So when you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to become when you grew up? If you answered Fleet Manager, then congratulations, you selected position that typically is defined above the national average for employment.

According to the Department of Labor’s (DLB) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), First Line Managers and Supervisors of the Trucking Industry typically earn $57,930 annually; a figure computed from data compiled from the 197,000 US taxpayers who identified themselves as Trucking First Line Supervisor or Manager. The data also pinpoints where jobs in this field are most prevalent.

However, salary figures can be deceiving. At the bottom 10% salaries average $15.59 an hour, or $32,430 annually. However, it typically indicates a business not interested in improving a trucking company’s profit and logistical reach while maintaining the regulatory requirements for the business. The top 90% will average $41.65 an hour, or $86,640 annually. These companies employ professional managers who embrace new technologies and improvements to the business, reduce risk and liability, and demonstrate their worth to the company in terms of dollars saved.

The outlook for trucking and need for managers and logisticians is expected to rise 11% through till 2021, according the BLS. In fact, the American Trucking Association expects a shortfall of 240,000 drivers by the year 2020, up from the 35,000 shortages of drivers currently. The shortage of drivers and demand for OTR drivers will strain a fleet manager’s ability to maintain loads to undesirable destinations or other low paying LTL runs. As long as the economy improves, the demand for goods will increase, as will the cost to bring those goods to markets served by trucking.

The concentration of interstate hubs in the Midwest, as well as heavy traffic corridors in the Northeast and West all point to jobs in the trucking industry. Surprisingly, more of these positions exist in West Texas and Louisiana, likely due to the expansion in the oil and gas fields that keep America rolling.

Larger trucking firms are expected to survive the driver shortage by recruiting and training their own operators, as well as maintaining an efficient fleet, use of telematics, GPS, and RFID to track, trace, and distribute loads effectively. Smaller companies can benefit from having fleet managers who know the best methods to get a load from point A to point B, support their drivers requirements, and use their personal knowledge to save dollars over the competition. In effect, they must work more like owner/operators who have a vested interest in moving loads and keeping the wheels turning.