Types of Truck Driver Jobs in USA 2024:
The trucking industry in the United States transports over 70% of all freight across the country. With the rise in e-commerce and manufacturing, the demand for qualified truck drivers is higher than ever. There are various types of truck driving jobs available depending on your interests and qualifications. In 2024, it’s forecasted there will be a shortage of 80,000 truckers, creating ample employment opportunities if you want to hit the open roads
Long-Haul Truck Driving Jobs
Long-haul trucking involves transporting freight over long distances crossing multiple states. As a long-haul trucker, you primarily work weekends and overnight driving shifts covering hundreds of miles per trip. The perks of long-haul trucking jobs include:
- Higher than average annual salary ($45,000-$75,000)
- See different parts of the country
- More independent work schedule
However, the downsides include being away from home for many days or weeks at a time and tight delivery schedules. Common long-haul trucks you might operate are flatbeds, refrigerated trailers, tankers, or enclosed containers.
Short-Haul Trucking Jobs
In comparison to long-haul, short-haul truckers transport freight shorter distances within a single state or region. The advantages of short-haul truck driving include:
- More regular home time
- Less strict deadlines
- Operator delivery trucks, dump trucks or utility vehicles
Annual truck driver salaries for short haul routes range from $35,000 to $58,000 on average. And utility or bucket truck drivers can earn $45,000 or more per year. The hours are often more regular weekday shifts without overnight travel. However, short-haul gigs may involve more loading/unloading duties.
Specialized Truck Driving Opportunities
There are also more specialized truck driving opportunities including:
Hazardous Material Haulers
Safely transport hazardous liquids or chemicals locally requiring HAZMAT certification. Annual pay averages $63,000.
Oversize Load Haulers
Haul irregularly large items like construction equipment or even homes. Requires additional skills and licensing to operate niche trailers. Pay averages $55,000 per year.
The truck driver shortage combined with growth in logistics leaves the doors wide open to launch your new career behind the wheel in 2024 and beyond. With various positions now and on the horizon, find the right trucking job to match your talents.
Requirement to become Truck Driver in USA 2024
The first requirement is to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). All truck drivers operating vehicles over 26,000 pounds must hold a valid CDL. On average, completing CDL training programs takes 4-6 weeks and costs between $4,000-7,000. Classes teach you to safely drive a rig, maneuver trailers, and pass skills exams like vehicle inspections, backing maneuvers, and on-road driving tests.
Additional endorsements may be required for specialty cargo like hazardous materials, tanks, doubles/triples, or oversize loads. Many employers provide or reimburse for job-specific CDL training programs.
Clean Driving History
Trucking companies will review your driving history when hiring. Too many moving violations, accidents, or DUIs can disqualify candidates. Maintaining a clean license record with no major infractions is key. Most carriers prefer at least 2-3 years of violation-free driving experience.
While formal education isn’t always necessary, having some trucking, transportation, or equipment operation experience can make you more attractive to hire. Many new CDL holders start as driver trainees before transitioning to solo drivers. Gaining skills in related fields like delivery, warehousing, equipment operation or vehicle maintenance may also help land that first truck driver job.
Physical Health + Responsibilities
- Pass DOT physical exam and drug screening
- Capable of securing cargo loads
- Maintain logs and documentation
- Adhere to traffic laws + safety protocols
- Responsible and punctual
Meeting these requirements helps new truck drivers stand out when seeking that first over-the-road driving opportunity after earning a CDL. Gaining additional credentials, endorsements and skills continues opening more profitable, specialized driving careers down the road.
benefits of Truck Driver in USA 2024
One of the top perks of truck driving jobs is the chance to earn a strong living. As of 2022, the average annual salary for truck drivers is over $60,000 in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over-the-road truckers can expect to earn $45,000-$75,000 depending on experience and route types. With the industry growth and driver shortage, salaries are predicted to rise going into 2024.
Signing or start-up bonuses are common incentives used to attract new truck drivers. Employers may offer anywhere from $1,000 up to $10,000 depending on experience level. Some may also split up bonus payments over the first year of driving. There is high competition today that prompts generous joining bonuses in 2024 for new truckers.
