According to a new industry survey, the shortage of truck drivers across the U.S. is leading to a continued rise in salaries for those in the profession.
Data collected by the American Trucking Associations, Chief Economist Bob Costello found what "industry sources had been saying for some time" and that is, the driver shortage has lead to an overall salary rise last year.
The ATA 2022 Driver Compensation Study includes more than 135,000 drivers, and nearly 20,000 independent contractors. The study explores the factors driving compensation including pay rates, bonuses and benefits.
The median truckload driver earned more than $69,000 in 2021 – an 18% increase from the previous survey.
More than 90% of companies have raised the wages of truck drivers by 10.9%. There are also several other benefits offered, such as referral bonuses and sign-on bonuses that are given to new drivers.
Jim Costello said that the trucking industry is in short supply, with increased demand for goods after the pandemic. Jim added that, as a result, trucking pay rose and this should put to rest any myths about the industry being un-rewarding or difficult.
There are efforts by some trucking schools to reduce the trucker shortage and provide more opportunities for young people to learn.
“If you go to a truck driver training school today and look at the average age of a person being trained to be a truck driver, they’re in their 30s,” said Costello. “With a lot more training and a lot more technology on the truck, getting these folks [ages 18-20] in, we think they can perform.”