Truck driver photo created by aleksandarlittlewolf
Want to know the salary of a truck driver in the United States? Read this guide to understand how much truck drivers can make.
Without a doubt, the first question people ask when they are about to start a career in trucking: how much does a truck driver make? In this article, we'll take a look at the average salary in the trucking industry, as well as the factors that affect it.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for truck drivers in the United States is about $80,583 a year. There are some different factors that affect how much it is paid. The main ones are:
Majority of the company drivers are paid on cents per-mile (CPM) basis. This method is the most common because it is flexible, efficient and comparable to a good hourly wage.
Regional drivers work in a certain area of the country only. This job allows the driver to return home every week or every two weeks. In this case, the driver gets between $0.60 and $0.70 per mile on average. So, you can earn $1,200 a week and $60,000 a year respectively.
Solo over-the-road (OTR) drivers haul in the continental U.S., sometimes crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders. They can spend weeks on the road and the average rate per mile for OTR drivers is up to $0.90. That means you can bring home $1,400 a week in your first year of trucking and $70,000 a year.
A driver team consists of two drivers who alternate driving shifts while the other takes a break. Team drivers can get an average of $0.75 to $0.90 per mile and a range of their salary is $80,000 to $90,000 annually.
Driver pay may vary slightly from company to company. Try to find employers who have been in business a long time, have a proven payment history and treat their drivers well.
Most companies also offer incentives and guaranteed weekly pay. Company drivers may receive not only financial compensation. When choosing a company to work for as a driver, don’t be afraid to ask about their full compensation package. The solid compensation package can save you a lot on health insurance and earn more money for retirement. Different trucking companies provide the following benefits to their employees:
These additional competence levels can also significantly increase a truck driver's pay.
Truck drivers can earn a few cents more per mile with a HAZMAT license. Some companies may even pay more for non-HAZMAT loads in such cases.
Transportation of bulk liquids also involves certain difficulties. Receiving a specialized tanker truck license will lead to a pay raise.
Cargo over 13′ 6″ tall or over 8′ 6″ wide requires a permit and usually costs more than a standard-sized load. Some examples of oversized shipments that require a permit:
HMD Trucking was founded in 1998 and has become one of the fastest growing trucking companies in Chicago, with a fleet of more than 300 trucks. Check out HMD Trucking's pay and extra benefits:
As we can see, there are opportunities to make real money in the trucking industry. Even rookies can get a big paycheck once they start working. In addition, this kind of work is good for military veterans looking for a new career, as some companies offer special terms for them. After just a few years of experience, the opportunities get even better. If you've made a decision to become a truck driver, learn how to get a CDL and start your career by visiting the HMD Trucking page.
by Evelina Brown (July 2022)