Taxi drivers, or cab drivers, provide transportation for hire. They usually take customers short distances within urban areas. Chauffeurs are employed by hotels and other traveler accommodation services, ferrying travelers from airports and bus stations to hotels. In many states, cab drivers and chauffeurs are required to hold specialized licenses.
As of 2012, cab drivers and chauffeurs earned an average of $12.09 per hour and $25,140 per year. Half of drivers reported wages ranging from $9.08 to $14.05 and annual incomes of between $18,890 and $29,220. These income figures include tips, on which taxi drivers rely heavily.
As of 2012, taxi drivers employed directly by taxi cab companies reported an average income of $13.30 per hour and $27,670 per year. Chauffeurs employed by automobile dealerships to transport patrons whose cars are undergoing repairs earned an average of $10.25 per hour and $21,320 per year. Those working for traveler accommodation services that take passengers from transportation hubs to lodging services earned an average of $11.45 an hour and $23,820 per year.
Cab drivers and chauffeurs working in Washington, D.C. reported the highest earnings in the nation as of 2012, an average of $17.09 per hour and $35,550 a year. New York was the highest-paying state for this occupation, where drivers averaged $15.25 an hour and $31,710 a year. Other high-paying states included Nevada, New Jersey and Hawaii. Arkansas reported the lowest income, an average of $9.03 an hour and $18,780 per year.
The BLS expects job growth for taxi drivers and chauffeurs to increase about 20 percent through 2020, leading to an estimated 47,000 new jobs by the end of the decade. This fast rate of growth, coupled with a high rate of turnover in the industry, should lead to excellent employment opportunities for those who wish to work as cab drivers. The majority of available positions are expected to occur in urban areas, particularly those near urban transit systems.
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