How much money do truck drivers make?

High pay rates are the number one reason people want to become licensed truck drivers. Unlike traditional jobs which pay only an hourly or fixed wage regardless of your workload, professional truck drivers are paid for every single mile they drive. Truck drivers receive a mileage-based, fixed rate.

Trailer heavy and tractor truck drivers made an average of $43,680 per year in 2018 and $21,00 per hour – BLS – heavy tractor trailer

In 2018 the median pay for delivery truck drivers was $30,500 per year and $14.66 per hour – BLS truck driver delivery

How much do entry Level Truck Driver Salary make?

The starting mileage rate for most entry level truck drivers is $0.27 to $0.29 per mile. In starting pay this amounts to $650 to $750 per week! Your pay rate can increase significantly, with experience. As per the U.S. Department of Labor, a truck driver salary is around $43,000 to $55,000 per year for someone with three years of experience.

One thing which makes it so appealing to become a truck driver is that the harder you work, the more you receive. The more miles that you drive, the more money that is in your pocket. Receiving mileage increases is also normal, based on a variety of different factors.

The quality of your CDL training is the single most important factor in determining your truck driver ‘s salary, regardless of the company you choose to drive for, the cargo you carry or the routes you drive. Don’t risk getting a lower wage by selecting a training school for truck drivers of poor quality. Use the application to find a reputable, certified CDL training school to help you earn the salary you deserve from the truck drivers.


Looking to become a professional truck driver? You probably asked yourself: How much can I do as a driver of a truck? And is my lorry income going to support my family? Will I earn $100 K a year driving trucks or should I get a measly wage? What is life on the road going to be like … is that worth it?

Ninety per cent of all consumer and food goods in the world are transported by truck to their final destination; thus, a truck driver is very much required for economic development. A truck driver ‘s salary depends on different factors such as where they are based, distance traveled, vehicle size, the size of the hiring company, seniority, driver qualifications, working conditions, pay structure etc. The detailed guide analyzes what you can do in North America as a truck driver, and how you can increase your income.

While you might not be able to make $100,000 / year off the bat, you can make $80,000 + on a trucker ‘s salary given the truck driver demand, and with experience , expertise, CDL training and the right business.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make a Year?

Truck driver pay varies from one factor to another: experience of truck drivers, credibility, expertise and much more. In 2018 the total wage for truck drivers is $43,680, according to the Bureau of Labor. That does not, however, take into account drivers who might not be working full-time or compare the differences between independent drivers and drivers of companies. The scale may therefore usually be as low as $28,160 in annual sales to as high as $65,260, according to BLS.

The difference for America’s roughly 3.5 million truck drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), is that wages should remain steady for the anticipated future as the industry struggles to find enough drivers to fill its orders, especially as many experienced drivers start retiring.

Hourly Truck Driver Wage

According to, if you are a experienced driver you have earning potential you can earn as much as 60 cents per mile. Negotiating rates based on miles (cents-per-mile) can be a good career change for drivers instead of hours. A truck driver with an average speed of 70 MPH can bring in about $42 an hour with that in mind. Unfortunately, when you’ve driven for a long time and have a fantastic driving reputation, there isn’t much space for pay negotiation. You have to earn pretty much a lower rate until you can experience enough to “call the shots.” Plus, earning a mile might not always pay if traffic or road conditions are unfavorable on certain days. These are all normal factors which play into truck driving’s pay rates.

Average Salary of Trucking Types of Jobs

  • Class A: $49,000
  • Route Truck Driver: $37,500
  • Commercial Truck Driver: $50,000
  • Tow Truck Driver: $35,000
  • Semi-Truck Driver: $49,000
  • CDL Driver: $46,000
  • Bulk Truck Driver: $52,000
  • Tank Truck Driver: $59,500
  • Truck Driver Run OTR: $62,000
  • CDL Truck Driver: $51,500
  • OTR CDL Truck Driver: $57,500
  • Dump Truck Driver: $39,000

The Best States for Truck Driver Salaries

How much a trucker really earns depends on how much they’re being paid. The overwhelming majority of trucking companies pay their drivers by the mile instead of the hour, so much depends on how many miles you travel. Place and employer are also considerations.

In the U.S., state salaries seem to be all over the map — literally. Even new drivers working for the same firm can expect different pay rates depending on where they live. Seek Business Capital examined average annual truck driver wage data from the BLS by state in a new original study in relation to the average per capita income and the results show the deep effect location on wages and could justify an interstate move for many truckers struggling to meet ends.

Here are the 10 best truck driver states that also take into account the living costs of the State:

The Best States for Truck Driver Salaries

Overall RankStateAverage Annual Truck Driver WageAverage Per Capita Income for All Occupations (Incl. Non-Trucking Jobs)How Much More Truck Drivers Make Than the Average Worker
5South Carolina$44,270$38,041+16.37%
7New Mexico$44,460$38,457+15.61%

The Worst States for Truck Driver Salaries

The data for Washington D.C., even if not a territory. Is too compelling to disregard. For truck driver claims, here are the 10 worst states, plus D.C.:

The Worst States for Truck Driver Salaries (Plus D.C.)
Overall RankState (incl. D.C.)Average Annual Truck Driver WageAverage Per Capita Income for All Occupations (Incl. Non-Trucking Jobs)How Much Less Truck Drivers Make Than the Average Worker
51Washington D.C.$52,760$71,496-26.21%
48New Jersey$49,080$59,782-17.90%
47New Hampshire$45,030$54,817-17.85%
44New York$50,460$57,705-12.56%
41South Dakota$41,590$45,002-7.58%

How to Bring Home lot of money as a Truck Driver?

So, you went into trucking with the goal of making as much as $100,000 annually. How are you? Ok, usually it’s quite rare to earn that much in the field. In reality, to start earning about $60k annually will take 10 years of experience. However, drivers are likely to retire before they can attain that desired 6-figure salary.

In the truck driving realm, here’s a few CRAZY ways you can earn over $100k a year:

Ice Road Trucking: Ice road truckers, with overweight load drivers and Hazmat haulers following closely behind, are the highest paying for in the specialty industry. Because of work danger and high cost, ice road truckers have the potential to earn a full year’s pay in just a few months. Those are the best of the industry ‘s best. Expertise is needed beyond anything else. Truckers need to know how to handle the elements if they break down on a trip and how to fix their trucks. A 3 month season may potentially have someone earning more than $120,000 a year, it is reported.
Overweight load drivers: Overweight load drivers certainly make their living easy. For this job a high level of concentration and a lot of patience is required. Holding a wide road straight requires a lot of skill. It is always a hazard for them to share the road with oncoming traffic. They travel with a team including a spotter to ensure their journey from start to finish is safe. But, if you don’t want to put your ass on the line to earn that cash, how does a truck driver expect between $100,000 and $150,000 to bring home anywhere?
Owner-operators carry so much back home. However, the cost of maintaining that truck can be so high that you can cut that earning potential in half after it all gets taken into account for that—-you can pretty much.

Where Does This Leave You?

If you are dissatisfied with your current pay for truck drivers or find a new profession as a trucker, it is vital that you do some research. While it is not achievable for everyone to move across state lines, it could make a huge difference in how much you are paid, as well as in how far that money goes. Even if you can’t move around, knowing where the trucker salary of your state stands in relation to others is key to understanding how well you ‘re compensated.

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