Trucking is a well-known profession open to everyone looking for means to earn a living. It is a crucial part of the transportation sector that incorporates the back-and-forth movement of freight in huge commercial vehicles, such as trucks.
Evidently, driving a truck between several locations to deliver goods is the primary responsibility of a truck driver. Some truckers take up a plethora of goods from seaports and transport them to distribution hubs through intercity or statewide routes. Other truck drivers, including those who carry packages or supply other retail stores, deliver stuff within a radius of a city or county.
However, it isn’t as easy a profession as it sounds. Driving huge vehicles, along with careful handling of cargo, is a job that requires utmost attention, skill, and training. To get the highest-paying truck driving job, you may need several qualifications, a perfect driving record excelling above everything.
A commercial driver’s license and specialized training in handling bulky, hazardous, and liquid cargo are the top requirements of a high-paid trucking job.
So, before you jump onto the bandwagon of getting hired as a professional trucker, keep reading to learn about the primary duties and the variety of professions that await you in the trucking industry.
Duties In Trucking Freight Services
Truck drivers have to perform a variety of duties in their everyday routines. Every truck driving job differs in terms of working hours and job requirements. However, the primary responsibilities of every truck driver working in the freight/courier services include the following:
- Load the cargo at a site and unload it at the destination.
- Converse with consumers to identify their requirements for pickup and delivery.
- Reporting any issues to a dispatcher that they may have faced while driving.
For the most part, drivers are given instructions to arrive at a delivery place at a specific time, and it may be up to them to choose the best route. Other truck drivers make deliveries consistently on a daily or weekly basis.
A noteworthy point here is that every driver must be familiar with the layout of the streets in a given location and be aware of which ones are suitable for trucks in order to avoid getting into trouble while crossing through narrow streets.
Top 22 Highest-Paying Jobs In The Trucking Courier Services Sector
Truck driving is a promising career that guarantees a secure future and paves the way for drivers to explore beyond their limits and learn new skills and expertise to expand their careers.
The salaries of truckers depend significantly on the position they are working in. For instance, some truck driving services allow workers to earn based on the number of miles they travel and how quickly they dispatch their deliveries. Other positions base their salaries on experience and knowledge.
Now that you know what it takes to be an excelling driver in the trucking sector, let’s get down to knowing the highest-paying jobs that can give you a headstart to a promising career in this industry.
1. Owner-Operator Truck Drivers
Owner-operator drivers run their own trucking companies and possess at least one freight truck.
Most people in this profession spend some portion of their time operating huge cargo trucks over large distances, and the remainder of their time is spent making clients, figuring out business expenditures, monitoring the schedules of other truckers, organizing routes, and placing orders for transporting goods.
Owner-operator truck drivers earn a considerable amount of money, rounding off to around 225,000$ per year on average. They may work as independent contractors for many businesses or on a set schedule for one or more employers.
2. Private Fleet Drivers
Some manufacturers and retailers keep a fleet of drivers to deliver goods from their manufacturing plants or distribution centers to their retail stores or customers. If you are employed as a private fleet, the company may require you to transport their supplies solely.
You may have seen trucks bearing the logos of well-known companies zooming by. They are the company’s private properties and employ the same drivers to transport their goods in their personal fleet vehicles.
The principal role of these drivers include:
- Driving trucks filled with cargo to delivery locations.
- Making sure the goods arrive on schedule and are in top shape.
- Managing the paperwork.
- Making sure the goods reach the right person at the destination.
Private fleet drivers typically have the option to earn more money and secure a long-term career. The average annual salary of private fleet drivers rounds off to 90,000$, a considerably high figure.
3. Long Haul Truck Drivers
Long-haul truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods and materials across large distances. On one delivery, a driver may have to cover thousands of miles, while frequently maintaining records of their expenses, such as food and tolls.
Their duties mainly include:
- Communicating about activities with dispatchers and other logistical experts.
- Organizing routes and schedules.
- Keeping meticulous records of the products picked up, stops made, and kilometers traveled.
- Unloading the cargo upon their arrival at the delivery location.
Aside from driving, the specifics of this employment depend on the type of commodities you transport. For instance, maintaining and monitoring refrigeration systems may be necessary when transporting goods that must stay cool. Additionally, you must carry out various kinds of truck maintenance as required.
In general, long-haul truck drivers earn excellent pay and have secure employment, with the annual salary figure rounding off to 80,000$ on average.
4. Team Truck Drivers
Driving a truck with a group of other truck drivers is what team truck drivers do. The team strategy involves two truck drivers such that one driver can take a break, whereas the other drives instead of employing a single trucker who will drive for a period before stopping to rest.
The intention is to cover as many miles as possible by driving all day and night hours. The team idea enables the driver to comply with these guidelines while traveling as far as possible on the road.
