A truck driving job with a six-figure salary, predictable schedules and regular routes? Nirvana? No, Walmart.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-behemoth (NYSE: WMT) took commercial truck driver pay to another level Thursday, announcing it had raised starting driver pay to between $95,000 and $110,000 during a driver’s first year, up from $88,000.
Walmart said it would boost wages even more for established drivers, depending on tenure and location. It did not offer financial details.
The company also launched a four-month training program in which supply chain workers in Dallas and in Dover, Delaware earn their CDLs and become Walmart drivers. The driver newbies are being trained by Walmart drivers, who’ve been bestowed the title of certified driver trainers.
Walmart currently employs about 12,000 drivers after hiring about 4,500 drivers in the past year to meet surging demand. The company was unavailable to comment on how many drivers it would like to see come out of the new training program, or how many drivers it would need to consider itself fully staffed.
Walmart’s fleet consists of more than 6,000 tractors and more than 60,000 trailers. Driving for a company like Walmart has always been an attractive proposition because it pays wages that are well above the market and because its routes and schedules are predictable.
Average estimates for long-haul driver pay are all over the map. The job search firm Indeed pegs it at more than $79,000 a year. ZipRecruiter, another job search firm, estimates it to be $64,000, while Glassdoor, a site where current and prospective employees anonymously review companies, says it is about $57,200 a year.