Truck driving in the United States is one of the most sought-after professions for middle-class workers. It is available to anyone with the appropriate licenses, such as the CDL. President D. Eisenhower signed the National Act to Build 66,000 kilometers of Highways and Roads in 1956. Ever since, the profession has remained one of the most popular and one of the highest-paid in the country. The US economy is directly dependent on ground freight. Today, more than 70% of domestic and international shipments are eventually transported by tractor trailers. According to the US Truckers Association, the following statistics manifest US reliance on truck drivers:
The salary of a truck driver in the United States is much higher than other driving professions. It is also relatively higher than that of a truck driver working in Europe or even Canada. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a truck driver’s salary in America ranges from $35,000 to $100,000 per year. This all depends on the qualifications and experience of the trucker. Whoever transports hazardous chemicals on the New York to California route may earn more than a driver delivering grocery goods on local routes. After the COVID-19 pandemic and the wave of employee resignations that followed, truck drivers included, wages are steadily increasing.
Working as a tractor trailer driver requires surprisingly strict criteria. Regardless of class, truckers must have adequate physical training. It is a difficult job that involves a huge daily burden on the body so not everyone can stand it. Even though the law allows anyone to drive a truck at the age of 18, American companies prefer to employ workers aged 25-30.
It’s important to note that trucking in America is the 9th most dangerous occupation. Statistics say that for every 100,000 drivers there are about 30 deaths a year. This is largely in part to the lack of safety on the roads and in the trucks themselves. Labor laws state that a driver cannot operate their truck for more than 11 consecutive hours, without a 12-hour rest period. This simple rule allows business owners to correctly calculate the duration of the trip and its distance.
Being a truck driver is not only a job, but a lifestyle. Though safety remains a serious issue, it is one of the few remaining jobs in the country that is readily available.