If you’re considering a career as a trucker in Canada, you may be wondering what the average salary is and the outlook for this career path. Do Canadian trucking companies offer great pay and job security? Are truckers even in high demand in Canada? Let’s find out…
What is the Demand for Truckers in Canada?
Like many other countries, Canada is suffering a driver shortage. The Canadian Trucking Alliance estimates that there may be as many as 50,000 job openings for truckers by 2024.
Job vacancies in this field are higher than the national average. In fact, trucking has the second-highest vacancy rate of any sector in the nation’s economy.
There was already a driver shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The shortage grew after the pandemic as demand for online commerce soared.
For anyone interested in a career in trucking, there has never been a better time to enter the field. With demand at such a high level, truckers enjoy greater job security and perks.
According to Canada Job Bank, the job prospects for truckers are good or very good in most areas of the country.
One important thing to note, however, is that individuals under the age of 25 may have a difficult time entering this career field. An estimated 5% of truckers in Canada are under the age of 25 because employers find them to be too risky to hire.
Young drivers are inexperienced and often come with higher insurance expenses.
That said, most working adults in Canada will find that trucking offers an opportunity to earn a good living.
The job prospects for truckers may be great throughout Canada, but how much are drivers actually earning?
Average Canadian Truck Driver Salary
Truckers are in high demand in Canada, but is that demand reflected in the average driver’s salary?
Composite salary data shows that the average Canadian truck driver earns:
- $61,622 per year
The national average salary for Canadians is around $49,000 per year, which makes trucking a great career option.
Of course, average pay will vary by region. Here’s what the average trucker salaries are in some regions of Canada:
- Alberta: $54,600
- Ontario: $48,144
- Quebec: $46,478
- British Columbia: $52,650
- Nova Scotia: $39,623
Alberta is home to some of the highest-paying cities for truckers. Here’s how much some truckers earn in this province’s cities:
- Fort McMurray: $98,461/year
- Edmonton: $81,888/year
- Calgary: $77,744/year
Some other big cities that offer high pay include:
- Toronto: $69,136/year
- London: $71,839/year
- Cambridge: $73,386
Canada Job Bank also offers some insight into the median pay for drivers in each province:
- Newfoundland and Labrador: $24/hour
- Nova Scotia: $20.50/hour
- Prince Edward Island: $19.55/hour
- Quebec: $22.08/hour
- New Brunswick: $19.88/hour
- Manitoba: $22/hour
- Ontario: $24/hour
- Alberta: $28/hour
- Saskatchewan: $25/hour
- Yukon Territory: $30.90/hour
- British Columbia: $27/hour
- Northwest Territories: $30/hour
- Nunavut: $28/hour
How Much Do Owner Operators Make in Canada?
Owner-operators have their own trucks and work independently by forming partnerships with trucking companies.
Generally, owner-operators earn more, but they are also responsible for the maintenance of their rigs, gas and other costs of running a truck.
According to salary data, owner-operators in Canada earn $40,000-$200,000+ per year, with about $140,000 being the median.
What Factors Affect a Trucker’s Salary in Canada?
A Canadian trucker’s salary is dependent on a number of factors, including:
Years of Experience
Like with any other profession, truckers typically earn a higher salary if they have more experience. A driver with several years of experience will know the ins and outs of the job and how to handle their rig.
More experience generally demands higher pay.
Truckers with an AZ license generally earn higher salaries because they can operate a wide range of commercial vehicles. Drivers that travel on icy roads, haul heavy loads or operate tanker vehicles may earn even more.
Naturally, a driver’s location will also affect their salary. Drivers in areas with a higher cost of living typically earn more compared to those who live in areas with a lower cost of living.
Canada’s Biggest Trucking Companies
Canada’s trucking industry is growing, and some of the biggest companies in the industry include:
Arrow Transportation is a leader in hauling commodities, and its logistics division also offers:
- Reload operations
- Freight management
Arrow is committed to its customers and has been offering its services for over 100 years. Drivers choose Arrow because of the salary of $80,000+ per year, with many drivers topping $100,000+ annually.
Drivers and their dependents receive top-tier benefits, daily home time and paid pension programs.
Safe and reliable trucks are the backbone of the company’s fleet. Work is available all year long, so you won’t have to worry about slow periods impacting your salary. With impeccable on-the-job training and Driver Mentors, you’ll find that Arrow is a great place to begin or advance your career.
Arrow often trains new drivers who show that they’re committed to a career in trucking and are worth investing in.
Long-term drivers can earn six weeks of paid vacation.
Westcan Bulk Transport
Westcan Bulk Transport is part of the KAG Canada family and was acquired by the company in 2013. The company specializes in commodities, which they ship across Canada and into the United States.
As the company’s motto states, “if it can fit in a trailer, we can haul it.”
Some of the most common items that the company hauls include:
With over 60 years of experience in trucking, Westcan has a lot of opportunities for drivers. Some of the positions that are open now include Class 1 Professional drivers who haul fuel. The rate of pay is $29 – $31.35 per hour.
You’ll also receive immediate benefits, annual bonuses, paid holidays and more.
Westcan has a lot of positions available that are attractive to all drivers who want to join a team of professionals that embrace diversity and have a hard work ethic.
Pride Group Logistics
Pride Group Logistics has offices across Canada and the United States. For over 10 years, Pride has been responsible for millions of shipments and shows no signs of slowing down. The reason that many people drive for Pride include:
- Weekly pay on Friday
- Company and owner-operator benefit packages
- Paid wait times
- Quarterly safety bonuses
- 2019 or newer equipment
- Daily home time option available
Pride has grown from just 35 trucks to over 200 tractors and 600 trailers in just four years. Pay and benefits will depend on the position and will be discussed during the hiring process. If you drive in Canada and have to enter into the United States, you will be paid more per mile for entering the US.
Scamp Transport LTD is a premier carrier in Western Canada and delivers bulk petroleum. Drivers are behind the wheel of Kenworth and Mack trucks with some of the industry’s best safety features.
Work-life balance is a major part of the company’s 200 employees’ lives. More than half of the employees stay with the company for five or more years due to the strong work-life balance that they offer.
Candidates have a minimum of 3 years of Class 1 experience.
Drivers for Scamp benefit from:
- Set work schedule, so they know how many hours they’re on the road and when they’ll be home
- Paid by load pay, so you are always fairly compensated for your work and efficiency
- Additional shifts during busy months to earn more money, plus an additional $100
- Drivers are paid an additional $3.5 per hour that they work and are paid out every two weeks
- RRSP that is 100% matched, so every dollar that you put into it, Scamp will match it to help you double your money
- 100% of your dental and health insurance is paid for by the company
Scamp continues to grow and offers great opportunities for dedicated truckers who have a focus on safe driving.
Canada trucking companies offer great pay, benefits and a rewarding career. With great salaries and an estimate of 50,000 open positions in the coming years, trucking is a career with a lot of growth that shows no signs of slowing down.