How much do truck drivers earn?

The job of a trucker is difficult, but well-paid. You can learn in detail about its specifics here:

And in this text we will focus on such a point of interest as wages. The average salary for a company truck driver in the United States is $80,583 per year at the moment. However, this figure varies depending on many factors, let’s try to break down each of them.

Driver type

  • Local Driver. The average starting salary for local truck drivers is $50,000 per year or about $1,000 per week.
  • Regional driver. The average starting salary for regional drivers is $60,000 per year or between $0.60 and $0.70 per mile.
  • OTR drivers. The national salary for OTR truck drivers is about $70,000 per year or about $0.90 per mile.
  • Team Drivers. The national average salary for team drivers is $85,000 per year or $0.75 to $0.90 per mile.
  • Owner-operator. The national average salary for an owner-operator is $130,000 per year, but keep in mind that with this job option, he covers his own costs.

Cargo type

The next factor that directly affects truckers’ pay is the type of cargo being transported. The type of cargo affects the driver’s pay as it relates to the level of experience and skill set needed to successfully perform the job. The most common cargo types are:

  • Dry van.
  • Dry bulk.
  • Truck tractor.
  • Flatbed.
  • Tanker.
  • Refrigerator.


Another factor that affects a driver’s pay is endorsement. In order to be eligible to carry certain types of cargo, the driver needs to have various endorsements in addition to the CDL. Below is a list of the different types of endorsements:

  • Double/Triple trailer endorsement. As the name makes clear, this is one truck pulling two or three trailers at the same time. The national average salary for double/triple trailer drivers is $78,125 per year or $0.50 to $0.75 per mile.
  • Tank truck driver endorsement. This driver delivers liquids in bulk, such as water or sand, in a tank trailer. A special permit is required to drive this truck because different processes are required to load and unload the truck. The national average wage for tank truck drivers is $90,625 per year or $0.60 to $0.85 per mile.
  • Hazmat truck endorsement. Such drivers transport hazardous materials such as hazardous or toxic liquids and liquefied gasses. Because of the specific nature of these materials, drivers who hold this clearance must strictly adhere to procedures to ensure that the materials are transported safely. The national average salary for hazardous materials drivers is $84,375 per year or $0.60 to $0.80 per mile.
  • Hazmat/Tanker combination endorsement. A combined hazardous materials permit allows a truck driver to transport hazardous materials in a tank truck. As with hazardous materials, for the safety of the public and the products involved, only truck drivers with this permit can transport hazardous materials in a tanker truck. The national average salary for a combined tank truck driver is $87,500 per year or $0.60 to $0.85 per mile.


The location of the company for which a truck driver works has a significant impact on his or her earnings. As with other professions, truck driver salaries can vary significantly from state to state and city to city. Here’s a list of the 10 states that pay the highest salaries.

  • Nevada.
  • Mississippi.
  • Kentucky.
  • Utah.
  • South Carolina.
  • Arizona.
  • New Mexico.
  • Indiana.
  • Idaho.
  • Montana.

Truck driving experience

Without a doubt, truck drivers’ pay is affected by their experience. As in most other industries, experienced truck drivers earn more than novice drivers. Once you gain experience, you will have the ability to negotiate and demand higher truck driver pay.

The job of an inexperienced truck driver can be challenging, but remember that the demand for truck drivers is high and that a few years of experience in the industry is all you need to get to the next level and advance your career.

Incentives, bonuses and bonuses in the hiring process

Last on the list of factors that affect truck driver pay are incentives, bonuses, and hiring bonuses.

If you’re just starting your truck driving career or already have experience in a similar job, you’ll have noticed that almost all trucking companies offer incentives, bonuses and hiring bonuses, not only to attract drivers, but also to retain them.

Since truck drivers are constantly in high demand, companies are willing to give truck drivers incentives and bonuses like these to set their company apart from others and encourage truck drivers to work for them.

Performance bonuses are another way to make more money. Whether it’s a mileage bonus or a safety bonus. 


So how much do truck drivers earn? As you can see, the answer to this question is ambiguous because it really depends significantly on the factors described above.

And while a truck driver can make a lot of money (even, a 6-figure salary), that’s not often the case because higher-paying jobs often involve significant risk and danger, which can put off many truck drivers.

But that doesn’t mean that truck driving isn’t an honest job where you can make good money. After all, the best way to make the most money is to improve your skills and invest your time.