Most insurance adjusters assume that truckers make an hourly wage. However, this isn’t true for owner operators. Trucking has long been a vital industry in the transportation sector, and it continues to offer a range of rewarding career opportunities and differing incomes. Looking at the 2023 national averages for trucking income can provide valuable insight into the trucking industry and potential career opportunities, as well as show the importance of well-documenting your income. There are a wide variety of income possibilities in the transportation field that provide different levels of work-life balance and require different levels of knowledge. Let’s explore the diverse landscape of trucking jobs and shed light on the earnings potential in this dynamic field.
Owner-Operators: A Lucrative Path to Entrepreneurship
At the pinnacle of the trucking profession, owner-operators have the potential to earn substantial incomes. These individuals own and operate their trucks, thus running their own businesses. According to the 2023 national average, owner-operators make an impressive $323,000 in gross income annually. After deducting fuel expenses, their weekly income comes to $4,969.23, or $993.85 per day. The entrepreneurial nature of this role enables owner-operators to have greater control over their earnings and work-life balance.
Understanding the Income Dynamics of Owner-Operators:
It’s important to note that the earnings of owner-operators can vary significantly based on several factors. The type of trucking they engage in, the routes they choose, the demand for their services, and their business expenses all contribute to their overall income. Some owner-operators work under contract agreements, while many others negotiate rates on a load-by-load basis or rely on load boards for assignments.
Furthermore, it’s worth highlighting that some owner-operators choose to work as leased drivers for companies, which may involve a different compensation structure. Being an owner-operator offers the freedom and flexibility that motivated workers need in order to maximize their earning potential.
Other Lucrative Trucking Jobs:
There are several other rewarding roles within the industry. Let’s explore some of the highest-paying trucking jobs based on the 2023 national average:
Team drivers earn an average annual income of $101,000. After fuel expenses, their weekly income amounts to $1,553.85, or $310.77 per day. Team driving offers the benefit of shared responsibilities and the potential for higher earnings due to increased mileage.
With an average annual income of $90,000, tank/liquid haulers earn $1,384.62 per week after fuel expenses, equating to $276.92 per day. This specialized field involves transporting liquids, such as fuel, chemicals, or food-grade products, which often requires additional training and certifications.
Specialty haulers earn an average of $78,000 annually, with a weekly income of $1,200 after fuel expenses, or $240 per day. This role involves transporting unique or delicate cargo, such as oversized machinery, perishable goods, or hazardous materials.
Oversized Load Drivers:
Drivers handling oversized loads earn an average of $71,000 annually, with a weekly income of $1,092.31 after fuel expenses, or $218.46 per day. This challenging job requires additional expertise in safely maneuvering and securing large and heavy cargo.
Regional drivers earn an average of $71,000 annually, with a weekly income of $1,092.31 after fuel expenses, or $218.46 per day. This role allows for more frequent home time while still covering a specific region or territory.
Why Track Your Income?
The trucking industry offers a range of lucrative career paths. It’s important to consider the unique dynamics and expenses associated with being an owner-operator.
As the industry evolves, it’s essential for insurance adjusters and anyone assessing the income of owner-operators to gather accurate information directly from the individuals themselves. This also means that it is important for business owners and employees to keep excellent records of their income. By doing so, a fair and appropriate calculation of lost revenue during downtime claims can be made. Keeping track of your income allows our office to create the best calculation we can for your case. Trucking continues to be an integral part of our economy, and our office aims to keep your business on the road.
*All income averages presented in this article are drawn from “10 Highest Paying Trucking Salaries of 2023.” CloudTrucks, 18 Mar. 2023, www.cloudtrucks.com/blog-post/highest-paying-trucking-salaries.