Make the Most Out of Your Driving Job

Over the Road (OTR) drivers perform the highest paid driving job in the industry, it’s no secret.  They are paid more because of the type of travel, the long hours, variety of roads driving on, and knowing all the driving laws for each state they are in.  Specialty and long haul drivers are right up there with OTR drivers.

Specialty drivers handle oversized loads, specialty products, and hazardous materials.  This often involves specific endorsements and special training.  These higher paying trucking jobs also have more expectations that come with them.  Drivers are responsible for keeping up to date with new laws and regulations in all the areas they drive in.

Drivers who are members of a union are also among the highest paid in the industry.  Unions have rules in place that have minimum wages for their members and expected pay raises.  These union drivers also have a different set of rules to follow in addition to the standards.  Unions also have dues, which is something to consider.  Be sure to read the union agreement in its entirety before signing your name to it.


Highest Paying Truck Driving Jobs

Ice road truckers – They are the highest paid and are considered a specialty field.  This is the most dangerous and high risk truck driving job out there.  An ice road trucker can earn an entire year’s salary in just a few months.  Only the most experienced, safest, qualified, and reliable drivers can even get into this kind of driving.  Truckers who perform this driving job have the best skills in the industry as well as being able to handle the elements and do their own repairs on their truck if it breaks down.

Hazmat drivers – Like the ice road truckers, you are working in dangerous conditions, however in this case it is the load you are carrying.  All drivers transporting hazardous materials of any kind must have an additional endorsement on their CDL.  For example, if you were to transport gasoline you would need a hazmat endorsement as well as a tanker endorsement (depending on states you drive in).  However, obtaining your endorsement is not always enough.  For the most hazardous transports many companies will require experience.  Therefore, there are different grades of hazardous transport.

Coal mine dump truck drivers – This is a very delicate trucker job.  The loading of coal needs to be performed in a specific way so that the mine itself is not disturbed.  Any wrong movement could cause the mine to collapse.  For these reasons, this specific kind of dump truck driver job is one of the highest paid.

Oversize load drivers – If driving an 18-wheeler takes training, skill, and concentration, driving an oversized load requires it in duplicate.  Keeping such a large load going straight down the road takes technique.  When on a two-lane road, sharing the road with oncoming traffic is difficult.  These drivers often travel in teams including a spotter to make the journey safe.


Different States and Different Pay

The state that pays the most to their drivers is Mississippi with an average of $68,000 a year.  This is because a lot of the jobs that originate in the state are heavy hauling and long haul potions requiring skill and experience.  Following Mississippi is Wyoming coming in at $61,000 a year.  These jobs are usually specialty positions and with a smaller population in the state there are fewer qualified drivers, therefore raising the pay.  New York comes in just after Wyoming with $60,000 a year.  However, in New York the pay is higher because of icy mountains during the winter months and crowded roads throughout the state.

These are averages, of course, each state may have higher paying trucking jobs than the next, depending on the specifics.  It really comes down to what you are hauling.  But, don’t forget, on top of higher salary for what you are hauling many companies offer excellent benefits for the everyday OTR driver.  To make a comfortable living as a driver you don’t have to drive on icy roads or haul gasoline, but those are, and will likely always will be, the highest paying jobs in the industry.


Original source: Trucking Truth






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