Jobs in construction paid an average of about $45,000 last year, and electrician salaries averaged $53,000, compared with about $40,000 for heavy- and tractor-trailer truck drivers, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Average driver salaries, based on government data, rose 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent annually over the past three years.
Keeping enough drivers on the road is critical for the industry, which moves about two-thirds of all freight in the United States. But a shortage of drivers, already approaching 100,000 truckers, is deepening even with U.S. unemployment over 8 percent.
By the end of next year, the shortage could more than double to 250,000, according to Noel Perry, principal of research firm Transport Fundamentals in Cornwall, Pennsylvania.