Is 2020 your year for getting your driving career on the road? Before you set your sights on a standard truck driving job, take a moment to check out some of the highest paid driving jobs in the industry. From getting your HGV/LGV licence through to becoming an all seeing, all knowing Transport Manager we are about to show you that the opportunities and earning potential in this industry are excellent.
Truck driving jobs pay pretty well across the board with plenty of opportunities for overtime, specialising and of course travel to make it a tempting career choice for many but each qualification level does bring a salary improvement from the one before.
A quick recap of the various HGV/LGV Licences
- Category B – Main car driving licence – vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.
- Category C1 - Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) weighing up to 7,500kg/7.5 tonne.
- Category C - rigid vehicles weighing over 7,500kg/7.5 tonne with trailers weighing up to 750kg.
- Category C+E - articulated vehicles in excess of 7,500kg/7.5 tonne with trailers weighing more than 750kg.
Category C1 is the first van/truck specific licences and you will need to hold at least this licence to start applying for driving jobs that involve any vehicles bigger than a standard delivery van (up to 3.5 tonnes). In job adverts this first level role will often be referred to as a 7.5 Tonne Driver.
As a newly qualified HGV/LGV Driver with a category C1 Licence you can expect to earn a basic salary of £18,000 rising to £24,000 when you gain experience and start earning overtime and night working bonuses.
Most Category C and above driving roles involve straight A to B routes with no, or few, multi-drop requirements. For those who start out in the driving industry as Delivery Drivers or Multi-drop Drivers, this is a definite plus point as they are no longer just navigating towns and cities but getting out on the open road travelling greater distances.
Earning more money as a truck driver
A C+E Driver can expect to earn around £28,000 per year on a standard salary but experience can play a big role in your earning potential as can your accident record and the amount of points on your licence. Some of the highest paid driving jobs require a squeaky clean driving licence so if you have your sights set on the best and highest paying roles you will need to keep your speed in check and watch out for those new smart motorways.
What are the highest paid truck driving jobs?
Tanker Drivers can earn in the region of £45,000 per year making it the highest paid truck driving job in the UK right now.
To become a Tanker Driver you will need your HGV/LGV Licence, ideally up to C+E level, a Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) and an ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) driver certificate. You will need this ADR certificate in order to carry hazardous materials such as fuel oil. In some cases, if you don’t have an ADR but you fit all other criteria and have a good level of experience, your prospective employer may opt to pay for your ADR training and certificate.
Abnormal/Oversize Load Driver
The big pay checks tend to go to those who have the more specialised skills and the experience of carrying the more unusual loads. Hauling extra wide or long items doesn’t require any additional qualification to the categories mentioned above but it does require a lot of skill and knowledge. It is a good idea to work somewhere that can provide you with the opportunities for variation in your work to gain the experience you need to start pulling in a salary between £30,000 and £40,000 per year.
Long Haul Truck Driver
Driving long haul can be a great way to bump up your driving pay and regular trips into Europe can put Long Haul Truck Driver pretty high up in the list of highest paid truck driving jobs. With lay over money and the opportunity for fuel efficiency and safe driving bonuses you can bump your salary up into the high £30,000’s.
Transport (Fleet) Manager
Truck Drivers who are looking to ease off the accelerator and put their trucking skills and knowledge to use in a slightly different way should consider a position as a Transport Manager before they hang up their keys for good.
Transport Managers can earn upwards of £31,000 per year. They are responsible for the direction, execution and coordination of a company’s logistical requirements. This could be organising schedules and routes, managing the fleet of drivers, ensuring the vehicles are safe and compliant, overseeing legal requirements, budgeting and reporting. Coming into this role as an experienced driver provides you with the ability to empathise, understand and inspire the workforce under you as well as problem solve by drawing on the wealth of on the job knowledge you have built over the years.
Applying for a new truck driving job
If you don’t already have one, getting your HGV/LGV and CPC licence is the obvious first step. For details on how to get your licence check out the following links:
- How to become a LGV Cat C1 Driver.
- How to become a LGV Cat C Driver.
- How to become a LGV Cat C+E Driver.
If you have found the ideal job for you then you need to be sure that you have the very best chance of landing the role. The driving industry is highly competitive so be sure to spend some time getting your CV in order and updating your personal statement.
Top trucking tip
A great top tip for Truck Drivers is to keep a record of your driving experience. You will be keeping regular driving records and tachograph records as part of your role, but this record is more of a portfolio of sorts. If you can keep a diary of your driving experience including any long hauls, abnormal loads, difficult routes and problems you have overcome you will be able to demonstrate to any employer that not only are you experienced but also diligent, forward thinking and proactive, all great traits for an LGV Driver.
To keep an eye on the latest trucking jobs, you can visit our dedicated driving jobs area.
If you are ready to apply for a new driving job, you can find out how to register with Blue Arrow.
If you already work for Blue Arrow, in a driving role or otherwise and you are looking for a new challenge, speak with your in-branch consultant who will be able to help you. You can also find your local branch contact details here.