Thinking about becoming a snow plow driver?  


This seasonal job requires its own unique expertise, equipment, and dedication to a challenging schedule, but remains in high demand each year by both state Departments of Transportation and private businesses.  


If you’re up for the task, snow plow driving could be the right solution for CDL drivers looking to gain additional income or find an annual gig. Keep reading to learn more about the experience needed, expectations on the job, and perks of being a snow plow driver.  


What is a snow plow driver? 

Operating a snow plow is different from most other CDL driving jobs because it is usually an on-call or contracted seasonal position through a local public works department, state Department of Transportation, or private company.  


Some snow plow drivers are contracted by private businesses such as malls, hotels, or residential communities. Others plow major roads and public areas and often deposit melting solutions, salt, and sand as preventive measures when heavy snowfall is predicted.  


This job requires physical endurance, manual dexterity, and the technical skills required to operate large machinery. It’s also important to remain available for on-call shifts throughout the winter, and whenever wintery weather conditions are forecasted.  


What experience do you need? 

Although operating a snow plow is a challenging and physically demanding job, it is not difficult to gain the required experience to become a qualified applicant.   


All positions will require a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and some may ask for additional training or certifications. Private companies often offer on-the-job training, but it is always beneficial to have at least two years of experience with similar vehicles or equipment.  


To stand out on applications, connect with seasoned professionals, and receive training materials and skill certifications, consider joining an industry association such as the Snow & Ice Management Association or the Accredited Snow Contractors Association. While the annual demand for snowplow operators remains consistently high, being equipped with industry connections and verifiable experience will give you a competitive edge when seeking employment in this field. 


Equipment necessary  

Operating a snow plow is also unique because the actual blade is able to be equipped on any truck, even a half-ton pickup. This makes it more accessible for drivers looking to work for a private company or even start their own, without having to think about finding a new tractor.  


Facing unpredictable and potentially dangerous weather and road conditions, snow plow drivers must be prepared for anything. These are some of the essentials that every operator should bring with them.  

  • Snow plow. The most important part of the job, which can be attached to trucks, backhoes, scrapers, excavators, or other vehicles. There is a range of plows to choose from, such as straight blade, V-plow, winged plow, box plow, or rotary plow, depending on the amount and type of snow to be cleared.  
  • Melting solutions, salt, and sand. Many snow plow drivers also deposit melting solutions to prevent ice build up and make it easier to clear. It’s useful to bring extra, in case you get stuck and need to increase friction on the road.  
  • Ice scraper. When driving in the winter, it’s important to always keep your windshields clear of snow or ice.  
  • Shovel or broom. These can be used to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, driveways, or other areas that are not accessible by vehicles.  
  • First aid kit. With a job as risky as snow plowing, you never know what could happen. It’s important to be prepared and keep the kit stocked.  
  • Basic emergency items. Besides first aid, remember to bring blankets, extra clothes, a tow rope, and tire chains.  


What are the benefits? 

What most drivers really want to know about a position like operating a snow plow is what the pay and benefits are like. While compensation varies depending on factors such as location, experience, and demand for snow removal services, drivers are usually paid hourly and can sometimes receive overtime during times of heavy snowfall.  


Today’s average hourly pay for a snow plow driver in the US is $24.36, with a range from $12.98 to $35.34. Although this adds up to a lower average annual salary than the overall CDL driver average, the seasonal nature of snow plow driving means it is usually a supplement to income, allowing drivers to pick up a little extra cash around the holiday season.  


Some employers also offer standard employment benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans, as well as performance bonuses or further training to gain additional experience operating snow removal equipment.  



Operating a snow plow is a challenging but rewarding job for CDL drivers looking to make additional income each winter. If you’re interested in finding out more, head to your local DOT website or find a nearby private company focusing in winter maintenance and snow removal.  


For more information on opportunities available to CDL drivers year round, be sure to check out our social media and stay up-to-date on our Truck Driver Blog