Truck drivers are taking home bigger paychecks as demand for talent grows nationwide, according to the latest Driver Compensation Study from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), released Thursday.
ATA says its study shows that truck drivers earned an average $58,000 in 2019, including bonuses—a $6,000 increase compared to data from ATA’s previous study in 2017. The average reflects rates for truckload national, irregular route solo van drivers, ATA said.
“These results show that fleets did exactly what we would expect them to in the face of a tightening market for drivers: they raised pay and increased benefits in order to attract talent,” ATA’s Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement announcing the study’s results.
Among the benefits responding fleets said they are providing: paid leave, insurance, meals and other incidentals, and retirement plans. More than 90% of truckload carriers, less-than-truckload carriers, and private fleets surveyed said they offered drivers paid leave and health insurance, according to the study.
The study also found that large fleets hired more entry-level drivers in 2019.
“What these figures show is that being a truck driver can be a path to a middle class lifestyle for millions of Americans,” Costello also said. “With the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis not yet fully clear, we can say that a career in trucking could be a well-paying solution for some of the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs so far this year.”