There are more than half a million fuel truck drivers in the United States. The job is a dangerous one, but the pay is higher than average. If you’re considering a career as a gas truck driver, you may be wondering how much you can earn in this position?
What’s the average fuel truck driver salary? What does a fuel truck driver do?
Let’s explore this career and its payscale.
Fuel Truck Driver Jobs – Role and Responsibilities
Fuel truck drivers transport gas and petroleum products from one location to another using specialized vehicles. Responsibilities may vary from one employer to the next, but typically, gas truck drivers are expected to:
- Pump gas into holding tanks
- Oversee the loading of the fuel
- Follow precise safety procedures when transporting or handling gas or petroleum products
- Document deliveries
- Use meters to calculate and record how much fuel is being delivered
Some fuel tank drivers transport fuel to gas stations, while others deliver to fuel reservoirs.
Working as a fuel tanker driver is no easy task, and most employers will require additional, specialized training. Some employers require five weeks of training. In addition to the basic driving skills, you’ll also need to learn how to properly handle your flammable cargo. This means understanding how it reacts to:
- Shifting weight
- Temperature fluctuations
Drivers must also understand the different fuels and additives as well as the state’s and customer’s requirements for grades and mixtures. Loading the improper combination can have costly consequences. Other requirements and regulations complicate the fuel hauling process even further.
For example, if fuel touches the ground while unloading on a customer’s property, special cleanup measures must be taken and carried out according to the EPA’s standards.
Additionally, new rules and safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized persons from entering grounds where fuel is loaded and unloaded. For example, there may be strict equipment requirements, or you may have to have a personal identity card. Background checks may also be required, but this is common in the trucking industry.
Drivers may need to learn how to use special software, which can be complex. In addition, some terminals require drivers to be supervised by terminal staff for three visits to answer questions and ensure proper procedures are followed.
One advantage of being a gas truck driver is that most jobs are either regional or local. Some drivers are over-the-road, but there are ample opportunities for local or regional positions. Many drivers are home every night.
Although challenging and dangerous, working as a gas truck driver will earn you a higher salary and excellent benefits. Being able to be home regularly is another perk of the job. But how much can you earn, exactly? What factors affect a fuel tanker driver’s salary?
Fuel Tanker Driver Requirements
To work as a fuel tank driver, you must meet some basic requirements, including:
- Obtaining a CDL-A license
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Pass a drug and alcohol test
- Undergo a physical
- Obtain a Tanker endorsement
A Tanker endorsement can be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when you obtain your CDL. However, it will require an additional written exam and fee.
If you want to work as a gas truck driver, you may also want to consider getting a HazMat endorsement. Employers may not require it, but it can give you an advantage.
According to Zippia, 13.7% of fuel truck drivers have bachelor’s degrees, but you can enter this career with just a high school diploma or GED.
Having a clean driving record and following safe driving habits are two other important skills that fuel truck drivers should have.
Average Salary For Fuel Truck Driver
What’s the average fuel truck driver pay each year? It depends on the resource. Zippia reports that the average salary is around $53,500 per year. The figure is almost on par with Glassdoor, which has the average salary being $56,200 per year.
However, there’s a massive range in salary from:
- $38,000 on the low-end
- $84,000 on the high end
We’re seeing a lot of local truck drivers being paid just under $50,000 to fill this position. However, L4 drivers will be a leader of transportation and can expect to make $59,400 on average.
Due to the massive driver shortage, we’re seeing some companies offering salaries as high as $80,000 to put drivers in empty rigs. If you’re just starting out as a tanker driver or have been in the industry for years, you’ll likely see people job-hopping a lot right now because they know they can demand higher pay.
As always, experience and location are two of the main factors that lead to the wide range of pay range.
You’ll also enjoy top-tier benefits as a tanker driver. Many drivers can expect to have the following benefits as part of their employment:
- Stock options (company dependent)
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
With growth of around 5% and a lack of qualified drivers, life as a gas truck driver is good. Salaries are rising, and it’s fully expected that industry demand will remain high.