Best Paying Driving Jobs

Updated on February 23, 2024

The driving industry offers a wide range of career opportunities, each with its unique challenges and rewards. Whether you’re looking for a job that keeps you close to home or one that takes you across the country, there’s likely a driving job that fits your needs and skill set. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best paying driving jobs, highlighting their job titles, average salaries, descriptions, responsibilities, and required education where applicable.

Private Fleets

  • Average Salary: $70,000 – $85,000 per year
  • Job Description: Drivers in private fleets, such as those operated by major retailers like Walmart, are responsible for transporting goods and products for a single company. These roles often offer stable routes and consistent schedules.
  • Responsibilities: Safe operation of company vehicles, timely delivery of goods, and adherence to all transportation laws and regulations.
  • Required Education: A clean driving record, a clean criminal background check, and often a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are required.

Ice Road Trucking

  • Average Salary: $20,000 – $75,000 for a few months of work
  • Job Description: Ice road truckers deliver goods to remote areas over frozen lakes and rivers, primarily in Alaska and Canada. This job is seasonal and typically runs during the coldest months.
  • Responsibilities: Ensuring safe transport of goods under extreme weather conditions, maintaining vehicles in harsh environments, and managing emergency situations effectively.
  • Required Education: CDL is required, along with specialized training for driving in icy conditions.

Tanker/Liquid Hauling

  • Average Salary: Varies widely depending on the company and materials hauled
  • Job Description: Tanker drivers transport hazardous and non-hazardous liquids, requiring careful handling and adherence to safety protocols.
  • Responsibilities: Safe operation of tanker trucks, compliance with hazardous material regulations, and proper loading and unloading procedures.
  • Required Education: CDL with tanker endorsement, Hazardous Materials (HazMat) endorsement, and a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card may be required for certain materials.

Oversized Loads

  • Average Salary: Varies based on the company and complexity of loads
  • Job Description: Drivers specialize in transporting oversized loads such as heavy machinery, requiring expertise in route planning and vehicle handling.
  • Responsibilities: Secure loading and unloading of oversized cargo, obtaining necessary permits, and ensuring safe transport.
  • Required Education: CDL and specialized training for handling oversized loads.

Specialty Car Haulers

  • Average Salary: Varies significantly based on the value of the vehicles being transported
  • Job Description: These drivers transport high-value, luxury, and vintage cars, often using enclosed trailers to protect the vehicles.
  • Responsibilities: Safe loading and unloading of valuable vehicles, meticulous handling to prevent damage, and secure transport.
  • Required Education: CDL and specialized training in handling and securing valuable cargo.

Mining Industry – Dump Trucks

  • Average Salary: $100,000+ annually in certain locations like Australia
  • Job Description: Drivers operate large dump trucks in mining operations, transporting materials such as ore and rock.
  • Responsibilities: Safe operation of large dump trucks, adherence to mine safety protocols, and efficient transport of mining materials.
  • Required Education: CDL may be required, along with specific training related to mining operations and large vehicle operation.

Team Driving

  • Average Salary: Varies based on the company and distance covered
  • Job Description: Team drivers share driving duties to ensure continuous transport, often used for long-haul routes to minimize delivery times.
  • Responsibilities: Shared driving responsibilities, maintenance of logbooks, and compliance with rest break regulations.
  • Required Education: Both drivers typically need a CDL and may require additional endorsements depending on the cargo.

Owner Operator Jobs

  • Average Salary: Earnings can be higher due to ownership but vary widely based on contracts and expenses
  • Job Description: Owner operators own their trucks and contract their services, giving them more control over their jobs but also more responsibility.
  • Responsibilities: Finding and negotiating contracts, maintaining their vehicle, and managing their own business operations.
  • Required Education: CDL, business acumen, and the financial ability to purchase and maintain a truck.

Union Drivers

  • Average Salary: Higher than average due to standardized pay rates set by unions
  • Job Description: Unionized drivers work under contracts that provide standardized wages, benefits, and working conditions.
  • Responsibilities: Adherence to union rules and contracts, safe driving practices, and timely delivery of goods.
  • Required Education: CDL and union membership, which may require additional training and qualifications.

Department of Defense Truck Driving

  • Average Salary: Can be high due to the sensitive and critical nature of the work
  • Job Description: Transportingmaterials or personnel for the Department of Defense, often requiring high-security clearance and adherence to strict protocols.
  • Responsibilities: Ensuring the secure and timely delivery of military cargo, maintaining detailed logs, adhering to military transport regulations.
  • Required Education: CDL, security clearance, and potentially additional military-specific training.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a career in the driving industry can be both lucrative and rewarding. With a wide range of opportunities available, from local deliveries to international haulage, drivers play a crucial role in the global economy. The key to success in this field lies in obtaining the necessary qualifications, gaining experience, and continuously updating skills to meet the evolving demands of the industry. Whether you’re drawn to the adventure of ice road trucking or the precision required for specialty car haulage, the road ahead is filled with potential for growth and financial reward.

Sources

For more detailed information on the average salaries and job roles, you can refer to the following sources:

These sources provide comprehensive insights into the driving industry, offering valuable information for those considering a career in this field.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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