According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, “the trucking industry has bounced back from its decline during the recession and the number of truck drivers is at an all-time high.”
In 2016, the number of employer and self-employed (nonemployer) trucking businesses reached 711,000, an all-time high. More than 3.5 million people work as truck drivers, 90% are men. More than half of the 711,355 employer and self-employed trucking businesses are classified as long-distance.
Driving large tractor-trailers and delivery trucks is one of the largest occupations in the country. According to the Census Bureau:
- The median age is 46 (compared to 41 for all workers).
- 7% have a bachelor’s degree (compared to 35% for all workers).
- The average annual salary for all truck drivers is $43,252 (lower than the $47,016 for all workers, but higher than the average pay for blue-collar workers).
- At least one in 10 is a veteran, double the rate of U.S. workers in general.
- However, there are disproportionately more Hispanics and women entering the industry.
- Over 2 million people work in the truck transportation industry, which includes drivers but also mechanics, managers, dispatchers and workers in other occupations.
- Between 2012 and 2016, the number of trucking businesses grew 15.9%, outpacing total growth across all industries (8.0 percent). This translates into an increase of 200,000 workers in the trucking industry during that time period.
- In 2018, revenue for trucking firms rose to $77.0 billion in the third quarter before falling 2.7% to $75.0 billion in the fourth quarter.