Truck driving is a relatively lucrative career and the average truck driver takes home around $71,446 per year in the U.S., according to Indeed. Salaries have increased over time with the median truck driver salary increasing 18% in recent years and more than 90% of truckload fleets raising pay by an average of 10.9%, according to CDL Life. 96% of fleets also offer referral bonuses for new drivers and 54% increase sign-on bonuses.

Although life as a truck driver is looking financially stable right now and a good career decision, there’s always a way you can leverage your career and your salary. Follow these tips:

Portrait of woman opening truck door1. Additional Education

Different classifications require unique training for truck drivers across the nation. Although many truck drivers have completed the Class A CDL for a base-level commercial truck driver license, we recommend a Class B CDL. Any additional training shows drive and knowledge to set yourself apart from the competition.

With this additional training, new opportunities come your way at both the regional and local levels. You can find additional work as a highway maintenance technician, courier, delivery driver and more. Plus, if you want to operate technical equipment in the construction industry, a Class B CDL is required.

2. Stay educated on industry news

Although you may spend most of your time behind the wheel, it’s important to diversify your knowledge by attending regular networking events and educational seminars. When you’re able to talk with drivers who work for other companies, you’re able to receive salary and benefits insight while getting opportunities for interviews.

Be sure to read new industry news weekly and create a 10-year plan with what you want out of your career and how you see yourself growing at potential companies you’d like to work for.

3. Become an owner-operator

Although some truck drivers are completely happy with working for other people, others want to take their chances as owner-operators. This means you work with trucking companies as an independent business owner who owns and leases their truck regularly.

Through this route, you’ll receive great independence because you get to choose who you work with, what hours you work, what routes your drive and more.

To learn more about the truck driving services and job openings for drivers, visit Double D Distribution. We offer unique opportunities for drivers to travel nationally and work on asphalt projects for friendly contractors. We look forward to creating opportunities with you for a solid and steady career path.