Best Paying Local CDL Jobs

Updated on February 26, 2024

The trucking industry offers a plethora of opportunities, especially for those holding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). While long-haul trucking might be what most people think of, local CDL jobs can offer competitive salaries, more predictable schedules, and the chance to be home every night. In this blog, we delve into some of the top-paying local CDL jobs, outlining the job titles, average salaries, responsibilities, and the required experience or education where applicable.

Private Fleets

  • Average Salary: $70,000 – $85,000 per year
  • Job Description: Drivers in private fleets typically work for a single company, transporting goods exclusively for that company.
  • Responsibilities: Safe operation of vehicles, timely delivery of goods, vehicle maintenance checks.
  • Required Education: CDL is required, along with a clean driving record. Companies may prefer drivers with additional endorsements.

Ice Road Trucking

  • Average Salary: $20,000 – $75,000 per season
  • Job Description: Ice road truckers drive on frozen roads to deliver goods to remote areas, often facing extreme weather conditions.
  • Responsibilities: Navigating hazardous ice roads, maintaining vehicle condition in extreme cold, ensuring timely and safe delivery of cargo.
  • Required Education: CDL with specific training for ice road conditions and experience in extreme weather driving is preferred.

Tanker/Liquid Hauling

  • Average Salary: Varies widely depending on the materials hauled and the company.
  • Job Description: Transporting liquid goods, which can include hazardous materials like gasoline or chemicals.
  • Responsibilities: Safe operation of tanker vehicles, adherence to safety protocols for hazardous materials, regular vehicle inspections.
  • Required Education: CDL with a Tanker Endorsement and often a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Endorsement as well.

Oversized Loads

  • Average Salary: $82,262 per year
  • Job Description: Transporting oversized loads that exceed standard legal dimensions, requiring special routing and handling.
  • Responsibilities: Safe navigation of oversized loads, coordination with escort vehicles, compliance with transportation regulations.
  • Required Education: CDL, with additional training or certifications for handling oversized loads preferred.

Specialty Car Haulers

  • Average Salary: $95,146 per year
  • Job Description: Transporting high-value vehicles such as luxury cars, race cars, or antique vehicles in enclosed trailers.
  • Responsibilities: Secure loading and unloading of vehicles, meticulous handling to prevent damage, adherence to delivery schedules.
  • Required Education: CDL is required, with specialized training in vehicle handling and securement preferred.

Mining Industry

  • Average Salary: $40,655 per year
  • Job Description: Operating large dump trucks in mining operations to transport ore or waste material.
  • Responsibilities: Safe operation of large vehicles, adherence to mine safety protocols, efficient material transportation.
  • Required Education: CDL is often required, along with specific training for mine operations.

Team Driving

  • Average Salary: $119,464 per year
  • Job Description: Team drivers share driving duties to ensure continuous operation, maximizing delivery speed.
  • Responsibilities: Alternating driving shifts with a partner, maintaining logbooks, ensuring cargo safety.
  • Required Education: CDL is required, with experience in long-haul driving preferred for team setups.

Owner Operator

  • Average Salary: $119,464 per year, but can vary widely
  • Job Description: Owner operators own their truck(s) and contract their services, giving them control over their work and earnings.
  • Responsibilities: Managing their business operations, finding and negotiating hauls, vehicle maintenance, compliance with transportation laws.
  • Required Education: CDL is required, along with significant investment in their own vehicle and understanding of business operations.

Union Drivers

  • Average Salary: Varies by union contract and location
  • Job Description: Drivers who are part of a union often enjoy higher wages, better benefits, and more predictable schedules.
  • Responsibilities: Similar to other truck driving jobs but may include participation in union activities and adherence to union-negotiated contracts.
  • Required Education: CDL is required, along with meeting union membership criteria.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in trucking, especially within local CDL jobs, offers a range of options that can suit different preferences and lifestyles. Whether it’s the adventure of ice road trucking, the steady work of a private fleet,or the high earnings potential of specialty hauling, there’s a niche that can match your skills and preferences. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each type of job, considering factors like risk, required skill level, and lifestyle preferences. As the trucking industry continues to evolve, staying informed about the latest trends and opportunities will be crucial for those looking to maximize their earnings and job satisfaction 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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