When it comes to the subject of wages in America, we have all heard the rumbles and complaints. From laborers to CEOs, there is a culture of wage inequality between men and women in America. According to Pew Research, while the wage gap has narrowed, it is by no means non-existent. Sources vary on exact percentages, but experts agree that women typically get paid between 80-84% of what their male counterparts can expect to earn in the exact same job based on the same levels of education. An up to 20 percent difference in pay between men and women 17 years into the 21st Century? It feels like we should be much further down the road to wage equality than we actually are. So this leaves us with a couple of questions: how can women take control of their careers to narrow the gap and what industries provide the best opportunities for women?
There are a few industries that are bucking the trend of wage inequality. Professional truck driving is one of them. Since professional truck drivers are paid based on the number of miles driven, there is no pay gap between men and women. This can mean that an individual driver’s potential earnings are only limited by such factors as hours of service regulations passed by the FMCSA. That’s it. If you drive the same amount of miles, you are paid the same amount of money, regardless of your gender. On average, entry-level professional truck drivers can make up to $45,000 per year as a solo driver. Team drivers can average $60-65,000 Let’s break that down for a moment.
Many women have families that are dependent on them to maintain a certain level of income that can’t wait months or up to a year to kick in. Professional truck driving offers an alternative to all of this—with 160 hours of certified training provided by a CDL Training program like Roadmaster Drivers School—you can be making the same amount of money as the men in your training class in less than a month. With benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, and 401(k) retirement options, professional truck driving offers a viable career option for working women that can sustain them and their families.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) predicts that if current trends last, there will be a shortage of nearly 175,000 truck drivers by 2024. You wouldn’t think this is good news, but it actually is, especially for women. In an industry struggling to keep up with the demand for drivers, there are many opportunities for women to make great money and help provide a sustainable workforce for the future. Since trucking jobs cannot be outsourced, the trucking industry relies on American workers to step up and fill these positions. Women drivers are a vital part of this equation. While women only make up about 7% of the current ranks of professional truck drivers, they make up 51% of the overall population. Those numbers don’t lie. To fill all the open driver positions that are projected for the future, it’s going to take women stepping up to fill them. Not only can women be professional truck drivers, they should be.
Studies have shown that women are typically safer drivers than men, a valuable asset in an industry that relies on timely, safe deliveries of goods to the American marketplace. The savvy and safe female driver can parlay a great safety record into higher earnings. Many trucking carriers award bonuses based on safety benchmarks such as accident-free miles driven. At Roadmaster Drivers School, we put a particular emphasis on safety training, both in the classroom and on the driving pad. It’s something that you may take for granted—being a safe driver—but it’s an essential skill for being a professional truck driver. It’s a skill that trucking companies are willing to pay their top performers for.
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises