Truck Driver : What to Expect in Terms of Salary

February 02, 2023 · 3 min read

Truck driving is a popular and in-demand profession in the United States, with many opportunities available for individuals who are interested in pursuing this career. While the job can be challenging and require long hours on the road, it can also be rewarding and provide a good source of income. In this article, we will take a look at what it takes to become a truck driver and what to expect in terms of salary.

Becoming a truck driver requires obtaining a commercial driver's license (CDL), which requires passing a written and driving test. Additionally, truck drivers must meet certain physical and medical requirements and have a clean driving record. Some trucking companies may also require additional training or certifications.

The salary of a truck driver can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including their level of experience, the type of truck they drive, and the region of the country where they work. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $45,260 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $65,830.

Long-haul truck drivers, who typically drive across state lines, tend to earn higher salaries than short-haul drivers, who typically stay within a single state. Truck drivers who transport hazardous materials and those who operate specialized vehicles, such as tanker or refrigerated trucks, may also earn higher salaries.

In terms of geographical location, some states tend to have higher wages for truck drivers than others. According to BLS data, truck drivers in California and New York tend to earn higher salaries than those in other states. Here are a few examples of median annual wages for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in some states:

  • California: $51,810
  • New York: $50,240
  • Texas: $44,300
  • Florida: $41,660
  • Illinois: $47,430
  • Georgia: $44,040

Most truck drivers are paid by the mile, and the more miles they drive, the more they earn. However, it is also important to keep in mind that being a truck driver is not a 9-5 job and requires long hours of driving, being away from home for long periods of time, and dealing with the stress of tight deadlines and traffic.

Some trucking companies may offer higher salaries, and some drivers may be able to earn more through bonuses or by working overtime. Owner-Operators can earn more but also have more expenses to cover.

In conclusion, becoming a truck driver can be a challenging but rewarding profession that offers good income opportunities.The salary of a truck driver can vary greatly depending on experience, type of truck driven, and location. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of this career before making a decision.

by Yevheniia Osmakova

Was this helpful?