The Best Paid CDL Jobs

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Many bus drivers work in urban areas transporting passengers.
Many bus drivers work in urban areas transporting passengers. (Image: Toby Burrows/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Those driving vehicles that transport goods and passengers often are required to have a CDL, or commercial driver's license. These drivers may operate tractor trailers, charter buses and even limousines for companies, cities and various industries. Earnings vary by position and industry.

Heavy Truck and Tractor Trailers Drivers

These drivers handle trucks that have a minimum gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds and haul various goods and livestock. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median annual pay in 2009 was $39,260, or $18.87 per hour. The postal service paid a median annual salary of $53,020, or $25.49 per hour. Transportation equipment manufacturing paid $52,470 a year, or $25.23 per hour. Those working in the publishing industry received $52,070 a year, or $25.03 per hour.

Tractor trailer drivers may cover long distances on the road.
Tractor trailer drivers may cover long distances on the road. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Light and Delivery Truck Drivers

These drivers handle vehicles of less than 26,000 pounds and carry various merchandise within established local areas. The national median pay per year in 2009 was $31,120, with an hourly rate of $14.96. The highest-paying positions here in 2009 were with wired telecommunication carriers, who paid a median annual rate of $50,850, or $24.45 per hour. The postal service offered a median rate per year of $50,850, or $24.45 per hour. Those driving for the film industry received a median yearly wage of $48,760 with an hourly rate of $23.44.

City and Private Bus Drivers

Drivers in this area handle buses or motor coaches that operate on a regular route or by charter. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national median pay per year in 2009 was $35,990, or $17.30 per hour. Those driving for performing arts companies earned $54,500 a year, or $26.20 per hour. Positions with spectator sports paid a median yearly wage of $51,120, or $24.58 per hour, while those working for local government earned a median yearly wage of $41,130, or $19.78 per hour.

Chauffeurs

These drivers handle vehicles such as stretch limousines that may transport more than 16 people. The national median yearly pay in 2009 for this field was $23,930, or $11.51 per hour. Those driving for financial investment activities earned a median yearly wage of $57,690, or $27.74 per hour. Drivers in the aerospace manufacturing industry earned $50,030 for a median yearly wage and $24.05 an hour. Those working for performing arts companies were paid $49,250 for a median yearly wage and $22.92 per hour in 2009.

Limousine drivers may transport clients or work for companies.
Limousine drivers may transport clients or work for companies. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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