The team experience implies spending long periods with the partner while also sleeping in small spaces and sharing an area. As a result, you can earn a salary rounding off to 80,000$ per year.
5. Oil And Gas Tanker Drivers
Transporting fluids and gases in a specialized tank is the task of a tanker driver. Their primary duties involve loading goods onto oil and gas tankers using specialized equipment, transporting those substances to building sites, gas stations, businesses, or disposal sites, and carefully documenting each delivery.
Hauling liquid cargo can be unsteady, making it a more risky and challenging role. Therefore, s firm hand and a calm head are essential for the hazardous nature of a gas truck driver’s job. After all, they are moving dangerous substances that, in the event of an accident or leak, could result in fatal accidents. Their average annual salaries are, thus, considerably high, ranging from 75,000$ to 100,000$.
Gas truck drivers, like every other driver, must have a CDL. Moreover, to demonstrate their ability to handle such hazardous material, they typically need added certification, such as a HAZMAT or tanker endorsement.
6. Regional CDL Drivers
A regional CDL driver transports cargo within a particular area. Compared to long-haul drivers, they might spend longer at home and much less time on the road because their route is constrained to nearby states.
The primary responsibility of a CDL driver is to transport items from warehouses to specific retail stores. Their duties also include the following:
- Following the delivery process and reporting any interruptions immediately.
- Checking and maintaining the vehicle’s engine.
- Inspecting the goods both before and after shipment to ensure the orders are accurate in quantity.
- Providing delivery confirmation from the recipients.
- Escalating issues of invalid deliveries and faulty items.
A CDL driver must be incredibly proficient at managing time and multitasking while always adhering to safety protocols and traffic laws. These responsibilities make the profession a rather high-paid one, with an average annual salary of 65,000$.
7. Ice-Road Truck Driver
These drivers work in remote places with prolonged snowfall periods all year round. In order to deliver freight to far-flung communities and mining sites, they endure significant risk by navigating through rugged terrain and dangerous driving conditions.
Drivers need several years of expertise and a track record of safe operation with various equipment to become ice road truckers. Although it’s one of the most challenging kinds of truck driving, it’s also one of the most rewarding since a driver may earn approximately 65,000$ on average every year.
8. Over Road (OTR) Truck Driver
Over-The-Road (OTR) drivers are the ones who operate the large semi-trailer trucks that transport a variety of goods throughout the states.
They usually start their voyage by loading the freight onto their trailers, which involves lifting big objects and packing them carefully to prevent moving while in transport. They frequently rest, eat, fuel up at truck stops and sleep in the sleeper compartments. After an eight-hour journey, they are permitted a 30-minute rest.
OTR drivers make an average of 62,000$ annually, providing security for their future.
9. Dedicated Truck Drivers
Dedicated truck drivers have more consistent schedules and specialized routes than other truckers. They often don’t have a multi-delivery route. Instead, they only have one or two endpoints.
A dedicated truck driver’s duties are similar to those of a regular truck driver while on the road; they run big trucks that need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and carry cargo to different destinations.
These drivers earn 60,000$ on average per year, making it a stable lifetime career for them.
10. Line Haul Owner-Operator Drivers
Line haul truck drivers are responsible for hauling bulky items using trucks like tractor-trailers. They follow a predetermined route through designated points and typically head back home at the end of each shift, thus maintaining timeliness and efficiency.
In this field of business, drivers usually sort and manage their cargo as they load and unload. Every time they drive, they might deliver supplies to similar locations, which enables them to develop ties with these businesses.
Their duties often include:
- Safeguarding paperwork or invoices, following predetermined routes.
- Driving for long periods.
- Communicating with companies.
- Fostering good relationships.
- Guaranteeing the cargo’s quality and safety.
On average, line haul truckers earn around 60,000$ every year, making it a considerably high-paid and secure job in the transportation industry.
11. Livestock Haulers
Any freight that is alive is considered to be hauled as livestock. Livestock transporting includes everything from horses to bees, cows, pigs, and chickens.
There is more to working in a livestock transportation profession than just driving. After every load, drivers must thoroughly disinfect their trailers to avoid contaminating the livestock in their upcoming load.
However, the extra effort is worthwhile. Drivers are well paid for their duties because moving livestock is regarded as a specialty job from which they earn up to 60,000$ on average every year.
12. Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
These truck drivers deal with extremely bulk cargo, such as containers weighing several thousand tonnes. Their primary responsibilities include picking up colossal containers from sites, loading and fastening them to the truck, and moving the trailer to their desired destination, such as a shipping depot.
The drivers may require assistance emptying the truck and loading it again for the return trip once they reach their destination. Coupled with driving, they must also be able to undertake regular vehicle inspections and conduct safety checks.
On average, the annual salary of tractor-trailer truck drivers ranges up to 59,000$, proving a secure and reliable profession.
