How to find good & high paying truck driving jobs

Over the road truck drivers typically make the most money with Wal-Mart drivers pulling in significant salaries. With many job opportunities opening up, the field of truck driving is lucrative for beginners. Provided they have the proper training, a truck driver could make up to $71,500 per year.

What are the Highest Paying Jobs?

OTR truck drivers typically make the most money. This is due to the kind of travel they do and the number of hours involved. Since they are paid more, these truck drivers must meet higher standards. They have to keep tight delivery drivers and crisscross the country. Other truck driving gigs that pay well include specialty drivers and long haul truckers. Specialty drivers have to deal with unusual conditions like oversized loads and hazardous materials. To get a job in these fields, they have to be up-to-date on policy changes in the industry and be aware of different state laws.

Any trucker that is in a union is going to make higher pay on average than national companies. Unions have policies in place that set maximum hours and minimum pay rates. Along with higher pay, unions require a set raises and a host of different rules. Although each union is different, they all have set dues and minimum pay rates.

What Kinds of Truck Drivers Earn the Most?

Ice road truckers will typically make the most. To do this job, a truck driver has to deal with a high level of danger and risk. Individuals in this field can often earn a full year's salary in the span of just a few months. This job title requires skill and bravery. The driver must be able to handle any element and be capable of fixing the truck when it breaks down on the road.

Dump truck drivers in coal mines can make significant amounts of money. The main difficulty in this job is waiting for the truck to be loaded. Each truck has to be filled with coal in a way that does not disrupt the mine. Movements or sudden changes can result in a collapse.

For other truck drivers, driving oversize loads can bring in a decent living. This position requires skill to keep the load balanced and talent at navigating among traffic. To ensure safety, oversize load drivers will typically work with a spotter.

Highest Paying States

A truck driver in the state of Mississippi will earn far more than a counterpart in Washington State. In this region of the country, truck drivers make an average of $68,000 annually. For higher paid positions, truck drivers can look into heavy hauling or long hauling.

The next top states are Wyoming at $61,000 and New York at $60,000. Wyoming offers high pay because of the numerous specialty trucking positions. In New York, truckers earn more money due to the icy roadways and crowded traffic they must traverse throughout the year.

Top Three Jobs with High Salaries

The ice road trucker has to be able to drive across a 414 mile route. Out of this path, 75 percent lies to the north of the Arctic Circle. On these dangerous paths, the truckers have to deal with white outs, dangerous weather, storms and temperatures that drop to as low as -40 degrees Celsius. If they can last three months until the season ends, truck drivers can pull in up to $120,000.

In Australia, dump truck drivers make up to $100,000 a year. This position is in Australia's mining industry and is highly sought after. It requires limited amounts of physical labor so it is applied for frequently by both genders.

Truck drivers in Iraq have to deal with obvious risks ranging from car bombs to kidnapping. Due to the increased risk, these individuals will earn anywhere from $125,000 a year to $250,000. They typically carry supplies or food to military outposts in the region.

Finding a Job

In the age of the Internet, it is easy to search for job positions online and apply. Some of the highest paying jobs are taken quickly, so the best chances of achieving these positions are outside of the traditional job application process. One of the easiest ways to scout around for jobs is to ask a trucker. These individuals can be a useful source of information on getting a CDL license and often know the inside track toward getting a job.

There are some trucking companies that offer free training. Although this typically is accompanied by lower starting pay, it is an invaluable tool for new truckers. In addition to training costs, working for any company for a year allows the newbie to network among other companies and truckers. The added experience level can also make them extremely desirable for other positions.

Beginning truckers can always ask their driving school about available openings. Some schools will have job listings for truckers who complete the training program. These openings are generally designed for beginning truckers and allow newbies to get a toehold in this career field.

Top Companies

If a trucker is still unable to find a job, they can check at one of the following companies. One of the largest corporations for truckers is Conway. This business ships freight for a range of industries in North America. Conway's job postings range from regional to national options. Loomis also operates in the United States and Europe. This business runs an armored car service that transports cash. Due to the precious cargo, Loomis often offers high starting pay.

The adventure-loving trucker can apply for work at KBR. For the daredevil, this company offers jobs in Iraq and Australia. New hires work for one of the top global contractors as they ship construction materials, food and supplies throughout Iraq.

Individuals who have a family or like to return home each night can apply with JB Hunt. This company provides job positions that have set trip schedules and customer interaction. JB Hunt offers regional, OTR and local options.

With so many options available, a career in trucking can be exceptionally easy to begin and lucrative. From ice road trucking to OTR positions, there are job types available for every skill level.