Occupation Summary

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

O*NET 53-3032.00


Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license. Includes tow truck drivers.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 22.33%.
Education Level:
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Business and Industry

  1. Follow appropriate safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods.
  2. Check vehicles to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
  3. Maintain logs of working hours or of vehicle service or repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations.
  4. Obtain receipts or signatures for delivered goods and collect payment for services when required.
  5. Maneuver trucks into loading or unloading positions, following signals from loading crew and checking that vehicle and loading equipment are properly positioned.
  6. Drive trucks with capacities greater than 3 tons, including tractor-trailer combinations, to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  7. Secure cargo for transport, using ropes, blocks, chain, binders, or covers.
  8. Read bills of lading to determine assignment details.
  9. Report vehicle defects, accidents, traffic violations, or damage to the vehicles.
  10. Read and interpret maps to determine vehicle routes.
  11. Couple or uncouple trailers by changing trailer jack positions, connecting or disconnecting air or electrical lines, or manipulating fifth-wheel locks.
  12. Collect delivery instructions from appropriate sources, verifying instructions and routes.
  13. Check conditions of trailers after contents have been unloaded to ensure that there has been no damage.
  14. Crank trailer landing gear up or down to safely secure vehicles.
  15. Perform basic vehicle maintenance tasks, such as adding oil, fuel, or radiator fluid, performing minor repairs, or washing trucks.
  16. Inventory and inspect goods to be moved to determine quantities and conditions.
  17. Remove debris from loaded trailers.
  18. Follow special cargo-related procedures, such as checking refrigeration systems for frozen foods or providing food or water for livestock.
  19. Give directions to laborers who are packing goods and moving them onto trailers.
  20. Install or remove special equipment, such as tire chains, grader blades, plow blades, or sanders.
  21. Perform emergency roadside repairs, such as changing tires or installing light bulbs, tire chains, or spark plugs.
  22. Operate trucks equipped with snowplows or sander attachments to maintain roads in winter weather.
  23. Drive electric or hybrid-electric powered trucks or alternative fuel-powered trucks to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  24. Operate idle reduction systems or auxiliary power systems to generate power from alternative sources, such as fuel cells, to reduce idling time, to heat or cool truck cabins, or to provide power for other equipment.
  25. Plan or adjust routes based on changing conditions, using computer equipment, global positioning systems (GPS) equipment, or other navigation devices, to minimize fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
  26. Inspect loads to ensure that cargo is secure.
  27. Check all load-related documentation for completeness and accuracy.
  28. Drive trucks to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes in compliance with state regulations.
  29. Operate equipment, such as truck cab computers, CB radios, phones, or global positioning systems (GPS) equipment to exchange necessary information with bases, supervisors, or other drivers.
  30. Load or unload trucks or help others with loading or unloading, using special loading-related equipment or other equipment as necessary.
  31. Wrap and secure goods using pads, packing paper, containers, or straps.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers employed Annual Growth Rate
Other specialty trade contractors 2.5 0.40
Waste collection 2.5 1.41
Couriers and express delivery services 2.4 1.42
Support activities for road transportation 2.3 1.63

Labor Market Information

2022 Statewide average hourly wage $23.89
2022 National average hourly wage $25.52
2020 National employment 1,951,600
2020 Texas employment 203,041
Texas projected employment by 2030 248,370
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2030 29,081

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Depth Perception
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
    -- Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
    -- Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
    -- Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
    -- Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Other Activities

  • Independence
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


Air compressors: Air compressors;

Bar code reader equipment: Handheld bar code scanners;

Blocks or pulleys: Blocks and tackle;

Cargo trucks: Flatbed trucks;

Concrete transport truck: Ready mix trucks;

Container trailers: Pup trailers;

Delivery trucks: Trucks greater than 26000 pounds;

Dump trucks: Front load dumpsters; Dump trucks;

Flatbed trailers: Lowboy trailers; Tilt trailers;

Forklifts: Forklifts; Order picker clamp trucks;

Global positioning system GPS receiver: Global positioning system GPS devices; Global positioning system GPS receivers;

Hand trucks or accessories: Electric handtrucks; Handtrucks;

Hoists: Cargo hoists;

Laser fax machine: Laser facsimile machines;

Lifts: Manual lifts; Handlifts; Hydraulic lifts; Johnson bars;

Location based messaging service platforms: Satellite linkup systems;

Mobile phones: Cell phones;

Notebook computers: Notebook computers;

Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers: Personal digital assistants PDA;

Scanners: Scanners;

Sludge or sewage handling trucks: Refuse collection trucks;

Snowplow attachments: Plow attachments;

Telescoping boom lift: Telescoping boom trucks;

Thin client computers: On-board computers;

Tower cranes: 4-ranger tower trucks;

Track cranes: Boom trucks;

Trailer hitches: Three-point hitches; Sliding fifth wheels; Sliding tandem axles;

Two way radios: Frequency modulation FM two way radios; Two way radios;

Wheel loaders: Wheel loaders;

Winches: Winches;


Analytical or scientific software: Omnitracs Performance Monitoring;

Data base user interface and query software: Fog Line Software Truckn Pro; TruckersHelper; ddlsoftware.com drivers daily log program DDL;

Desktop communications software: Eko;

Electronic mail software: Microsoft Outlook;

Enterprise resource planning ERP software: SAP software;

Inventory management software: Inventory tracking software; Computerized inventory tracking software;

Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software: PeopleNet;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office software;

Operating system software: Microsoft Windows;

Route navigation software: ALK Technologies PC*Miler; MarcoSoft Quo Vadis;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Time accounting software: ADP ezLaborManager;

Video creation and editing software: YouTube;

Word processing software: 3M Post-it App; Microsoft Word; Evernote;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers include:
  • 49-3031.00 Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
  • 53-7051.00 Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
  • 53-7062.00 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand
  • 53-3033.00 Light Truck Drivers
  • 47-5044.00 Loading and Moving Machine Operators, Underground Mining
  • 53-4013.00 Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
  • 53-4022.00 Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators and Locomotive Firers
  • 53-7081.00 Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
  • 53-3053.00 Shuttle Drivers and Chauffeurs
  • 53-7121.00 Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders

Sources of Additional Information
  • For more information about truck drivers, visit: American Trucking Associations
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • For more information about truck driving schools and programs, visit: Commercial Vehicle Training Association
  • National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools
  • Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.