Paid CDL Training Programs
Sponsored paid CDL training has also become a top recruiting benefit for aspiring drivers lacking licenses. Trucking companies invest $4,000-$8,000 on training new drivers allowing you to earn a CDL at no cost before officially being hired.
Truck drivers employed by carriers often gain access to robust health insurance plans including dental, vision and prescription coverage. Companies may cover all or majority costs of premiums for drivers and family members.
401(k) Retirement Savings Plans
For long-term truckers, access to 401(k) plans with employer contribution matching allows you to save for eventual retirement. The ability to contribute pre-tax income while companies match up to 6% streamlines preparing for post-work life.
In summary, truck driving provides financial security, training incentives and long-term perks few careers can match for those willing to rack up the miles.
How to apply for Truck Driver in USA 2024:
The first step is researching the best national, regional and local trucking companies that are hiring. List those that operate fleets matching your skills like refrigerated trucks, tankers, flatbeds and dry van trailers. Also consider route types – over-the-road long haul or short-haul options within metro regions you are willing to drive.
Create a master list of 25-50 firms that align with your truck driver interests and locations you can easily operate within.
Check Firm Websites + Apply
Visit company websites watching for newly posted openings. Larger fleets like JB Hunt, U.S. Xpress and others have online portals for new driver applicants. You can select truck driving positions in assigned geographic areas or states matching where you want to be located. Complete all sections ensuring to highlight your CDL license, endorsements, training and clean driving/safety history. Attaching your truck driver resume and cover letter to applications can improve chances over solely submitting basic forms alone.
Attend Recruiting Events
Truck driving mega-fairs occur throughout the year in larger cities like Dallas, Atlanta and Indianapolis. These immersive hiring events allow you to network directly with recruiters from the top national carriers under one roof. Being able to discuss openings in-person and briefly interview helps create an opportunity to stand out among applicant pools.
Preparing your documentation, credentials and pitch can fast track the application process versus solely web-based submission methods alone. These events also facilitate next-step interviews, training seminars and CDL exam prep allowing complete on-site hiring.
Matching your background, goals and location preferences to the ample U.S. truck carriers in 2024 can kickstart your new over-the-road career.
Truck Driver Jobs in Top Companies of USA
Truck driving is an important job that keeps our economy running. Truck drivers transport all kinds of goods across the country. However, not all trucking companies are created equal when it comes to treating their drivers well. Some companies offer better pay, benefits, equipment, and working conditions than others. As a truck driver, you want to find a company that values you and helps you succeed.
The top trucking companies in the USA for drivers offer higher than average annual pay along with excellent benefits. Additionally, they provide well-maintained equipment and emphasize driver safety and training. Furthermore, the best carriers create positive work environments and communities that make drivers feel appreciated.
In this Section, we will highlight the 10 top trucking companies for drivers in the USA. We will overview each company’s pay, benefits, equipment, workplace culture and more. That way truckers can decide which carrier offers the best fit.
UPS pays truckers an average yearly $65,000 to transport goods across America. Benefits include medical/dental insurance, 401K matching and stock plans. Their trucking equipment averages 5 years old and is serviced every 10K miles. UPS focuses on safety with defensive driving courses and rewards accident-free drivers. Job perks can include tuition assistance and pet riding opportunities. Drivers praise the community feeling and promotion from within company culture.
FedEx Corp pays an average annual $73,250 salary for truck drivers hauling packages internationally. Perks include scholarships, bonus programs and flexible home time. Their equipment is 3 years old on average with real-time monitoring for maintenance. FedEx prioritizes safety training for handling hazardous materials and winter driving technique. Benefits feature medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance coverage.
XPO Logistics provides competitive pay at $70k average yearly for truck drivers transporting goods cross-country. Equipment is 2 years old on average with preventative maintenance. XPO stresses driver safety with training in cargo handling, hazmat transport, and accident prevention. Benefits include medical, savings plans and paid time off.
