Walmart on Thursday announced a hike in pay for truck drivers, and launched a new training programme for employees to become certified truck drivers.

“Our approximately 12,000 drivers are deeply dedicated to safety and professionalism, and today, we’re proud to announce pay raises to ensure Walmart remains one of the best companies in the world to drive for,” Walmart said in a blog post announcing the pay hike.

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“These latest investments mean Walmart drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company. And that’s just a start – drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn even more, based on factors like tenure and location,” the blog post read.

Earlier, truck drivers for Walmart, the largest retailer in the US, could make up to $87,500 in their first year with the company.

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Walmart also announced its new Private Fleet Development Program, under which long-time drivers with the company can become Certified Driver Trainers and help train Walmart’s growing fleet of truckers.

“The investments in pay and training build on multiple recent driver bonuses and improved schedules that enable drivers to spend more time at home. There’s never been a better time to join our fleet. Once drivers are on board, this is a job many leave only for retirement,” Walmart said, wrapping up its announcement.

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The pay hike for Walmart truck drivers comes at a time when the US is experiencing an acute shortage in truckers, which, particularly, has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, according to the American Trucking Associations, a large industry trade group, the US is short of about 80,000 truckers.