Ever wonder what the highest paying jobs for truckers are?

Read on as we have listed them for you here. In addition, we will also tell you what their average annual incomes are and how to qualify for these positions.

Before that, you should know first that drivers who have more experience, a cleaner driving record, and higher qualifications obviously get more money than the average truck driver. If you’re with a solid company, you can earn a decent amount of money as a reefer driver or a drive-in but you can never expect six figures.

With no further ado, here are the highest paying trucking jobs:

1. Team Drivers

Team drivers can easily find or land jobs just because trucking companies love them. Team drivers are very cost-efficient for carriers because if one driver is on duty, the other one is off-duty and vice versa. The only downside to being a team driver is that finding a good team to be part of is extremely difficult, not to mention your pay will be split between all the members in the team. Nevertheless, even after the split, you can still expect to earn $5,000-$15,000 more than the average trucker every year. If you’re interested to qualify for this position, all you have to do is to have a CDL. That’s it.

Now in some companies, they will allow you to choose your own members to form your own team. As a team driver, you should take advantage of that. With that being said, you should choose members who are hardworking, diligent, and not a troublemaker. Choosing quality members will save you a lot of problems in the future. Consider who to choose as you will be spending most of your work hours with these members in a small space.

2. OTR Drivers (On-the-Road Drivers)

OTR drivers are the ones who drive long distances and are on the road for days or even weeks. These types of drivers are also known as National Road drivers. OTR drivers are obviously paid higher compared to average local drivers based on the distance that they travel and their lifestyle. For someone who enjoys solitude and traveling around the country, being an OTR driver might be the perfect job for you. With regards to pay, you can expect to be paid around $75,000-$85,000 per year.

However, let’s say you work every single week, your pay can potentially reach up to $100,000 per year. If you’re a workaholic, this might be perfect for you. However, veteran drivers don’t usually recommend working every day. They choose to somehow take some days off and spend quality time with their loved ones. If you want to qualify as an OTR driver, the qualifications that you have to consider are almost the same as the qualifications of local and regional drivers.

3. Specialty Drivers

The following drivers fall under specialty drivers, namely: tanker haulers, car haulers, oversized load haulers, and much more. Specialty drivers are paid more because of three reasons:

  • They are more experienced
  • They have more endorsements and qualifications
  • They have cleaner safety records

As a specialty driver, you can expect an income of around $85,000-$90,000 per year, and it can even reach $100,000 or more under certain circumstances, regardless of what loads you specialize in. However, if you land a position as a specialty driver (tanker hauler let’s say) in a solid company and located in the right location, let’s say Texas for example — there’s booming oil production in that state — your pay may reach up to $150,000 per year and even more. To become a specialty driver, you will need more than a CDL. You’ll need more endorsements as well. For example, if you want to be a specialty tanker hauler, you’ll have to have a tanker hauling endorsement. In addition, you will also need a HAZMAT so that you can be allowed to load hazardous materials and liquids.

4. Ice Road Truckers

Ice road truckers are actually under specialty drivers. However, they are considered extremely special because this kind of trucking job is very seasonal. Ice road truckers are only in demand during the winter season. Ice road truckers are highly paid not only because their job is seasonal, but their job is often considered one of the most dangerous and difficult. These truckers can expect their pay to reach up to $150,000 or more per year. The qualification for this job is as difficult as the job itself. To qualify, you’ll need a lot of driving and mechanical experience. On top of that, you’ll also need to have a very clean record as a driver. Only a few truckers are hired as ice road truckers. So, for you to get the job, you might need to do networking and make yourself stand out from the competition.

5. Owner Operators

Technically, this isn’t considered a job. To be more accurate, owner-operators can be considered a business where you are self-employed. Becoming owner-operators will need more qualifications, more risks, and higher safety standards than any trucking job in the world. However, if you’re hardworking and willing to learn, it’s also fulfilling. Owner operators’ income might differ due to many factors, but on average, owner-operators can make up to $250,000 in gross income per year. Depending on how well you manage your own business, having this $250,000 of gross revenue per year will already guarantee you a 6-figure income per year.