Walmart Will Now Pay You $95,000 to Do This
The retailer is raising compensation significantly to address an ongoing shortage.
Walmart is such an established and beloved brand across the country that it's hard to imagine the big-box chain facing serious setbacks. Nevertheless, the past couple years have presented a challenge to seemingly every retailer, and Walmart is no exception. Shortages continue to plague the industry, making it harder to keep shelves stocked and stores open. Now, Walmart has announced a new initiative in an attempt to mitigate the problem. Read on to learn what Walmart will now pay you $95,000 to do.
Walmart is upping its truck driver salary to $95,000.
On April 7, Walmart announced that it would be raising its starting salary for truck drivers to $95,000, CNBC reported. In their first year at the company, new drivers can make anywhere between $95,000 and $110,000, Walmart said, noting that this would be an increase from the previous average salary of $87,500. According to Reuters, the median pay for big-rig drivers in the U.S. as of 2020 was just $47,130. When adjusted for inflation, that's only 70 percent of what truckers made in the 1970s.
As CNN Business notes, Walmart needs long-haul truck drivers to deliver goods to stores and also to keep up with an ever-increasing number of online orders from Walmart.com. The company currently has 12,000 truck drivers after breaking a hiring record with 4,500 new drivers added in 2021. Walmart hopes the pay raise will "help us continue to hire aggressively to meet all-time high demand from customers," a spokesperson said in an email to CNN Business.
The company is also starting a training program for new truck drivers.
Raising pay is not the only incentive Walmart is adding to lure more drivers to its fleet. CNBC reports that the company has also started a 12-week training program for new drivers in Sanger, Texas, and Dover, Delaware. Trainees have the ability to earn a commercial driver's license and get a job with Walmart. The company also covers the cost of getting the license, which can be between $4,000 and $5,000, Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield told CNBC.
Hatfield explained to the news outlet that the program is currently limited to supply chain associates near Sanger and Dover, but that the program would eventually be expanded, allowing for any Walmart employee to apply. The spokeswoman told CNBC that the company has plans to train between 400 and 800 new drivers in 2022.
Truck driver shortages have exacerbated supply chain issues.
As Reuters explains, Walmart is attempting to fix a problem across the retail space—the supply chain issues that have caused significant shortages over the past two years. Per Reuters, federal limits on daily working hours and the ongoing pandemic have led many drivers to quit, leading to a nationwide driver shortage. A May 2021 CNN Business article also noted the increased need for truck drivers as online shopping soared.
At the time, companies said they were raising pay to try to keep drivers working, but only some could offer the incentives of regular trucking routes and more time and home, CNN Business reported. Tim Norlin, vice president of driver employment at Wisconsin-based trucking company Roehl Transport, told the news outlet that higher rates didn't always help with shortages, since some drivers making more money opted to spend more time off the road. "Drivers want to be home more," he said at the time. "They have expressed that to us."
Other companies have raised trucker pay to prevent shortages.
In raising salaries and increasing training initiatives, Walmart is simply following nationwide trends and attempting to keep its trucks—and thus the supply chain—moving. Other companies are also doing what they can to keep drivers on the road. In Jan. 2022, Fox Business reported that trucking firm KLLM Transport Services was raising pay by up to 33 percent for over-the-road truck drivers and new trainees. "Historically, it's always been hard finding good, qualified drivers, and as of the last year or so, it's become increasingly more difficult," KLLM CEO Jim Richards told Fox Business.
In March, trucking news site Transport Topics reported on a number of carriers upping pay to address the driver shortage. According to the news outlet, Cargo Transporters, B&G Supply Co., Montgomery Transport, and Two Marines Moving all announced pay raises. "Truck drivers are the backbone of America, and B&G employees top talent when it comes to OTR drivers," B&G co-owner David Mitchell told Transport Topics. "This pay increase is not only well-deserved for our hard-working drivers, but necessary to continue hiring and retaining the best talent in today's competitive driver market."