My take on the truck driver career is this: if you're willing to make sacrifices and pursue a career as a truck driver, you can earn the best money possible. The job requires long hours and can be stressful, but it deserves a decent wage for all the hard work. The highest-paying truck driver jobs are usually found in what's called a “niche market”. This is a specialized segment of the transportation industry that involves specialized equipment and highly trained, experienced drivers.
These jobs often come with varying degrees of risk and danger, but they also offer higher salaries for leadership positions. To earn a higher salary as a truck driver, you need more experience and a more complex skill set than the average driver. Companies like Walmart's private fleet require a clean driving record and criminal background check, and they pay above-average salaries in return. Driving on icy roads is another way to increase your salary, as it involves many challenges and occupational hazards.
Transporting hazardous materials such as gasoline or caustic chemicals also pays well above the average salary of drivers. You may need a TWIC CARD for these jobs, so here's a simple guide to getting one. Team driving is often thought to be the fastest and easiest way to become wealthy as a truck driver, since it's one of the highest-paying transportation jobs. However, teams can suffer from exhaustion due to their hectic schedules, so it's important to be aware of this before committing to team driving.
Husband and wife teams can do very well if both are pilots, since they can live on the road for extended periods if necessary. The success of a team depends on many variables, including the ability of the transportation company they work for to schedule their loads efficiently. Owner operators can also make a good living, although owning a truck involves more risk and responsibility than working for a company. Unionized truck drivers earn better salaries than the average driver, since unions set standardized rates of pay that are indexed to the cost of living.
Be sure to look for the highest-paying truck driving jobs - they're out there, but you have to do your research to find them. Analyze the nine niches we mentioned above and locate companies near you that offer these jobs. Working on tankers pays well, but it depends on which trucking company you hire. It involves more risks and requires more skills and knowledge than other jobs, so it should generate higher remuneration. Private truck fleets tend to pay higher fees to their drivers, but they also have higher standards for hiring. Road transport jobs that require greater skill sets and involve higher levels of risk may be better paid than average - such as working on tankers, being an owner operator (which involves more risk and financial responsibility) or transporting on frozen roads. It's important to remember that company-sponsored CDL training programs have their own requirements, advantages and disadvantages - so be sure to do your research before committing to one.
You should also learn about different truck engines - what worked and what didn't - so you can make an informed decision when buying one. Finally, learn about the language of truck drivers so you can “participate” in conversations with other drivers. There are instructions, clear advice, videos and photos available online that will help you learn about the skills, maneuvers and information needed by professional truck drivers. In conclusion, there are many ways to increase your salary as a truck driver - from working in niche markets or transporting hazardous materials to team driving or becoming an owner operator. Be sure to do your research before committing to any job so you can get the best possible salary.