13. Oversized Haulers
Heavy gear and anything wider than 8.5 feet requires oversized load haulers, expressly qualified and trained to transport such extra-large items. One or two pilot cars are frequently needed at the front or back of the truck for transports wider than 12 feet.
This trucking job frequently pays well due to the increase in complexity and requirements involved with transporting oversized items. Depending on what is being hauled and how often you travel, oversized load truckers can make up to $175,500 annually. However, the average annual salary will be closer to $58,000 per year.
14. Mining Industry Drivers
Giant dump trucks driven by these drivers are used in mining and quarrying operations. They have to operate efficiently when they are on the job while maintaining safety around other smaller commercial vehicles and workplace equipment.
These trucks can be found outside the mining industry, in particular commercial and seaport locations that deal with the raw materials and products that form the foundation of a country’s industrial chain.
These truckers enjoy high paychecks around the year, earning up to 58,000$ annually on average.
15. Class A Truck Drivers
The category of commercial driver’s license (CDL) required to operate a large vehicle for work related to freight delivery is referred to as a Class A truck driver job.
Employers typically look for applicants who already possess a Class A license and are authorized to operate and tow a truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds. A trucker must obtain a Class A level license prior to applying for those who have a regular driver’s license or a license to operate a smaller truck.
These truckers earn $58,000 annually, accounting for secure employment and career.
16. Concierge Luxury Movers
These truckers work for the wealthy, famous, and elite, especially celebrities. They are in charge of carrying millions of dollars worth of goods. They are sometimes accountable for priceless works of art.
Being the most reputable and well-respected trucker in the industry and having the insurance to protect these items are the principal requirements for the job. Additionally, a dedication to providing service from beginning to end is required.
This way, these luxury movers may earn up to 55,000$ per year on average. However, the figure may vary according to the people a driver may be working for.
17. Dairy Truck Drivers
A dairy truck driver’s duties include driving a heavily insulated milk tanker and pouring milk into the vehicle. After that, they carry the milk to commercial areas, such as dairy farms or creameries, where they pump out the product for retailers.
Additional responsibilities include performing vehicle inspections and filing reports, driving logs, and other regulatory documentation. Other duties as a milk truck driver include:
- Grading the milk in these gigantic tanks.
- Sampling and measuring the quantity of milk and its temperature at each stop.
- Gathering samples for laboratory analysis.
- Ensuring quality control to guarantee that the product complies with FDA standards.
The average salary of dairy truck drivers is approximately 55,000$ per year, a considerably high figure.
18. Water Haulers
Water haulers are experienced drivers responsible for driving trucks to deliver water for construction works, oil wells, and teams working in distant locations.
These drivers must prove their strength by operating their trucks in fluctuating weather conditions and through congested traffic. To ensure safe driving, they must perform routine maintenance or repairs on their trucks and undertake pre- and post-travel inspections.
Working as a water hauler secures the future because the job is usually high-paid, depending upon the driver’s skill set. For instance, maintaining a valid Class A CDL license with tank and hazmat certifications and completing a Class B Tanker CDL training can earn you around 51,000$ on average per year.
19. Auto Hauler
Some of the most distinctive vehicles on the road are auto haulers. As you might have guessed, auto haulers deliver new and refurbished vehicles to retail showrooms and auction locations from manufacturing facilities, ports, railways, and auctions.
Only a handful of carriers are highly skilled at transporting expensive cars. They must drive enclosed trailers that require a highly patient and careful driver to handle the costly cargo.
As a result, auto haulers earn as much as 50,000$ per year on average.
20. Ready-Mix Drivers
Most of their days as ready mix drivers are spent outside since they work with concrete and cement mixing. A ready mix driver’s primary responsibility is transporting cement or concrete to a construction site.
This is labor-intensive work because drivers are typically required to load and unload. But don’t let that deter you because most ready-mix positions offer decent income, around 50,000$ on average yearly. This is specifically true in light of the fact that various of these local jobs require a CDL B license.
21. Waste Disposal Truck Driver
Drivers of garbage trucks are in charge of removing waste from both residential and business settings. They load, move, and dump waste onto bigger trucks that will eventually be transferred to a landfill or recycling facility using specialized equipment.
As a result of these responsibilities, the average annual income for these drivers is high, approximating 47,000$.
22. Concert Truckers
Concert truckers transport instruments, stage and lighting setup, and other necessities for musical performances. In order to support a complete tour or a portion of it, drivers will go on the road with musicians or artists for a few months at once.
The income for concert trucking jobs is excellent, rounding off to 40,000$ per year on average, and permits you to develop a close bond with various other drivers you travel with.
Truck drivers who want to make more money go above and beyond the usual when it comes to acquiring in-demand talents and certifications that open up new and profitable career opportunities.
The aforementioned high-paying professions are within your grasp once you put in the work and keep a safe and clean driving record to enjoy a healthy and secure future.