No one has ever said making a living as a truck driver was easy. But starting pay of $110,000 a year might be the enough incentive to attract more workers to a long-hauler career. Walmart hopes so.
The country’s largest retailer is trying to alleviate the country’s truck driver shortage by increasing the starting salary to $110,000 for those interesting in long-distance hauling the company’s vehicles.
Driver with previous work experience working for with Walmart can earn more based on their tenure and location.
Walmart, which currently has about 12,000 workers who drive its company-owned trucks, said the average company driver’s pay was $87,500. It hired 4,500 new drivers in 2021, the most in Walmart’s history.
The median pay for heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers in 2020 was $47,130 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last year, the industry was short a record 80,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations, a trade group.
As a further incentive, Walmart will also pay for a driver’s cost of earning a commercial driver’s license, $4,000 to $5,000.
The companies recruitment plan occurs during the country’s worsening truck driver shortage, which is worsening supply-chain snags and making it harder to get products onto store shelves.
To become a Walmart driver, applicants must have some qualifications under their belt. The company requires that drivers have an Interstate (Class A) Commercial Driver’s License with HAZMAT endorsement, or receipt of HAZMAT endorsement within 120 days of being hired. Job candidates must also have a clean driving record with no serious traffic or moving violations within the last three years.
Walmart screens for DUI, DWI, OUI (operating under the influence) or reckless driving involving alcohol or drug convictions within the last 10 years, as well as issues such as preventable accidents on the road.
Walmart said truck driver applications are available at drive4walmart.com.