Channel 19

Todd Dills

Ranking jobs: Truck Driver gains while Publication Editor plummets

| April 29, 2013

Owner-operator truck on highwayDespite growing congestion, despite less-than-ideal rates and pay and all the other myriad problems we hear so much about as instigators toward change for the better in trucking step up and speak out via Overdrive, now for two years running the occupation of “Truck Driver” has gained in favorability rankings published at the website of the Wall Street Journal and compiled by the folks at You’ll recall I made note last year of your work’s growing favorability in the rankings, particularly when compared with those of your law enforcement counterparts out there, though the driving occupation still lagged behind such surely less-appetizing jobs as Nuclear Decontamination Technician, Sewage Plant Operator and, yes, Publication Editor.

You’ll perhaps be happy to note — you could enjoy some enhanced leverage negotiating lease or employment terms now or in the near future — that the upward favorability trend in the driver ranking has continued this year. And you’ve got me beat by a long shot. Publication Editor plummeted in the rankings to 168th from 118th, now slightly behind Janitor, behind Police Officer, and a long way behind Truck Driver, which gained significantly in the rankings to 108 (from 128) with a mean income of $38,000 or so but with off-the-charts hiring outlook as the economy improves — at least according to CareerCast.

If you’d been thinking about a new career, meanwhile, you couldn’t do better than taking up work as an Actuary, with an income upward of $90,000 and a hiring outlook among the best in the survey. What does an actuary actuarily and actually do? Think “Big Data” — “Interprets statistics to determine probabilities of accidents, sickness, and death, and loss of property from theft and natural disasters,” says CareerCast.

Hey, that sounds like the FMCSA CSA team to me. Sheesh…

You can check out CareerCast’s full 1-200 rankings here.

  • Been there done that

    This is a joke………Right?

  • No Reform

    truck driver ranks equal to Hod Carrier, all around Grunt,
    coalminer…less than human.

  • No Reform

    trucker ranks equal to Coolie.

  • Patrick Montgomery

    wonder where being a tow truck driver lists in that survey?

  • Ghostrider

    38000.00 a year? “WOW” maybe I will go back to driving. 38000.00 Damn. I drove for 33 years 3 million accident and ticket free miles. Hold on let me do some thinking here.38000 at 52 weeks lets see that will be around 730.76 per week. Drivers has to work 70 hours a week so 730.76 at 70 hours a week will be 10.44 per hour. Now we have to eat if we are “Lucky” we can eat 2 hot meals a day at easy 15.00 plus tips so 18.00 a meal do this 2 times a day that will be 36.00 and we will be on the road for 10 days at a time with 2 days off at home so we spend 36.00 a day for 10 days, 360.00 take that from 730.76 a week for 2 weeks at 1461.52 – 360.00= 1101.52, now we have to put food in the truck to eat when we can’t make it to a place to eat a hot meal that would easy be 200.00 for the 2 weeks now we have made for 2 weeks of work 901.52 at 450.76 a week now we work 70 hours a week now were making 6.43 per hour. Now we need to pay our taxes 148.75 per week add our insurance of 150.00 a week now we might be able to bring home 250.00 a week to our family. I’m just playing with numbers here but I’m close and some dum-*** says “WOW” a truck driver can make 38000.00 a year. These reporters that write these storys are “STUPID” and most of these dum-*** truck drivers listen to them. I will stay home and let the Dum-*** move the country.
    wwweek add our health insurance for our family

  • Mike Smith

    Your points are exactly why our government is allowing 10’s of millions of 3rd worlders/Mexicans, into our country. The $6.00 an hr is fantastic to them. Just look at the Fontana, CA AERA. It is all Mexican truck drivers & Mexican truck businesses, the New Backboner of America. Mexicans, living “high on the hog” compared to that shit hole Mexico where the come from, that goes for the rest of the 3rd worlders, too. They live high compared to where they come from while we are driven down.

  • pistol pete

    I started driving in 1985 and pay was exactly the same as it is today, only the price of everything has skyrocketed.

  • flash

    just to let you all know your job is what you make it I have drove truck for years and it is something I enjoy And as for coal miners we are human I am one

  • bigred

    I cannot seee where they come up with these stats. Apparantly they asked the guys that aren`t married, gay,own nothing and haven`t been in this business over 6 months. Please keep a list of who you asked and in about 2 years go back and talk to them again…I bet 80% have left this profession and the rest still can`t get another job because this government isn`t actively trying to create any and they cannot punch the word “HOME” into that little box that tells them where to go.

