The High Paying Truck Driver Jobs You Should Know About, 2024

Your Guide to 2022 Truck Shows You Don’t Want to Miss!

My take on a truck driving career is this.

If you’re going to pursue a truck driving career and make the sacrifices, especially running OTR (long haul) or short haul driving, you might as well make the best money out there.

The sacrifices and stresses of a driving career are plentiful.

It’s a job that deserves decent pay for all the gruelling, long hours behind the wheel, often many thousands of miles away from home.

Usually, the high paying truck driver jobs are found in what’s called a ‘niche market’.  A niche market is a specialized segment in the trucking industry.

The work involved in specialized niches in trucking is often a little out of the ordinary. It often involves expensive, specialized equipment and experienced, skilled and top notch specially trained drivers.

And that’s where the higher wages for the driving positions come in.

Often these specialty niche jobs come with varying degrees of risk and danger involved

The high paying truck driver jobs in these specialized areas of trucking are sometimes driving jobs that not many truckers are attracted to for various reasons.

“It IS possible to make decent money in trucking as a driver.
Make it your business to KNOW where the $$ is.”
Money stacked up

What Do I Need to Qualify For The High Paying Truck Driver Jobs?

To make a higher wage as a truck driver, more experienced drivers are preferred and a more complex skill set is required, more so than the average truck driver who hauls for example dry freight loads on a van trailer. 

  • Have all the endorsements
  • Accident/incident free – A clean driving record.
  • Driving experience – Companies often demand more experienced truck drivers with 5+ years  successful CDL experience with no incidents on their driving record. This along with a solid job history that does not reflect a lot of job hopping as a truck driver.
  • Higher skill level – A more complex skill set required specific to the specialized niche.

Why Do Some Trucking Jobs Pay More Than Others?

  • Greater risks –  Willing to take greater risks. Some jobs have higher degree of danger involved.
  • More liability – With greater risk, comes more liability.
        • Working in remote areas.  Some truck driving jobs demands working in a remote or sparsely populated area.
          The cost of living for truckers in such an area could be considerably higher, too, if the work requires that the driver live in the area where the job is.
        • More skills required. 
        • More experience required.

        Yellow 389 Peterbilt Rig

        Related > The Best Trucking Companies to Work For USA

        The Highest Paying Truck Driver Jobs – The Most Lucrative Markets

        1. Private Fleets

        Walmart is just one example of a company with its own fleet of trucks. They  offer one of the best paying truck driving jobs in the U.S. Their rate of pay for a company truck driver ranges from around $70,000-$85,000 US per year.

        Walmart’s private fleet requires a nice clean driving history (no preventable accidents, minimal moving violations, no serious violations etc), clean criminal check, as does any company which offer a high paying driving job.

        The expectations are higher than most companies, but in return, they pay a higher than average salary.

        >Take a look at Walmart’s job board for available driving jobs. 

        1. Ice Road Trucking Jobs

        Ice road trucking jobs can earn drivers anywhere from $20,000 – $75,000 for a few months work. Also since the tv show has glorified these jobs, it’s become increasing difficult to secure one. 

        There are many job challenges and dangers involved in a driving job in the ice roads, such as extreme temperatures, excessive winter storms and poor road conditions.

        Related > Tips to Starting Your Ice Road Trucking Career

        Alaska Road Photo

        1. Tanker/Liquid Hauling

        Hauling hazardous products such as gasoline and a variety of caustic and explosive liquid materials, offers good pay for the work. 

        Driving jobs hauling hazmat materials tend to pay well above the average driving wage. 

        You many need a TWIC CARD. Here’s a simple guide to getting your TWIC CARD.

        The driver is not only hauling dangerous goods, but they sometimes are exposed to chemical fumes when piping off hazardous chemicals.

        IF you are with the right trucking company, tanker truck driving jobs can be quite lucrative.

        1. Fuel Hauling can be a good payer
        2. Food Grade Tanker can be lucrative. 

        Peterbilt 389 Farmers Oil Red White with Tanker Trailer

        1. Oversized Loads

        There are trucking companies which specialize in hauling over-sized loads

        Heavy Haul Truck and Load

        1. Specialty Car Haulers

         There are a few carriers which have a high level of expertise at hauling very expensive and vintage cars.

