Growth Trends for Related Jobs
The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that all drivers of dump trucks obtain a Class B commercial driver’s license to operate a dump truck on an interstate or highway. Because of this qualification, dump truck drivers typically earn more than operators of light trucks. Dump truck drivers most frequently work in the construction business, but also may be hired for mining and other excavation operations.
The average dump truck driver’s annual salary as of December 2010 is $40,000, according to Indeed.com. Many drivers are paid on an hourly basis, however, and their pay is usually indexed by wages rather than salary. Dump truck drivers may expect hourly wages between $12.44 and $17.56, as of December 2010, according to PayScale. Because of overtime earnings, the average hourly employee dump truck driver earns between $28,883 and $44,725.
Dump truck drivers’ earning potential grows with the number of years they spend behind the wheel. Trainees with less than a year’s experience may earn as little as $9.72 hourly, as of December 2010, according to PayScale. Those with one to four years’ experience can expect hourly wages between $11.92 and $16.21. Between five and 19 years experience, drivers' wages range between $12.04 and $17.86, while veterans with more than 20 years in the driver’s seat may enjoy wages as high as $19.14 per hour.
Dump truck drivers may earn more in large urban areas than in outlying ones: 80 percent of the salary ranges reported by region by Salary Expert list salaries above $40,000. Dump truck drivers in Nashville, Tennessee, command the smallest average annual salaries of those surveyed, at $39,944 as of December 2010. The most lucrative city in which to drive a dump truck is Atlanta, where the average annual earnings were $45,897, although those in Boston -- $44,948 -- and Phoenix -- $44,108 -- also fared better than those driving in most cities.
Several different sectors of the economy rely upon dump trucks to move material, and they compensate drivers differently. Drivers who work in rock quarries and other nonmetal extraction industries fare the worst, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook reporting median wages at $16.55 as of May 2009. Drivers working in construction of roads and bridges earned slightly more, netting $17.49 per hour on average. Coal mines are the most favorable toward drivers’ wages, paying $20.27 per hour.
Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.