A career in the trucking industry is rewarding in more ways than one. Truckers are essential to our nation’s economy and a growing shortage of drivers means motor carriers often compete to offer the best pay and benefits. Data from various organizations demonstrates the growth potential in this industry as well as just how important it is to our country.
Here are some interesting facts and statistics about the trucking industry:
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The information below comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This government department collects information about employment and the labor market in the United States.
- There were 1,958,800 individuals employed as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in 2018.
- A 5% growth is expected between 2018 and 2028 (97,940 additional jobs).
- Based on 2018 data, 45% of heavy and tractor-trailer drivers are employed in the truck transportation industry. Other industries include wholesale trade (11%), manufacturing (7%), and construction (6%). 6% of these drivers are self-employed.
- The top 10% of drivers earned more than $66,840 in 2019. The median annual wage was $45,260.
American Community Survey
Each year, the United States Census Bureau conducts the American Community Survey. This is a source of comprehensive data about population and housing in the country. The statistics below come from the 2017 survey, which has the most recent data for the trucking industry.
- Truckers are less likely to be unemployed compared to other industries.
- Approximately 10% of drivers are veterans, which is double the rate for all workers.
- The median age of a truck driver is 46.
American Trucking Associations
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is the largest trade association for the trucking industry. Each year, they collect data about the impact commercial drivers have on the economy. The facts below come from their 2019 report.
- Trucking generated $796.7 billion in gross freight revenues in 2018, 80.3% of the total in the country.
- Semi-trucks hauled 11.49 billion tons of freight, 71.8% of the domestic total.
- 13.4% of all registered vehicles are commercial trucks.
- There are 36 million trucks in the United States that are used for business purposes.
- Registered trucks traveled 297.6 billion miles in 2017. Combination trucks, including tractor-trailers, drove 181.5 billion miles.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) provides information for the government, industry, and the public about transportation and freight. Their most recent report, Freight Facts & Figures, includes data collected in 2018.
- Trucking contributed the largest amount to the gross domestic product (GDP) of all modes of freight transportation.
- 16.8% of goods (measured by value) moved 1,000 miles or more to get to their destination.
- Semi-trucks were involved in the transport of all of the top 10 types of commodities and moved more high-value, time-sensitive goods than any other methods.
Becoming a Truck Driver
If you want to become a trucker, the first step is earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL). At HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school), we offer high-quality training to help you get on the road and start earning.