        The trailers are enclosed. It takes a very patient driver and one who is meticulous when handling the high dollar cargo.

        1. Hauling Specialty Vehicles (Such as Vintage Cars, Nascar Vehicles: A friend of mine did this for years, and he loved it… much respect and big pay)

        Car Hauler Jobs White Peterbilt

        1. Mining Industry – Dump Trucks

        Some mining companies that work those ‘behemoth dump trucks’, offer good wages for these trucking job.  Some mines in Australia for example, employ truckers who bring in $100,000 + in wages annually.

        1. Team Driving

        Some teams do very well financially. It’s often thought that driving as a team is the fast and easy way to be a rich truck driver and because it’s one of the highest paying trucking jobs

        One of the problems with teams, is that the drivers often suffer from burn out and although the schedule is technically legal, the drivers are unable to keep up the hectic, stressful schedule for extended periods of time.

        The rate of pay and number of miles presented by the carrier always sounds appealing. However, loading delays and bad weather cut down on the miles for teams.

        Husband and wife teams can do very well, if both are drivers. They can live on the road for long periods if necessary and have no obligations for home time.

        The success of a team depends on many variables including the ability of the trucking company they are working for, to schedule their loads efficiently.

        Related > What You Need to Know About Team Truck Driving Jobs

        1. Owner Operator Jobs

        Either an owner operator leased to a trucking company (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH A LEASE OPERATOR) or an independent owner operator, can earn a good living.

        Although owner operator jobs can be high paying truck driver jobs, there’s much more risk and responsibility tied up in truck ownership.

        However, the pay off can be profitable, if it’s done correctly and operated as a true business.

        Related > The Complete Owner Operator Guide to Profit and Success


        1. Union Drivers

        Unionized truck drivers make better wages than the average driver.

        Unions set a standardized rate of pay and drivers are paid for all the work they do.

        There are usually standard of living raises built into the salary packages for a union driver, thus their wages are a cut above the average truck driver who’s wages are not indexed with the cost of living.

        1. Department of Defense Truck Driving Jobs

        This type of trucking is a big payer, should you qualify for the work. It takes a squeaky clean background check from all aspects of your life, current and past, diligence and patience. Find out more on the details of being a D.O.D. truck driver. 

        Department of Defense Trucks on the move


        More Big Paying Trucking Jobs – Specialty Niches

        1. Lighting and production hauling on tour – Good pay, massive respect 
        1. Exhibition and Trade Show Logistics 
        1. Government Contract Driving Jobs

        Seek Out the Higher Paying Trucking Jobs

        Make it a point to look for the higher paying truck driving jobs.

        They are out there, but the trucking companies won’t come knocking on YOUR door.

        It’s up to you to make a point to look into the niches we’ve mentioned above.

        Then locate the companies near you and start your job hunt.

        My theory is this: If you are going to pursue a truck driving job, whether short term or long term, go for the best money possible.

        IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to know your ‘rights’ as a trucker and if your carrier is abiding by Labour Laws. 


        Do Tanker Truck Driving Jobs Pay Well?

        Typically, yes tanker work pays well. But much depends on the trucking company hiring. There is more risk involved, more skills and knowledge needed, so it should command greater pay. They often pay for delays, wash outs, layovers etc, which makes for a higher rate of pay.

        Why do Private Fleets pay a higher rate of pay to the truck driver?

        Private trucking fleets often pay an increased rate of pay to the trucker, but their standards for hiring drivers is also higher. They may seek out drivers with more experience and a higher skill level, than the average dry freight driver.

        Why do some truck driving jobs pay more than others?

        Trucking jobs that require a greater skill set and where there is a higher level of risk than the average truck driving job, can pay better than average, such as tanker work, owner operator (more financial risk and liability) and trucking on the ice roads are a few examples.

        Truck Driver Standing Beside Blue Peterbilt

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