  • biged or Double S

    10 days at a time with 2 days off???? Hmmm I remember 2 weeks out come home Saturday morning about 11am and leave Sunday afternoon 1pm that is if your were not gone for oh, lets say 3-4 weeks or more before you could get routed back home. Other than that your weekly pay may be a little high since you forgot that you had to spend 2 days in the truck stop waiting on that load that was ready 4 days ago and needs to be there 2600 miles away by tomorrow at 4pm. I think I will agree, I will stay at home doing my local thing, making as much or more and sleeping in my own bed and playing with momma. Also with the 401 company match, full medical, and I know who cooked my food. lol

  • jj

    $38,000 is a joke. You’re better off on Gov’t programs.

  • Keith Birmingham

    Todd, tell your sources that this is not Planet Mars. I am being very polite in calling them Space Cadets. How many drivers do you think are out there today because they have no where else to go?

  • Todd Dills

    Not sure, Keith, but a caller on today’s Sirius XM program I was part of gave a 3 out of 5 assessment of the guys he mentors who just don’t cut the mustard. That could be correct for the number of drivers who just don’t have the fire in their bellies for the profession. What do you think?

  • Todd Dills

    They don’t break it down so specifically — tow-truck drivers are theoretically included in the general truck driver numbers. These are Bureau of Labor Statistics-based categories, essentially, where the parsing is not always so exact.

  • Todd Dills

    Here here, flash.

  • martymarsh

    Right on the money, they are talking all these new people in to trucks with big bucks.

  • No Reform

    The Ghost is Accurate..after Taxes and Expenses ya make around $5.00 per hour…Plus sleep in a tin Box on the job….cant wait ta get started? Its a Joke….these ADS paint a pretty picture….all B.S. to get a SUCKER to make them RICH. Turnover rate is 100% annually….tell ya something??

  • No Reform

    Yea you wont fit in these days if ya dont wear a Sombrero or Towel on your head..trucking has become a NIGHTMARE.

  • No Reform

    Nobody lasts 1 YEAR..turnover rate is %100 annually. They all quit because its a good deal?

  • No Reform

    There are other downsides too…Oct 31 2012 a TRAINEE truck driver was stabbed 18 times and kicked in the head…he had parked his rig in Perris Calif to get a soda. His Trainer was having dinner somewhere with friends…He is Paralyzed from the Neck Down….his Mega fleet will not Pay one penny for his medical or compensation. Google it.

  • Todd Dills

    That $38,000 number takes into account the broadness of the category, which given these are BLS numbers include local delivery drivers and all manner of those employed driven any sort of truck. Our more focused income numbers generally track an average 50-60K in owner-operator income and slightly below for the average company driver.

  • Todd Dills

    See my above comment, JJ. It’s so low because it includes a broad range of transport — not just over-the-road, where the averages we see are generally greater.

  • The Driver

    Trucking is not a career that everyone is compatible for. The turnover rate is 90% for large companies and 70% for smaller companies. Up from 70% and 50% respectively. Although this clearly is not 100% percent is does show that there are a lot of drivers unhappy.

    Trucking companies could easily send those numbers in the right direction by treating drivers like human being and team member rather than a machine for the purpose of generating highest profit possible by any means necessary. (Now I am wildly exaggerating too)

    In any case there is room for a lot of improvement.

    However, I drove for 13 years. Made well over $50,000 most of the time. Didn’t gain excessive weight or spend all of my check because of living on the road. The truth is we can control our health and the amount of money we spend by the choices that we make.

    Trucking is only a suitable career for the right person in the right situation. A person can’t become a trucker and be mad because you don’t go home every week. (although I could have for the most part)
    It’s our responsibility to learn the nature of the job in advance.

    Plus after getting experience a good driver can then seek out a company that is a better fit.

    We all know that if you take ALLLLLL the hours we work and divide it by the weekly check that the hourly rate is ugly. I feel like no one should become a trucker strickly for the paycheck. The paycheck is not going to make you happy. You have to be ok with the lifestyle first.

    You can do something about the paycheck if you are a good driver. You just go to a trucking company that suits your needs. They are out there but they are not looking for you.

    I know what i say is true because I loved every company (it was only 3) that I worked at.

    Trucking is a great career but it’s not for everyone. Smart people who drive are happy as a driver and stop driving when they are ready to move on. They are positive minded and see the glass half full and in their next adventure they will be happy and successful too.

    I think we can learn from those people.

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  • Smart driver

    $ 38,000.00 oooooooohlee sh*t !!! I retired after 24 years and 2,500,000 miles back in 1993. Pullin a set of rocky-mtn doubles haulin gas @ 38 cents a mile. 132,000 miles a year… that comes to $50,160 before taxes and expenses.
    Someone driving a truck for $38,000 a year with todays inflation and expenses is either STARVING or only got one brain cell … good luck I AM RETIRED ! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.