Earnings of truck drivers in 2021. Number of truckers satisfied with their profession has increased.

9 July 2021

The average salary of professional drivers rose by 1.5 per cent last year, according to the latest research by the Polish Institute of Road Transport (PITD). In 2020, truck drivers earned an average of PLN 6,211. Official figures show that the growth rate of truck drivers’ earnings is higher than the average. It is therefore not surprising that the number of drivers satisfied with their profession has increased.

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Download : Report on the earnings of professional drivers

According to GUS, the average salary in Poland in 2020 was PLN 3,732 net, an increase of more than 5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Compared to the national average, the earnings of truck drivers look very attractive. The problem, however, is that truckers’ income is still made up of three different components, rather than a single, contributory salary:

  1. Food and a one-time payment (64% of respondents);
  2. bonuses and similar allowances (20.5%);
  3. other components of compensation (15.5%).

Which drivers earn the most?

The highest salaries in Poland are paid to drivers performing international transport outside the European Union, to third countries. Slightly less (by 250 PLN on average) are earned by drivers carrying out transport orders within the Community.

It is interesting that drivers aged 31-40, i.e. those with an average of 10 years’ experience, earn the most. The most rewarding are the longest systems (4/1 and 3/1). In this case, drivers’ earnings can be as much as 1,000 PLN higher.

Meanwhile, the salary ranges are as follows: 

  • up to 2,000 PLN are earned by 4 % of the drivers surveyed; 
  • up to 4,000 PLN – 4.3%;
  • up to 5,000 PLN – 13.7%; 
  • in the range between 5,000 and 7,000 PLN, the largest group – just under 49% of respondents; 
  • almost 25 % of drivers earn over 7,000 PLN.

Impact of the pandemic on drivers’ earnings

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The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on every area of the supply chain, including the job market for professional drivers. Market research indicates that at the height of the crisis, up to 90 % of carriers experienced a drop in orders, which undoubtedly also translated into truckers’ work.

Nearly half of the transport companies said they had a problem with driver availability. It turned out that drivers did not turn up for work because they were afraid of travelling to countries with particular epidemiological risks. In other cases, it was a question of regional restrictions.

Are drivers thinking about a career change?

The latest statistics show that 4 out of 10 drivers are thinking about a career change. 14.4% of truckers think about it very often (a year earlier the figure was less than 12%). 22.9% of truckers think about it often. (previously – 21.7%). 

However, 21.1 percent of drivers do not think about a career change at all. In the previous year it was just over 24 %.

The mood among drivers seems to have soured somewhat. Given the circumstances and the pandemic, this is hardly surprising. The dangers, the situation on the roads and at border crossings, the new restrictions and obligations related to the epidemiological situation have certainly not improved the comfort of work. 

Nevertheless, this year as many as 85% of professional drivers confirmed that they like their job. This is 6 % better than the result obtained in 2018. 

So, the transport industry in Poland is developing in the right direction.