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25 of the Highest Paying Truck Driving Jobs in 2023

The best Truck Driving jobs can pay up to $350,500 per year.

Truck driving jobs encompass a large number of positions in numerous fields, including package delivery, sales, shipping, and logistics. The primary duty involved in truck driving is, unsurprisingly, to drive trucks between destinations to deliver goods. Some truck drivers pick up large shipments from coastal ports and drive them on intercity or interstate routes to distribution centers. Other truck drivers make deliveries within a city or county, such as package delivery drivers or drivers supplying restaurants or other retail locations.

To get a truck driving job you will need several qualifications, the most important being a clean driving record. Many truck drivers also need a commercial driver’s license. If you are interested in long-haul trucking or operating a tractor-trailer, there are also professional truck driving schools that will provide you with training. Some truck drivers work as part of a company or business, and they often have union contracts, which is preferable. Other truck drivers may work on a freelance basis.

High Paying Truck Driving Jobs

  • Owner Operator

    The term Owner-Operator refers to a trucking professional who owns their truck and drives it as an independent contractor. Many companies hire independent operators to haul goods for them. Using contractors allows construction companies to keep pace with the rise and fall of demand for their products without the overhead cost of maintaining a fleet of vehicles that may be insufficient in one season and excessive in another. Owner-Operators need to hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in the class that allows them to drive their vehicle and have sufficient training in operating and maintaining the machine. They can choose their own schedule and pick which jobs to take.

  • Flatbed Owner Operator

    A flatbed owner operator has their own commercial vehicle and works on the road as a truck driver hauling various goods throughout the country. As a flatbed owner operator, your primary duties include the safe transport and on-time delivery of products, undamaged. You can haul anything from raw materials like steel and lumber, to construction equipment, vehicles, home goods, frozen foods, and fresh produce. You can be an independent contractor, or work with a larger company that provides truck drivers to their client base. There are part-time, full-time, and seasonal opportunities available. Some employers offer benefits, retirement plans, paid time off, and steady work.

  • Local Owner Operator Truck Driver

    A local owner-operator truck driver transports cargo around the region in which they operate. In this position, you own or lease your truck, and you work on an independent basis with different clients. Your duties include maintaining your vehicle, building relationships with clients, and locating new contract opportunities. When you have a contract, you plan the route and delivery schedule, if necessary. On some jobs, you load and unload the cargo at pick-up and delivery points, but many clients have their own warehouse workers. As a local driver, your transportation responsibilities focus on one area, so you do not usually take multi-day trips.

  • OTR Owner Operator Truck Driver

    OTR truck drivers, or "over the road" truck drivers, transport goods and materials long distances, usually across different states. As an OTR owner-operator, you are self-employed and own the vehicle you use to transport loads. Your job duties are to haul heavy freight, machinery, and equipment safely to their destinations. You might spend several weeks on the road at a time, with average shifts lasting three weeks. Because you own your truck, you are responsible for routine maintenance and any necessary repairs to ensure it stays in good running condition. Other responsibilities include obeying traffic laws surrounding freight trucks, checking in at weighing stations when needed, and maintaining a log of each mile you travel.

  • Regional Owner Operator Truck Driver

    Regional Owner-Operator Truck Drivers are professional truck drivers who own their rig and contract their services to trucking companies, delivering cargo around their region. Regional Truck Drivers do not drive long hauls. Instead, they drive assigned routes in and around neighboring states. As an owner-operator, you have more freedom to choose what companies to work with and how much time to spend on the road.

  • Line Haul Owner Operator

    A line haul owner-operator drives freight from one terminal to another. As a line haul owner-operator, you are typically only engaged in the transport of cargo and do not take part in loading or unloading or any other aspects of logistics operations. Your primary duties include configuring your rig so that it can safely pull each type of load. In the trucking business, line haul owner-operators may own their truck or participate in a lease program. You may also have a high-volume workload of short trips.

  • Team Truck Driver

    A team truck driver’s job is to drive a truck in conjunction with a team of other truck drivers. Rather than having a single truck driver who will drive for a while then stop to rest, the team approach includes two drivers so that one driver may rest while the other drives. The goal is to get as many miles in as possible by driving day and night, although there are regulations that govern the number of hours that team truck drivers can drive without taking a rest. The team concept allows the driver to adhere to these regulations and still accomplish the maximum road mileage. The skills and qualifications of a team truck driver are roughly the same as those of a solo truck driver. However, the team experience involves sleeping in cramped quarters, sharing space with another driver, and spending weeks at a time with your partner. A career as a team truck driver is ideal if you prefer longer hauls.

