The American Trucking Associations’ latest version of its Driver Compensation Study reports that average driver pay, including bonuses, increased close to $6,000 since the last study in 2017.
“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,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
According to the study, which was based on 2019 data, the average pay for truckload national, irregular route solo van drivers was roughly $58,000, up $6,000 from 2017.
“We saw large carriers hire more entry-level drivers in 2019, including drivers directly from driver training school, which lowered the average pay for these carriers, but they did not reduce pay rates. It was just a different driver experience pool,” Costello said.
“Significant” benefit packages were reportedly offered to attract new drivers, including paid leave and health insurance, which more than 90% of the truckload carriers, less-than-truckload carriers, and private fleets surveyed offered. Meals and other incidentals, as well as retirement plans, were also part of some packages.
“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,” Costello said.