Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

3.6/10 job score
risk level
by 2031
or $23.22 hourly
as of 2021

What is the risk of automation?

We calculate this occupation to have an automation risk score of 88% (Robots are watching)

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated
Qualities required for this occupation:
Manual Dexterity
very important
quite important
[Show all metrics]

What do you think the risk of automation is?

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

How quickly is this occupation growing?

The number of 'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' job openings is expected to rise 4.3% by 2031
'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' is expected to be an average growing occupation in comparison to other occupations.
* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031.
Updated projections are due Sep 2023.

What are the median wages for 'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' in the United States?

In 2021 the median annual wage for 'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' was $48,310, or $23.22 hourly
'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' are paid 5.6% higher than the national median wage, which stands at $45,760
* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

How many people are employed as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers?

As of 2021 there were 1,903,420 people employed as Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers within the United States.
This represents around 1.35% of the employed workforce across the country.
Put another way, around 1 in 74 people are employed as Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.

Job description

Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license. Includes tow truck drivers.

SOC Code: 53-3032.00


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Leave a comment

Andrea (No chance) says
A robot cannot replace the instincts of human driving knowledge, especially during extreme weather conditions. I haven’t even begun to discuss pre trip inspections or backing and parking a trailer in a dock. This takes many years to master. This is not like driving a car. Robots will NEVER replace a human driver.
Jun 13, 2021 at 09:09 PM
Ryan R says
Likely sooner. There are already semi trucks with AI learn cameras installed on them going around. Won't be shocked if it's sooner than a decade.
Jun 03, 2021 at 11:42 PM
Steve W. says
Bad news: Search for "This Year, Autonomous Trucks Will Take to the Road With No One on Board"
Autonomous trucks are here! Expect to find a new career as early as 2024.
May 12, 2021 at 04:31 AM
William Sturges (Small chance) says
Still will need a person in truck. Robots will not fuel truck or complete a UsDot inspection. It also can not get and sign paperwork or know what loading/unloading door or dock is required.
Apr 14, 2021 at 12:59 PM
R.D. (Small chance) says
Interfacing with the customer...a robot? The tractor's today are overweight with computer help and, create more of a problem. Just ask any truckdriver.
Mar 13, 2021 at 07:48 PM
Daniel Churchley (Highly likely) says
As a hgv driver I see how vehicles are evolving and I am also aware of how much money is being invested in automation with companies like Tesla
Jan 24, 2021 at 01:25 PM
Pat D says
Companies will have to have a person in every tractor trailer to oversee fueling if it's long haul. Unless they have automated fuel stops all over the country. I say 50 years min for total automated trucking. I'll send my kids though IT school by then
Jan 10, 2021 at 03:28 AM
james (Small chance) says
I don't think so my job means a lot to me and it should not be automated I make a living for my family
Dec 18, 2020 at 04:20 PM
fabe g (No chance) says
I highly doubt the safety laws of the government will allow it. Even the bad rap Tesla is getting for serious accidents
Feb 17, 2020 at 05:27 AM
Eric 2024 says
This is very true. I doubt that the republican party would allow something like this to happen. They have already protected the working class drivers from the immigrants in mexico. Did you know that 95% of our truck drivers our white americans. This will continue. We have beaten the mexicans and we will beat the Robots.
Dec 25, 2020 at 11:38 AM
A says
No way.
I'm all for automation in areas that are not life critical/life sensitive (stocking shelves, customer service, picking orders, cashiering, bookkeeping), but society is playing with fire here. There will be countless innocent deaths on the roads if this is adopted on a large scale. But hey, those lives are just cannon fodder/pawns in the game of industrial progress right?
You watch the media spin automated trucking as immoral when the first lives lost are a group of high earning fund managers, lawyers, or IT managers.
Dec 26, 2019 at 04:02 PM
Alex says
Self-driving vehicles have caused only a handful of deaths globally, and those problems get fixed pretty quickly. Humans cause thousands of motor accidents every day. There will be next to no fatalities on the road if self-driving cars are on them, especially since they can connect with each other to figure out optimal routes and such.
Mar 04, 2021 at 09:33 AM
Jake (Small chance) says
Dedicated consistent routes will be possible but irregular long haul and in city jobs will take longer. Driving a truck and driving a car are totally different and I think people don't really understand how different they truly are.
Oct 10, 2019 at 11:11 AM
Patryk says
maybe on long distances, yes, but I don't think it will happen in cities with distribution
Oct 08, 2019 at 07:50 PM
Kristina (Highly likely) says
Hazmat must have a trained professional. And an untrained person would not be responsible enough to know if the load is over weight. Add the to a risk of a computer failer or a computer hack and the untrained and people around become dead.
Sep 27, 2019 at 01:39 AM
bob (Could go either way) says
self driving tractors are too dangerous
May 20, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Charles G. Wolfe (No chance) says
I dont think a robot will be able to handle a tractor/trailer hauling steel coils, being the main reason. Coils need to checked very once in a while to make sure their still secure as most every other steel loads do.
Robots will never take the place of humans behind the wheel of eighteen-wheelers hauling steel.
May 12, 2019 at 10:41 PM
Andrew Piasecki says
Just to play devil's advocate, why can't a robot opperate the vehicle and the company pay an untrained person minimum wage to check the state of the steel every once in a while?
Aug 06, 2019 at 08:01 PM

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