With 2020 behind us, it is time to take a look at what the future brings for trucking. And where else to start but with finding the best truck driver jobs in 2021?
Now, if you were a trucker in 2020, you know the year has been hard for the industry. Even before the COVID pandemic, trucking was off to a bad first quarter. For many carriers, the pandemic was the final nail in the coffin.
Having said that, there were still some truck driving jobs that thrived in these dismal conditions. Needless to say, this list will be made mostly of those.
Jump to Section
What Makes a Great Truck Driver Job?
Many people will say “the money,” and while that is the case most of the time, it’s not the only thing that makes a driving job great.
What makes a great truck driving job is subjective – some drivers prefer the most money without caring about home time. Others want a balance between good pay and home time. And there are those who want the most home time possible at the cost of making less.
And each trucker type can find a job to fit the abovementioned preferences.
With that out of the way and without further ado, let’s dive into the best truck driving jobs in 2021.
The Best Truck Driver Jobs in 2021
Before we dive into the jobs themselves, you need to know the prerequisites for most of these jobs.
There are reasons why there are the best jobs on one side, and the rest on another, which include:
- Most of the best trucker jobs come with greater risks,
- These jobs come with inherent dangers, which is why they are paid more,
- They require in-depth experience and a skill set that only drivers with years on the road have,
- Some revolve around working in remote areas, meaning spending days on the road with no human for miles, and if a malfunction happens, the driver is left to their own devices.
So, needless to say, not everyone will have access to the best trucking jobs.
Let’s take a look at each, and what makes it one of the best out there.
Ice Road Trucking Jobs
Ice road trucking is, for some, the apex of truck driving skill, experience, and sheer will to go on against all odds.
What makes ice road trucking one of the best truck driver jobs is the fact that no other job pays $20,000 to $90,000 for two to three months of driving.
Having said that, the nature of this trucking type makes the pay somewhat justified. For an ice road trucker, the dangers are many, and the truck stops are few. Add to this the fact that drivers who drive these routes often go over frozen lakes, horrible road conditions, and the closest inhabited area is hundreds of miles away.
Therefore, to get a job in ice road trucking, you need to have a lot of experience and endorsements. Some companies even require experience in hauling all types of freight.
Ice road trucking is one of the best driver jobs because the nation-wide median is $60k/year for a three-month period of driving.
Tanker Trucking Jobs
And this doesn’t include HAZMAT hauling. Tankers often carry milk, raw ingredients, and even water within the tanker-trailer. Tanker trucking is quite well paid actually on itself. Transporting liquid is quite difficult, which directly affects the paycheck at the end of the day.
Tanker drivers need either an N CDL endorsement or an X CDL Endorsement. Both of these include hauling liquid. However, X endorsement includes HAZMAT certification as well.
Tanker trucking jobs are one of the best truck driver jobs because the nation-wide salary median is $58k/year.
Which leads us to the Hazmat jobs.
Hazmat Trucking Jobs
Hazmat trucking is tanker trucking, and the cargo is classified as a hazardous material. These hauls can include volatile gasses, flammable liquids, corrosive substances, and toxic chemicals.
Needless to say, these loads require extreme care to deliver, which is why HAZMAT drivers are compensated quite well.
To qualify for a HAZMAT truck driving job, you need a HAZMAT CDL endorsement.
Hazmat trucking is one of the best truck driving jobs because the average nation-wide salary median is $60k/year.
Overdimensional/Big Haul Trucking Jobs
Oversized/big haul jobs are similar to the tanker and HAZMAT jobs, at least in the fact that they require a special CDL endorsement for hauling oversized load.
Truckers who decide on a career in big haul deal with hauling heavy equipment, machinery, and even houses. This, of course, means that the trucker has to possess a skillset that enables them to maneuver such loads.
Overdimenstional/Big Haul trucking jobs are one of the best truck driving jobs because the average salary median for this tricking type is $55k/year.
Team drivers are paid well because they maximize their time on the road. The only drawback with team driving is actually living with another person in the truck.
Additionally, the nature of team driving often leads to driver burnout. So, to be a team driver, one requires strong discipline as well as the ability to adapt to any schedule.
Team driving is the best trucker job for husband and wife teams. It enables them to be on the road for prolonged periods without the need for home time.
Owner-Operator Truck Driver Jobs
While most truck drivers work for a larger carrier, company driving is not the only way to make a living in trucking. Being an owner-operator, the truck driver owns their own truck and trailer.
Owning their own rig, owner-operators can operate both independently or lease to a company.
Now, there are certain drawbacks to being an owner-operator. The expenses are bigger, as well as the fact that the driver is responsible for any malfunction and maintenance of the truck.
But, to compensate for this, owner-operators get paid significantly more than company drivers.
Even though the above are generally the best trucking jobs out there, it does not mean that the rest trucking job types are bad. There are OTR trucking jobs giving the best jobs a run for their money, as well as local routes being up there with the best.
We hope you liked our list. Make sure to follow our blog for more posts like this. If you still are not sure which trucking job is the right for you, you can browse all jobs and find one to your preference.