Truck Driving Career Statistics
- Truck drivers held 3.2 million jobs in 2002:
- 431,000 of these were drivers/sales workers.
- 2.8 million were heavy and light truck drivers.
- Most truck drivers are employed in large metropolitan areas near interstate highways.
- More than 10% are self-employed - many own and operate their own trucks or lease their services to a trucking company.
- Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers earned an average of $15.97/hour.
- Freight truckers earned the most: $17.56/hour on average.
- Some drivers earned over $23.75/hour.
- Light and delivery truck drivers averaged $11.48/hour. Some earned more than $20.68/hour. Couriers did the best with an average wage of $17.48/hour.
- New technological advances link drivers to their companies through satellites and GPS (global positioning systems). Companies can know where their drivers are, adjust routes if necessary, and monitor cargo conditions. Drivers can also get weather and traffic reports and other important info.
Cabs have improved, and many now include comfortable beds in the berth behind the cab along with TVs and refrigerators.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation oversees truck drivers involved in interstate commerce. These drivers cannot work more than 60 hours in a 7-day period, and they must rest 10 hours for every 11 that they drive.
- Local haulers and drivers frequently work more than 50 hours per week.
- Drivers must be licensed in the state in which they live. Many drivers (heavy truck haulers and those transporting hazardous materials) must get a commercial driver's license (CDL).
- Truck and delivery companies have economic incentives to hire safe drivers, including saving on fuel and spending less on insurance.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, driver-training courses are a good way to prepare for the job and to obtain a CDL.