From HGV drivers to chauffeurs, many roles require specific skills, licenses, and experience. As such, pay varies significantly depending on these factors and the industry in which you operate. This article delves into some of the most highly paid driving jobs in the UK at the moment.
1. Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) Driver
With a severe shortage of HGV drivers in the UK, this is a role that is currently commanding a high salary, particularly for experienced drivers. HGV drivers are responsible for the transportation of goods between suppliers and customers. The role requires a Category C or C+E driving licence, Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), and usually involves long hours and potentially overnight stays. HGV drivers can earn between £30,000 and £40,000 per year, and with the current shortage, some are commanding even higher salaries.
2. Bus or Coach Driver
Bus or coach drivers transport people on local, national or overseas journeys. Bus drivers often work in urban areas, shuttling people around cities and towns, while coach drivers frequently undertake long-distance or overseas travel. Depending on the company, location, and nature of the journeys, bus and coach drivers can earn from £22,000 to over £30,000 per year.
Chauffeurs provide a premium service, driving private cars for corporate clients, wealthy individuals, or in the luxury travel industry. The role typically demands a high level of professionalism, discretion, and excellent customer service skills. In return, chauffeurs can earn anything from £30,000 to £50,000 a year, depending on their clientele and location.
4. Taxi Driver
Taxi drivers transport customers to their desired locations, often operating in urban areas. The earning potential for a taxi driver can vary significantly, depending largely on location, hours worked, and whether the driver is self-employed or works for a company. While the average earnings might be around £20,000 to £30,000, taxi drivers in busy urban areas or who work unsociable hours can earn much more.
5. Emergency Service Drivers
Emergency service drivers, including ambulance and fire service drivers, require specialist training to handle high-pressure situations and navigate through traffic quickly and safely. While the starting salary for these roles may not be high, experienced drivers with advanced training can earn upwards of £30,000 per year.
6. Delivery Drivers
With the e-commerce boom and rise of companies like Amazon, there’s been a surge in demand for delivery drivers. While pay can vary depending on the specifics of the job and the company, some experienced drivers or those working in roles with additional responsibility can earn up to £30,000 or more.
7. Specialist Vehicle Driver
Specialist vehicle drivers, including those who operate vehicles like forklifts, cranes, and tractors, often earn a higher wage due to the specialised nature of the job. These roles usually require specific training and certifications, and salaries can range widely but often sit at around £25,000 to £35,000 per year.
8. Driving Instructor
Driving instructors teach people how to operate vehicles safely and pass their driving tests. Being a driving instructor offers flexibility, as you can often set your own hours. However, you need to pass rigorous DVSA exams to qualify. Once established, a driving instructor can earn between £20,000 and £35,000 annually, and those running their own successful schools can earn more.
The demand for drivers in various industries in the UK is high, making driving a lucrative profession for many. Whether you prefer the open road of long-haul driving or the precision and responsibility of emergency services, there’s likely a driving job to suit your skills and interests. As with all jobs, the key to earning a high salary often lies in gaining relevant qualifications, accumulating experience, and demonstrating a strong track record of reliability and professionalism.