  • Box Truck Owner Operator

    A box truck owner-operator is a truck driver who transports cargo and makes deliveries using a truck that they own or lease. A box truck is usually 4 to 7 meters long and has a cargo bay; while these trucks are not semi-trailer trucks, they can be used to hitch additional cargo. Box truck owner-operators contract their equipment and labor to companies in for short or long range shipments.

  • Crude Oil Driver

    The duties of a crude oil driver are to operate a large tractor-trailer or semi hauling crude oil and safely deliver the shipments to a gas station or another customer. As a crude oil driver, your responsibilities are similar to other tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers. You must inspect your vehicle on a daily basis to ensure it is in working condition, check that the cargo is loaded properly, and fill out and maintain logs of your trips and transactions to comply with federal or state laws.

  • Lease Purchase Truck Driver

    A Lease Purchase Truck Driver is an independent owner-operator who is in the process of purchasing their tractor via lease payments. As a Lease Purchase Truck Driver, your responsibilities and duties include all that working as a company driver would, delivering freight safely and on time. During the leasing period, the lease purchase program company will often assign jobs. You will receive the higher owner-operator pay rate for your work. In turn, you make lease payments on the truck, pay fuel costs, provide insurance, and pay for any repairs or maintenance needed.

  • Hazmat Tanker Driver

    A hazmat tanker driver is a professional truck driver who is endorsed to transport hazardous materials over the road. In this role, you must be specially trained to follow painstaking safety standards as part of your daily duties to ensure the safety of the general population. A hazmat tanker driver is typically a highly experienced commercial truck driver. This type of position does require a CDL, but you may need additional qualifications to be legally allowed to transport or deliver hazardous waste or hazardous materials. You are required to understand the proper procedures for handling, delivering, and disposing of toxic materials.

  • CDL Dedicated Truck Driver

    A dedicated truck driver with a commercial driver's license (CDL) works with the same set of clients in one area or region. Some drivers only work with one client while others are hired by several different clients within a local area. In these positions, you usually drive on one particular route and deliver cargo or transport freight to the same destinations on a daily basis. Your specific job duties can vary, depending on the needs of each client and the type of cargo with which you work. General responsibilities may include loading boxes into your vehicle and unloading the goods at different client locations along your route.

  • Water Hauler

    Oil and gas drilling requires significant amounts of water and also produces liquid waste and by-products which someone must haul out of the drilling site. As a water hauler, your duties are to operate a trunk or tanker carrying these liquids to and from the oilfield in a tanker. Your responsibilities also include ensuring that your truck is in working order, meaning you must routinely perform safety inspections and service them. Water truck haulers also work in the construction industry, where they provide moisture for road surfacing projects.

  • OTR Truck Driver

    An over-the-road (OTR) truck driver transports cargo by truck, usually traveling for long distances. For this career, your responsibilities include picking up and delivering cargo safely and on time. You also must comply with all state and federal regulations that govern the roadways, which involves operating within a maximum amount of hours you are allowed work. Qualifications for this job include a clean driving record, specific physical requirements, a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and a passing grade on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) exam.

  • Lease Purchase Driver

    A lease purchase driver is a trucking professional who has leased their truck. Often, a lease purchase driver intends to make payments to buy their leased truck and become an owner-operator. In this position, your job duties revolve around hauling freight. You are an independent contractor whose responsibilities are to transport goods and haul loads for clients. A lease purchase driver is different from a company driver in that they get paid by load rather earn a salary as a company driver does.

  • CDL Driver

    CDL drivers hold a commercial driver’s license that allows them to drive large vehicles. There are three classes of CDL licenses--Class A, B, and C; each outlines the weight and type of truck or vehicle the driver is allowed to operate. For example, a class A license covers vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds, while class C is for transportation buses and trucks that drive 16 or more passengers.

  • Class A Truck Driver

    A Class A truck driver job refers to the category of commercial driver’s license (CDL) needed to operate a large vehicle for the job. Usually, employers seek candidates who already have their Class A license, and can legally drive and tow a truck over 10,000 pounds. Those who have a license to drive a regular car or a license to drive a smaller truck will need to acquire a Class A level license before applying.

