Average pay: $43,200
With long hours behind the wheel, frequent stretches away from home, and constant pressure to make deliveries on time, life on the open road can be lonely and stressful. Throw in the dangers of highway accidents, irregular sleep patterns, and fatty truck-stop grub, and it’s perhaps no surprise that the trucking lifestyle can shave 15 years off a driver’s life expectancy. While the average American male lives to be 76, the typical male truck driver can expect to live to age 61. Job security is good, though, as is the pay. First-year company drivers can earn $30,000 to $45,000; salaries for experienced drivers with good safety records can push $85,000.