The problem: Truck driving is nowhere to be found on this list – based in part on Bureau of Labor Statistics data – despite the fact that piloting a big rig doesn’t require a four-year degree and that pay for this position is on the upswing.
For example, the National Transportation Institute (NTI) recently compared driver earnings among for-hire motor carriers versus private fleets per region nationwide and found that the median W2 income nationwide is about $54,000 for for-hire drivers and well over $70,000 for private carrier drivers.
Those figures are well within the pay-bands CareerCast noted in its report, yet trucking doesn’t make the cut – despite the growing need for truck drivers in all segments of the industry.
- Broadcast Technician: $42,550; Growth rate 7%; Degree needed: Associate.
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: $64,280; Growth rate 24%; Degree needed: Associate.
- Electrician: $52,720; Growth rate 14%; Degree needed: High school diploma or equivalent.
- Executive Assistant: $55,860; Growth rate 3%; Degree needed: High school diploma or equivalent.
- Industrial Machine Repairer: $49,100; Growth rate 16%; Degree needed: High school diploma or equivalent.
- Medical Records Technician: $38,040; Growth rate 15%; Non-degree certification.
- Paralegal: $49,500; Growth rate 8%; Degree needed: Associate.
- Plumber: $51,540; Growth rate 12%; Degree needed: High school diploma or equivalent.
- Respiratory Therapist: $58,670; Growth rate 12%; Degree needed: Associate.
- Web Developer: $66,130; Growth rate 27%; Degree needed: Associate.
See? The pay for truck driving fits well within the salary levels noted above – and motor carriers can also use the cost of a college education as a way to attract more job applicants, as well.
Of course there are other critical factors at work, too, that go unmentioned – probably the biggest being home time, especially for drivers in the for-hire segment, as they can be on the road for weeks at a time. Respect and appreciation for the job truck drivers perform is another issue, as well, along with health issues.
Yet trucking must do something – and do it quick – to try and become more attractive to job listings like the one compiled by CareerCast. A wave of truck driver retirements is starting to build without an adequate pool of replacements in sight.
This will continue to be a pressing issue faced by the industry for some time to come.