So, you've always dreamed of being a tow truck driver?
The thought of rescuing stranded motorists and enforcing automotive justice appeals to you no end. It sounds great, but how much do tow truck drivers make?
Grab your winch and your crane and read on.
What Does a Tow Truck Driver Do?
As a tow truck driver, you will perform a valuable role in the recovery of stranded or abandoned vehicles. You will drive trucks equipped with specialized towing equipment designed to secure and remove broken down cars, vans, and trucks.
Depending on your level of certification (discussed below) you will be towing anything from small occupancy vehicles, like cars, all the way up to 18 wheelers.
What Qualifications Will I Need?
To start your career as a tow truck driver you won't need any formal education. However, there is a certification process.
The Towing and Recovery Association of America has a certification process with three training levels.
- Level 1 - Light Duty - Upon completion, you are considered a Nationally Certified Tow Operator.
- Level 2 - Medium/Heavy Duty - Completing the second level will see you earn the rank of Master Tower.
- Level 3 - Heavy Recovery - Completing the final level of the NDCP training program will bestow upon you the title of Heavy Recovery Specialist.
How Much Do Tow Truck Drivers Make?
The salary varies by city and state. As a tow truck driver, you can expect to make an average of $30,000 at the start of your career. After a few years in the business, your wage can climb over $40,000.
We've put together a list of the top three highest and lowest paying cities in the U.S., based on the findings from ZipRecruiter. Keep in mind these are for entry-level positions.
Highest Paying Cities:
- Oakland, CA: Hourly Rate $17.41 Annual Salary $36,210
- New York City, NY: Hourly Rate $17.05 Annual Salary $35,454
- Los Angeles, CA: Hourly Rate $16.50 Annual Salary $34,318
Lowest Paying Cities:
- Springfield, MO: Hourly Rate $12.85 Annual Salary $26,733
- Brownsville, TX: Hourly Rate $13.06 Annual Salary $27,162
- El Paso, TX: Hourly Rate $13.55 Annual Salary $28,185
What are the Perks?
Aside from towing cars, saving helpless drivers and enforcing automotive justice, you can actually expect some pretty decent perks.
As a tow truck driver, you will either be self-employed or work for a towing specialist like the one found at https://geyerstowing.com/. Tow truck drivers who work for a specialist will receive perks such as paid time off, health insurance and a 401 (k) plan.
A successful and motivated individual can forge a promising career as a tow truck driver. You will be able to work your way up the pay scale, accruing additional certifications as you go.
How much do tow truck drivers make? This question and more have been answered for you. With all this information you're now ready to begin your budding new career as a certified tow truck driver.
Go. Ride off into the sunset and become the people's champion.