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    News & Press

    Truck Driver Employment and Job Prospects Statistics

    Bureau of Labor Statistics – December 17, 2009


    Truck drivers and driver/sales workers held about 3.2 million jobs in 2008. Of these workers, 56 percent were heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers; 31 percent were light or delivery services truck drivers; and 13 percent were driver/sales workers. Most truck drivers find employment in large metropolitan areas or along major interstate roadways where trucking, retail, and wholesale companies tend to have their distribution outlets. Some drivers work in rural areas, providing specialized services such as delivering newspapers to customers.

    The truck transportation industry employed 27 percent of all truck drivers and driver/sales workers in the United States. Another 26 percent worked for companies engaged in wholesale or retail trade. The remaining truck drivers and driver/sales workers were distributed across many industries, including construction and manufacturing.

    Around 8 percent of all truck drivers and driver/sales workers were self-employed. Of these, a significant number were owner-operators who either served a variety of businesses independently or leased their services and trucks to a trucking company.

    Job Prospects:

    Job opportunities should be favorable for truck drivers, especially for long-haul drivers. In addition to occupational growth, numerous job openings will occur as experienced drivers leave this large occupation to transfer to other fields of work, retire, or leave the labor force. As workers leave these jobs, employers work hard to recruit experienced drivers from other companies. As a result, there may be competition for the jobs with the highest earnings and most favorable work schedules. Jobs with local carriers are often more competitive than those with long-distance carriers because of the more desirable working conditions of local carriers.

    Despite projected employment growth, the demand for workers may vary greatly depending on the performance of the American economy. During times of expansion, companies may be forced to pay premiums to attract drivers, while during recessions even experienced drivers may find difficulty keeping steady work. Independent owner-operators will be particularly vulnerable to slowdowns. Industries least likely to be affected by economic fluctuation, such as grocery stores, will be the most stable employers of truck drivers and driver/sales workers.