J.B. Hunt pays drivers about $77,000 average yearly hauling freight around America. Newer Volvo trucks get preventative maintenance. Training focuses on safe driving techniques, load securement and hazmat. Benefits feature medical, dental, vision plans plus bonuses. Drivers praise supportive managers and team driving options.
Knight-Swift Transport pays $80,000 average annual for truckers hauling goods coast to coast. Equipment averages 2 years old with real-time tracking. Training stresses safety and prevention of rollovers/jackknifing. Perks include bonuses, vacation pay, ridership and pet policies. Drivers appreciate dedicated routes and solos choose their own dispatchers.
YRC Worldwide offers $75k average pay for truck drivers transporting industrial machinery and more. Equipment is 4 years old on average with upkeep incentives. Training focuses on load securement, hazmat and handling wide turns. Benefits feature medical, dental, 401k plans and paid leave.
Penske Logistics provides truck drivers $80,000 average pay shipping refrigerated foods cross-country. Equipment is 3 years old on average with preventative maintenance. Training stresses safe winter/mountain driving and accident avoidance. Perks include tuition reimbursement, smart device allowances, bonuses and hometime.
Werner Enterprises pays $80,000 average yearly salary for truck drivers shipping goods coast to coast. Equipment is 2 years old on average with preventative maintenance. Training focuses on accident prevention and Smith System defensive driving. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, 401k plans and paid leave.
ArcBest offers truck drivers $71k average annual pay transporting machinery and hazardous materials nationwide. Equipment is 8 years old on average with routine maintenance. Training stresses proper load securement, hazmat handling and defensive driving. Perks include detention pay, vacation time, ridership programs and pet policies.
Estes Express Lines provides $75,000 average annual pay for truck drivers shipping packaged freight across America. Equipment is 5 years old on average with upkeep rewards. Training focuses on cargo handling, hours of service and crash avoidance. Benefits feature medical, dental, disability, vision and preventative health coverage.
Hub Group pays truck drivers approximately $75k average yearly shipping consumer goods coast to coast. Equipment is 7 years old on average with maintenance rewards. Training stresses hours of service compliance, load securement and crash mitigation techniques. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, disability plans and bonuses.
Truck Driver Visa Sponsorship Programs
Thousands of foreign nationals dream of legally immigrating to America annually to fill abundant trucker job openings. By leveraging visa sponsorship programs, this dream can become reality with life-changing opportunities. Top trucking firms now provide work authorizations enabling foreigners to operate across all mainland states.
The H-2B seasonal and EB-3 permanent worker visas are most common for driver sponsorships. Qualified applicants can work for approved carriers filling their truck driver staffing shortages year-round.
H-2B Visa Sponsors
The H-2B visa enables over 73,000 foreign professionals to work in the U.S. every year across vital industries like trucking. To qualify, applicants must have an offer letter from an approved sponsor company.
Major transport firms now sponsoring drivers on seasonal H-2B visas when additional trucks are needed include:
- J.B. Hunt Transport
- Western Express
- Dart Transit Company
- Stevens Transport
Drivers can remain up to 10 months based on seasonal needs before returning home. It’s renewable for return visits allowing 2-3 years of cumulative stays.
EB-3 Visa Sponsors
For permanent residency and eventual citizenship, the EB-3 is ideal. Over 140,000 workers gain “Green Cards” annually through EB-3 sponsorships.
Prominent over-the-road carriers able to now sponsor full-time drivers year-round such as:
- C.R. England
- Knight Transportation
- Roehl Transport
- USA Truck
Applicants must have specialized skills with trucking credentials and clean safety driving histories.
Typical Visa Application Steps
- Receive job offer from approved sponsor carrier
- Obtain prevailing wage determination
- File I-129 petition with USCIS
- Complete consular visa interview
- Apply for Green Card if on EB-3 track
In 2024 and beyond, visa sponsorships fuels dreams allowing foreign drivers to permanently relocate while addressing America’s worsening driver deficit solving two needs simultaneously.