Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

risk level
Based on 501 votes
by year 2031
or $24.00 per hour
as of 2022

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Automation risk

88% (Imminent Risk)

Imminent Risk (81-100%): Occupations in this level have an extremely high likelihood of being automated in the near future. These jobs consist primarily of repetitive, predictable tasks with little need for human judgment.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Manual Dexterity

User poll

66% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted that it's probable this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 88% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Moderate growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' job openings is expected to rise 4.3% by 2031

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Moderately paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' was $49,920, or $23 per hour

'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' were paid 7.8% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 1,984,180 people employed as 'Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers' within the United States.

This represents around 1.3% 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

Jeremy says
It's truly the case that Tesla is leading with the new Cyber Trucks and future models. How much profit can be made by just selling 1,000 trucks? There is a huge market.

All they need is a new law with dedicated trucker lanes, similar to bike or bus lanes.
Aug 15, 2022 at 11:31 PM
Mr. Nobody (Low) says
Certain cities have a very tight shipping/receiving docks, not to mention the streets.. who’s going to chain up the tires in the snow?
Jul 12, 2022 at 08:03 PM
Nathan (Moderate) says
Even though working on trucks will become safer, it will still be unsafe and there is a likelihood of getting hurt.
May 22, 2022 at 11:16 PM
Mark (Low) says
Parts of the trucking industry are likely to be automated in the next 20 years. For instance, long-distance convoys. But truckers do more than just drive. They also do maintenance, load balancing, inspections, and sometimes loading and unloading at destinations.

As such, for short-haul routes, the "driving" part is a relatively minor part of the job. Even if it's automated, the trucker is still needed. For long-haul routes, robotic convoys will indeed eliminate the need for some drivers. But each convoy will still need a shepherd for the other duties that can't be substantially eliminated in that period of time.
Apr 19, 2022 at 01:05 PM
Matt (Highly likely) says
As a truck driver, I have mixed views on automated driving. I don't see any evidence that a truck could be 100% autonomous in my lifetime. There is so much more to trucking than just driving, a lot more.
Jan 25, 2022 at 05:22 PM
Ry says
Lol, if you've ever been a local city truck driver, this will never happen. Maybe interstate driving could be automated for the mega-corporations, but local driving in a major city? Probably never. The fact that this has such a high likelihood of getting votes proves that you shouldn't blindly believe anyone on the internet who tells you anything. Most of the votes are clearly not from anyone in the industry.
Dec 31, 2021 at 01:03 AM
RB Hopson (Low) says
Although the tech will be here soon, I think the infrastructure required to fully automate this sector will take much longer to implement.
Oct 08, 2021 at 02:20 PM
Nico Cione (Highly likely) says
I think that there will be driverless electric-powered trucks in the future.
Sep 09, 2021 at 03:15 PM
Mr. T (Highly likely) says
Especially long haul transport will be vulnerable because these routes are less complex to automize. Short-haul transport will stay relevant a little longer. Although there will be massive competition, due to the low entry barriers of starting at this job.
Sep 07, 2021 at 10:29 AM
Steve (Highly likely) says
Based on the current processes, and the vast evolution of self driving cars
Aug 28, 2021 at 04:08 PM
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 (Low) 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. (Low) 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 (Low) 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

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