Chauffeurs take people places. Be it for a business, a family, a government agency or a limousine company, they convey people in cars, vans or luxury vehicles. They may also be asked to run errands and carry luggage. Chauffeurs also ensure that the vehicles are well-maintained and presented. Salary levels for the occupation will vary according to where and for whom a chauffeur works.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups chauffeurs with taxi drivers in its May 2009 survey of employment in the United States. It lists the average annual salary for the profession as $23,930, with the median – the average across the middle 50 percent of earners – as $21,960. In April 2011, wage comparison website Salary.com listed the median salary for the chauffeuring profession alone as slightly higher, at $29,600.
Pay by Industry
Taxi and limousine services provide, in the BLS analysis, the vast majority of employment opportunities for chauffeurs. It lists the average yearly wage within this sector of the industry as $26,130. Private chauffeurs providing individual and family services could expect an average of $20,890 while those employed by hotels and other traveler accommodation earned $20,900. The BLS found that some of the industry sectors offering the highest average wages to chauffeurs were aerospace products and parts manufacturing, securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage, and the motion picture and video industries. Figures were $50,030, $47,670 and $44,710, respectively.
Pay by Location
The BLS also detailed how location can affect a chauffeur’s salary. Among states, it lists the District of Columbia, Connecticut and Nevada as the most lucrative across all industry sectors, averaging $31,960, $31,050 and $29,460, respectively. In contrast, North Dakota is listed at just $19,190. At the level of metropolitan districts, two areas in Connecticut topped the table – the Norwich-New London district at $40,370 and the Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk area at $36,830. At the other end of the scale, Johnstown, Pennsylvania was listed at $19,030.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for chauffeurs and taxi drivers will grow approximately 16 percent over the decade from 2008 to 2018. This is a significant rate of growth given that the Bureau expects the growth rate across all occupations in the country to be between 7 and 13 percent over the same period, although the Bureau cautions that the availability of work is likely to be affected by the country’s economic performance, given that chauffeur-driven cars are often considered a luxury. However, salary levels should remain competitive, with chauffeurs with clean driving records and the ability to be flexible in their working hours likely to secure the best rates.