Growth Trends for Related Jobs
The vast majority of long-haul truck drivers operate heavy trucks or tractor-trailers and often work routes that cross the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These long-haul drivers are typically responsible for planning their route, with the employer supplying only a delivery location and a deadline. On longer runs which require overnight driving, two drivers take turns driving a truck, with a sleeping area available behind the cab.
The average long-haul truck driver earned a salary of $39,450 as of May 2010, reports the bureau. Wages began at less than $24,730 in the 10th percentile and exceeded $57,480 in the 90th percentile, with the median income at $37,770 a year.
Long-haul truck drivers working in the industry of general freight trucking earned an average of $41,100 a year, while those working in specialized freight trucking earned an average of $38,690 as of 2010, reports the bureau. Grocery and related product merchant wholesalers offered long-haul truck drivers a salary average of $43,530 annually, while specialty trade contractors offered an average of $36,740. In the industry of cement and concrete product manufacturing, the average income of a long-haul truck drivers was $36,110, and in couriers and express delivery services the average was $53,900. The highest wages for long-haul truck drivers were with the postal service, which offered an average salary of $54,040 a year.
Nebraska and Arkansas had the highest concentration of jobs for long-haul truck drivers as of 2010, offering respective salary averages of $40,600 and $37,320 a year. The bureau named Alaska as the highest paying state for long-haul truck drivers with a salary average of $48,250 a year, followed by Nevada at $46,470. Fairbanks, Alaska, was the nation’s top-paying urban area for long-haul truck drivers with a salary average of $53,170 a year, while southeast Alaska was the highest paying rural area with an average of $51,650.
While the overall employment rate for all truck drivers in the United States is expected to increase 9 percent between 2008 and 2018, the bureau predicts even greater growth for long-haul truck drivers at an average 13 percent increase in jobs. New positions will become available both due to a growing economy and the number of drivers transferring to other fields or retiring. However, even the more experienced long-haul truck drivers may have difficulties finding work during times of economic recession.
Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.