Limo drivers are formally known as chauffeurs, and they usually earn both base salaries and tips. They drive businessmen, hotel patrons, government officials and movie stars to their destinations, and also transport high school kids to proms and drive bridal parties to weddings. Entry into this career is relatively easy because you don't need a high school education. After obtaining a chauffeur's license and a short period training, you're ready to drive patrons around. Whether you're looking for an interim career or want out of the corporate world, you can make a decent living as a limo driver.
Average Annual Income
Limo drivers earned average annual incomes of $25,020 as of May 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this might seem relatively low, it doesn't include tips, which can constitute a significant portion of your earnings. If you're among the top 10 percent in earnings, you can make over $37,170 annually, per the BLS. Your salary will be contingent on where you live, your employer and experience. Private limo drivers earn considerably more, especially if they work for wealthy employers.
Income by Industry
Your salary as a limo driver varies considerably by industry. These workers earned the highest average incomes of $53,580 per year working in the motion picture industry, according to 2011 BLS data, transporting movie stars to the Academy Awards and other functions. Chauffeurs employed by aerospace product and parts manufacturers made $49,100 annually. Your salary would be closer to the national average as an employee of a limousine service company at $27,840 per year, while you would earn $25,170 annually if you're employed in the sighting seeing and tourist industry, according to the BLS.
Income by State or District
Expect to earn the highest average salary in the District of Columbia at $35,090 per year, according to the BLS, where you might drive senators and congressmen to government functions. You can also earn relatively high incomes in New York and New Jersey at $30,320 and $29,900 per year, respectively. Limo drivers who work in Massachusetts make $26,510 annually, and those in Texas earn less at $22,760 per year, notes the BLS.
Jobs for chauffeurs are expected to increase 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the BLS, which is faster than the 14 percent average for all occupations. In this job, your number of employment opportunities will be greatest in major metropolitan areas that are experiencing the fastest economic growth. But turnover is also high for limo drivers, so opportunities exist almost anywhere.
2016 Salary Information for Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs earned a median annual salary of $24,300 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, taxi drivers and chauffeurs earned a 25th percentile salary of $20,490, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $30,440, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 305,100 people were employed in the U.S. as taxi drivers and chauffeurs.