Dump Truck Driver Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a dump truck driver. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average salary and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Dump Truck Driver?

Dump truck drivers operate heavy vehicles that are used for transporting raw materials, such as rocks and sand, to or from construction sites, quarries and mines. As part of their duties, dump truck drivers will perform basic vehicle maintenance, clean their vehicle, and keep logs of all cargo they transport, including its weight and the pick-up and delivery points. They must follow the route and schedule they're assigned.

Education Requirements High school diploma required; training program through a technical school or community college recommended
Licensure Commercial driver's license required; further training and licensing often required to transport hazardous materials
Job Responsibilities Use truck to move large amounts of material to and from construction and road work sites; may also be responsible for truck maintenance
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% for all heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers*
Median Salary (2016) $40,091**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale.com

What Does a Dump Truck Driver Do?

Dump truck drivers move large amounts of material to and from places, such as construction sites and road work sites. Dump trucks may dispose of old debris and bring new material to a project. Dump trucks have a movable body to easily unload material, such as sand, gravel and crushed stone. In some cases, drivers are responsible for truck maintenance.

How Can I Prepare for This Job?

To be a dump truck driver, you'll need to be in good shape; some jobs may require the ability to lift up to 100 pounds. You should also have a good driving record. Employers and technical schools offering training may require you to pass vision and drug screening tests. You'll need to be 18 years old, though some employers may prefer candidates who are at least 21.

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

Based on job listings on CareerBuilder.com in February 2015, a high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for this job. Drivers also need a commercial driver's license. Many technical schools and community colleges offer training programs to help you master the skills and knowledge needed to obtain this license. Such programs can be completed in several days to several weeks, depending on the school. Most of your training will take place behind the wheel; you may also receive training in basic maintenance and safety procedures.

Many training programs prepare you for licensing exams that lead to both Class A and Class B commercial licenses. The Class A license is for big trucks such as rigs and trailers; the Class B license applies to straight trucks, such as delivery trucks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), drivers transporting hazardous materials often need further training and licensing (www.bls.gov).

How Much Money Could I Earn?

The BLS does not list salary information specifically for dump truck drivers, but notes that all heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers earned an average annual wage of $42,500 in 2015. The BLS predicted that the number of heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck driver jobs would grow by 5% between 2014 and 2024, as fast as the average for all occupations.

PayScale.com reported in October 2016 that most dump truck drivers earned an hourly wage between $12.10 and $21.56, not including overtime. The annual salary range for most dump truck drivers - including profit sharing and bonuses - was between $25,749 and $55,578.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Tractor-trailer truck drivers and delivery truck drivers have many of the same responsibilities that dump truck drivers have. Tractor-trailer and delivery truck drivers need to maintain and clean their vehicles, and they are also responsible for keeping vehicle logs with a record of the cargo, the pick-up location and the delivery location. Tractor-trailer truck drivers transport cargo over long distances. They may have a shipment that requires multiple days of driving to deliver, whereas delivery truck drivers' routes cover short distances using vehicles under 26,000 pounds, so the vehicle is in a different classification than tractor trailers. Tractor-trailer truck drivers need a commercial driver's license and are trained at a program for professional truck drivers. They must also complete on-the-job training. Delivery drivers need a driver's license. They might also need to pass a background check and complete some on-the-job training.

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