The leading retailer in the U.S., Walmart, said it is increasing starting pay for long-haul truckers and launching a new program to train the following generation of truck drivers. It seeks staffing to replenish store shelves and warehouses across the United States.
Walmart revealed truck drivers will now earn between $95,000 and $110,000 in their first year working for the retailer. The firm did not provide the current salary range for a new truck driver at Walmart but said their drivers earned an average of $87,500 in their first year.
According to industry and government officials, qualified truck drivers—who are usually in their late 40s and 50s—remain in short supply. U.S. federal limits on daily working hours, the coronavirus pandemic, and other hurdles have prompted many truckers to quit.
To become a Walmart truck driver, applicants must have some qualifications. The retailer requires truck drivers to have an Interstate (Class A) Commercial Driver’s License with HAZMAT endorsement or submit a receipt of HAZMAT endorsement within 120 days of appointment. Job candidates are also required to have a clean driving record with no moving violations or severe traffic within the last three years.
Walmart screens for DUI, DWI, OUI (operating under the influence), or reckless driving involving drug or alcohol convictions within the last ten years.
Walmart’s truck drivers were already among the best paid in the nation. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current average pay of Walmart’s truck drivers far exceeds 2020’s median income of almost $47,000 for American truck drivers, whose actual earnings have lagged inflation and effectively remain at about 70% of what they were in the 1970s.