Do you enjoy driving? Perhaps a part-time career in the transportation industry is right for you. You can choose to transport people or items and, depending on the job, you can work in day or evening shifts. Part-time driver careers often require completing a training program and obtaining a commercial driver’s license to be considered for employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers comprise one of the biggest occupations in the United States with about 3.2 million jobs. Though full-time workers can earn an annual salary, part-timers earn wages at an hourly rate. Salaries vary not only by the type of truck driven but also by city of employment.
These truck drivers ply established routes in a local area, such as a city, to pick up, deliver or sell items such as laundry or restaurant goods. They may collect payments or take orders. They make a median hourly wage of $10.93, with a range of $7.38 to $21.75. The city offering the greatest employment opportunities for these workers is Great Falls, Montana, with employment at 11.17 drivers per thousand workers. The hourly wage of $11.13 is also slightly greater than the mean.
Light Truck Drivers
These drivers handle vehicles with a gross vehicle weight under 26,000 lbs., primarily for local area transportation of goods. They make a median $13.62 per hour, with a range of $8.35 to $24.86. The city with the highest employment is Casper, Wyoming, with 20.30 drivers per thousand workers. Hourly rates are greater than the median at $14.83. The city with the best-paid drivers is Redding, California, where hourly rates are at $21.73, but where employment concentration is 10.31 drivers per thousand workers, which is half that of Casper.
Heavy Truck Drivers
These drivers use tractor-trailers or trucks with a GVW of at least 26,000 lbs. to transport goods through long distances, such as across the United States. They make the highest median of any truck driver at $18.14 per hour, with a range of $11.85 to $27.39. The city with the highest concentration of jobs is Joplin, Missouri, with 75.65 drivers per thousand workers, and a much-better than median wage of $22.47 hourly. The city with the best-paying employers is Fairbanks, Alaska, where the high cost of living boosts compensation of $25.82 per hour. However, employment is at 12.95 drivers per thousand workers, which is about one-sixth that of Joplin.
The BLS predicts jobs for all truck drivers to grow by nine percent from 2008 to 2018, which is about average for all jobs. The most growth will be for heavy truck drivers at 13 percent and the slowest growth will be for light truck drivers and drivers/sales workers at four percent. Salaries should follow corresponding patterns of increase. Jobs in the trucking industry depend on the economy. Good times yield higher salaries and hiring bonuses to attract drivers. Recessions may make positions hard to find.