the money. Find out which states pay their truckers the most. 

  • Washington: $27.49 per hour. $57,190 per year.*
  • District of Columbia: $27.18 per hour. $56,530 per year.*
  • Alaska: $27.13 per hour. $56,440 per year.*
  • New Jersey: $27.09 per hour. $56,534 per year.*
  • New York: $26.63 per hour. $55,390 per year.*

It’s not to say you won’t get somewhere in the vicinity of the above salaries if your state isn’t listed. It will depend on who you drive for, along with your experience level.

Are Truck Drivers in Demand?

There is a reported truck driver shortage, which means drivers are in demand. By 2031, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a steadily increasing demand for truck drivers of 4 percent, which amounts to an estimated addition of 90,900 trucking positions. 

America needs truck drivers, in a good economy, a poor one, and even in worldwide disruptions. Find a local truck driving job now.

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*Pay information taken from 2022 Statistics 

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