  • Line Haul Truck Driver

    A line haul truck driver is a tractor-trailer driver who travels a set route through specified cities and generally returns home after each shift. In this career, you typically sort and handle your freight as you load and unload. You may deliver cargo to the same or similar places each time they drive, so you build relationships with these companies. You have many duties and responsibilities beyond those of other types of drivers, as you handle your own cargo and equipment. Line haul drivers, like all tractor-trailer drivers, must understand and follow DOT regulations during their runs.

  • CDL Truck Driver

    A CDL truck driver job is a position in the trucking industry that requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This means that you must already have their CDL, or be far along enough in the process of earning it that you will have it at the start of employment. CDL trucks require special licenses for operation because of their bulk. Drivers must be able to maneuver these trucks for miles at a time, often in heavy traffic. The driver must be alert and follow all roadway safety regulations. They are responsible for such duties as loading and unloading heavy cargo, tracking their mileage, fuel, toll expenses, ensuring delivery, and maintaining their trucks. CDL truck drivers must legally take breaks, as their most important duty is to practice safe driving habits.

  • Hazmat CDL Driver

    A hazmat CDL driver is a transportation specialist with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) hazmat endorsement who is in charge of transporting hazardous liquids, solids, and gases in a tractor-trailer truck by road. As a hazmat CDL driver, your responsibilities and duties include keeping excellent records, conducting safety checks, loading and unloading whatever material you are hauling, and upholding all safety practices and standards. Hazmat drivers may travel short distances, making multiple deliveries, like many gasoline and propane transport drivers. Others drive long hauls to deliver their cargo, which may require them to be away from home for many nights.

  • Teamster

    Originally, a teamster referred to a person who drove a truck, but now a teamster typically refers to any person who is part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a large multinational trade union, which represents truck drivers as well as many other professions, such as many of the manual labor positions on movie sets, port workers, brewery workers, industrial trade, and warehousing. They negotiate contracts, pay, working conditions, other benefits on behalf of their members. As a teamster, your duties and responsibilities vary greatly depending on the type of work you do but typically involves manual labor. As a truck driver, for example, you may work in short- or long-haul delivery or depot yard work.

  • Solo Truck Driver

    A solo truck driver is responsible for the transport of freight. In this trucking job, your duties include hauling a load for a client or employer and making delivery on time without the aid of another driver. Your responsibilities may include ensuring the proper maintenance of your vehicle and planning the most expedient route for your trip based on directions, weather, and road conditions. You may also need to communicate with dispatch to arrange load pickup and dropoff. You may also oversee or participate in loading and unloading the truck.

  • Long Haul Truck Driver

    As a long-haul truck driver, you transport goods or cargo to one or more locations along your route, which typically spans thousands of miles. You usually drive a significant distance each day and may work in teams of two to provide nearly non-stop transportation of goods. Aside from driving, the details of this job depend on the type of goods you transport. For example, hauling goods that need to remain cold may require monitoring and repairing refrigeration systems. Some companies provide the option for you to lease to own the truck; in any case, you’re expected to perform various types of truck maintenance as needed.

  • Truck Driver

    A truck driver transports goods and materials. They usually go in and out of manufacturing plants, and distribution and retail centers, working day and night shifts. Truck drivers are a vital component of nearly every industry. A truck driver job usually requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL trucks need special licenses to operate because of their large size. Truck drivers must be able to maneuver these trucks for miles at a time, often in heavy traffic. It is essential to be alert and follow all roadway safety regulations. Driving a tractor-trailer is very different from driving a traditional vehicle; the driver needs to have superb anticipation to keep the load from shifting on a curve, or to maneuver steep grades properly. The trucks themselves have many gears, sometimes as many as eighteen, in the transmission. Trucks also weigh significantly more than cars and are typically between seventy to eighty feet long, which is why a truck driver has to be specially trained to drive these larger vehicles.

  • Company Driver

    Company drivers transport goods on behalf of a business or other institutions. As a company driver, your duties include loading the company car or vehicle, inspecting the goods and the vehicle, and adhering to the delivery schedule. You must consistently demonstrate strong decision-making skills when faced with everyday driving challenges. In this position, you should be able to operate the vehicle in inclement weather, change driving routes at the last minute, an overcome vehicle failures. A company driver is a key team member, helping the company transport and deliver goods to customers and vendors. Qualifications include a driver's license and a clean driving record.