Trucking is a multifaceted career path that offers a high pay ceiling and numerous advancement opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned truck driver or just curious about training for your CDL (commercial driver’s license), you’ll probably want to learn more about some of the best paying trucking jobs in the industry in 2021.
Oversize Load Hauling
Transporting oversized loads is one of the highest paying jobs in trucking. As a driver in this field, you will be transporting anything from heavy construction equipment, wind turbines, or even small houses. This job requires various additional permits and is highly regulated.
Salary Info: Oversized load haulers earn an average of $55,289 in 2021 with the top 10% earning $175,000 or more.
Ice Road Truckers
You might have heard of the show “Ice Road Truckers”, and if you have, you know that this particular niche of trucking is not for the faint of heart. Ice truckers have to navigate challenging terrains and deal with severe weather conditions while transporting their cargo. This job requires incredible skills and is not meant for inexperienced drivers.
Salary Info: Ice truckers earn an average of $60,425 in 2021 with the top 10% making at least $85,000.
HAZMAT stands for hazardous materials, such as flammable liquids, gasses, and toxic chemicals. In order to drive these loads, you will be required to obtain additional endorsements and go through rigorous training. There are many companies willing to help prospective drivers obtain their HAZMAT endorsements and pay for the training, since these drivers are always in high demand.
Salary Info: In 2021, HAZMAT drivers earn an average of $57,530/year with the top 10% $81,000 or more.
Buying your own semi truck and becoming your own boss is a very popular path in trucking. Some owner operators choose to work for other companies as independent contractors, while others may choose to start their own fleets. Your pay will fluctuate depending on the type of trailer you operate and overall expenses, such as fuel and repairs.
Salary Info: Owner operators earn an average of $132,457/year in 2021 with the top 10% making $354,000 or more.
Transporting vehicles is another trucking career choice that comes with a great paycheck. Many companies don’t require car hauling experience and are often willing to train their drivers.
Salary Info: Car haulers earn an average of $80,052/year in 2021 with the top 10% earning $119,000 or even more.
Private fleets, such as Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and Sysco, are known for their great employee benefits and high average pay. Drivers who choose to work for private fleets typically have a reliable and consistent cargo, dedicated routes, and in-house equipment maintenance.
Salary Info: Average pay for this niche depends on the fleet; for example, Wal-Mart drivers earned an average of $87,500 in 2020 with the company increasing per mile rate even more in 2021.
If the idea of solitude in a trucking cab doesn’t suit your extroverted personality, team driving might be the right match for you. Team drivers cover nearly twice as much distance as single company drivers, but the pay certainly reflects that.
Salary Info: Team drivers earn an average of $59,235 each in 2021 with the top 10% bringing home $90,500 or more per driver.
It’s up to you
The trucking industry is full of diverse, high-paying job opportunities that offer more than above average income. In any industry, jobs with great compensation typically have one thing in common–they require experience and skills, and trucking is not an exception.