Walmart to increase truck drivers' pay to nearly $90K, hire hundreds of drivers

After hiring more than 1,400 new drivers in 2018, Walmart wants to hire “hundreds” more drivers this year.

Walmart will increase truck drivers’ pay to an average of $87,500 a year, the company announced on Wednesday.

Drivers’ pay will increase one cent per mile starting in February, and they will receive additional pay for every arrival, Walmart said in a statement. That means Walmart drivers will earn an average of $87,500 per year and an all-in rate close to 89 cents per mile.

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After hiring more than 1,400 new drivers in 2018, the company is also looking to hire “hundreds” more drivers this year, Walmart said. It said it was revamping its hiring process to focus on safety and expediting the time it takes to complete a new hire.

New hires must have at least 30 months of experience in the past three years and a clean safety record, Walmart said in its statement.

Walmart truck trailers sits parked in the loading dock of a Wal-Mart store on June 11, 2015 in San Leandro, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A study in March 2018 by the American Trucking Associations found that the median salary for truck drivers was around $53,000. Private fleet drivers made an average of $73,000.

Indeed, a job search engine, estimated that Walmart truck drivers' salaries were previously around $76,000 per year, though Walmart's statement did not specify how much drivers previously made. 

Walmart said the reasons for its changing policies were an increase in sales at stores and an “industry-wide shortage” of truck drivers.

The American Trucking Association estimates that there could be a shortage of 175,000 drivers by 2026.

“We are having a shortage of skilled workers of all kinds, including, obviously, truck drivers,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao told Fox Business in October.