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Highest paying jobs for new truck drivers

Truck driving is an excellent career path to follow with competitive pay. While new drivers won’t typically get the best-paying trucking jobs right out of the gate, some companies offer great pay even if you just got your CDL. New drivers can secure jobs with health benefits, 401(k) contributions and tuition reimbursement.

Learn more about the highest-paying jobs for new truck drivers and how to succeed in the transportation industry.

Quicklook: Highest paying trucking jobs for new drivers

  • Best for training: Roehl –Apply Now
  • Best for high starting compensation: Walmart -Match Now
  • Best for tuition reimbursement: Werner Enterprises -Match Now
  • Best for stock benefits: Sysco -Match Now
  • Best for work-life balance: Epes Transport -Match Now
  • Best for home time: Fraley & Schilling -Match Now

6 top-paying trucking jobs for new drivers

Which trucking company pays the most for new drivers? Even entry-level truck drivers can secure trucking jobs with excellent salaries. Here are six companies for new drivers looking for the best-paying trucking jobs. 



Roehl is a leader in the industry, helping its new hires obtain CDL licenses. The transportation company even pays for in-class CDL training and over-the-road training with an experienced Roehl driver. 

With Roehl, a driver can become licensed and get on the road in about six weeks. After obtaining your license, you can start benefitting from Roehl’s extensive benefits and flexible driving schedules. Roehl offers more home time for drivers each week, earning it a reputation as one of the best trucking companies to work for.  

Best for: Training


  • Less than 1 year : $50,000
  • 1-3 years : $65,000
  • 4-10 years: $75,000
  • > 10 years : $80,000


  • Paid training
  • Stellar work culture
  • High pay and low turnover rates
  • Mileage-based compensation
  • New, top-of-the-line trucks

Disadvantages: Committed to driving for Roehl throughout lease-to-purchase program


Truck driver for Walmart

As one of the country’s largest companies, Walmart has some of the best-paying trucking jobs available. Walmart’s salary packages are up to 17% above the national average, and the company is known industry-wide as an excellent workplace for truck drivers. 

Walmart offers driver training and compensation for downtime. The company also is highly focused on driver safety.

Best for: High starting compensation

Salary: $87,500 average salary for new drivers


  • 401(k)
  • Medical and dental insurance
  • PTO from the first year up to 21 days
  • Life insurance and short-term disability
  • Four paid safety days a year


  • Some complaints about management
  • Issues with store employees and misunderstandings about responsibilities 

Werner Enterprises team driver

Werner Enterprises is a top choice if you’re looking for a company that offers CDL tuition reimbursement and an excellent compensation package. Expect growth opportunities, continuing education benefits and a new truck fleet at this company. Salaries at Werner start close to the national average, but the educational benefits and sign-up bonuses make this company an excellent choice for new drivers. 

Best for: Tuition reimbursement

Salary: $73,000 to $80,000 average salary


  • Earn up to $7,000 in sign-up bonuses, paid weekly
  • $15,000 tuition reimbursement for qualified drivers
  • 401(k)
  • Health, vision and dental insurance package
  • Life insurance and disability insurance
  • Pet-friendly and driver-friendly
  • Continuous education and training

Disadvantages: Lack of a strong company culture 



Driving for Sysco can mean earning up to 10% higher than the industry average. Along with excellent compensation, Sysco offers long- and short-haul route options, allowing drivers better work-life balance. While most drivers work up to 10 hours a day, six days a week, the compensation package and benefits are generous for the industry.  

Best for: Stock benefits

Salary: Average $78,000 per year


  • Medical, dental and prescription plans
  • Disability and life insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Employee stock purchase programs
  • Pre-tax savings options
  • Discounts and other perks


  • Complaints of extra-long 14-hour days
  • Customers not always friendly 

Epes Transport

Epes Transport offers a practical solution for truck drivers who want to earn an excellent salary without sacrificing their home-life balance. Local drivers can be home daily, while long-haul drivers are guaranteed home time every week. Compensation for Epes’ short-haul regional drivers is comparable to long-haul routes, so this company offers some of the best trucking jobs no matter the type of truck driver you are.

Best for: Work-life balance 

Salary: Average $72,000 per year


  • Drivers can be home daily
  • 24-hour support
  • Medical, dental and vision insurance
  • Disability and life insurance
  • Prescription card
  • 401(k) matching
  • Referral bonuses
  • Paid vacations and holidays
  • Layover salaries

Disadvantages: Long wait times to get a truck

Fraley & Schilling

Fraley & Schilling

Fraley & Schilling is based in Rushville, Indiana. Founded in 1955, Fraley & Schilling prides themselves on innovation, industry-leading home time, and premium pay for drivers. 98% of their drivers are home on the weekends. This is a good starting point for trucking driver jobs with a flexible, percentage pay structure. 

Best for: Home time 

Salary: Pay is a set percentage for different types of trucks, so it does not increase linearly by year, but drivers earn more than average


  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • 401(k)
  • Long- and short-term disability insurance
  • Health, vision, and dental insurance
  • Late model equipment
  • Lease to purchase program


  • Former employees report difficulty getting dedicated loads
  • Long hours
  • Occasional delays in layover and overtime pay

How do you become a truck driver?

To become a truck driver, first, you’ll need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). You can do this in as little as three weeks with a qualified CDL training school in your state. You’ll also need a regular driver’s license and a GED or high school diploma. 

After you complete the CDL training program and earn a CDL learner’s permit, you can take the CDL exam. After you pass the written and practical CDL exam, you become a qualified truck driver and can start applying for jobs.  

Some CDL training programs offer job placement, and some trucking companies offer CDL training for new employees or tuition compensation.

What to consider in high-paying trucking jobs

You’ll want to keep several things in mind when looking for high-paying trucking jobs. Besides your experience level, special skills or licenses may be required for a particular position. You may also need to travel to areas where truck drivers are in higher demand or take on riskier work to maximize your salary. 

Consider the following in your search for the highest-paying jobs for truckers. 

Risks and liability

The best-paying trucking jobs often come with higher risk and liability. Dangerous or challenging road conditions, high-risk loads and high-value hauls all come with better pay to compensate for this more significant driver risk. If you’re willing to take on the liability of riskier loads, you will be compensated with increased pay. 

Examples of high-risk trucker jobs include ice road truck drivers and tanker haulers. 


Where you live and work significantly impacts your truck driver pay, with some areas of the country paying more than others. For example, New York state has some of the highest trucker salaries in the country.

Other regions that pay well are spread across the country. Location-based pay differences can also be based on recent shortages or because of their remote locations. 

With its rugged, mountainous terrain, West Virginia is known to pay higher driver salaries. Likewise, truckers delivering loads to remote Alaska can also expect higher wages.

Licenses and certifications

The more in-demand licenses and certifications you have, the more high-paying trucking jobs you will be eligible for. These certifications for specialized loads can include such distinctions as oversized load, hazmat load, tanker hauler or ice road truck driver. 


The nature of the cargo you haul can also significantly impact the price per load. For example, temperature-controlled or high-value cargo will command higher load prices. Additionally, the cost and fragility of the shipment can affect final load prices, as will chemical, reactive or sensitive cargo.  


The ability to drive hundreds of miles daily requires stamina and resistance to stress. You might not have built up the efficiency necessary for these long hauls when you are just starting. Federal regulations also limit truck drivers on how many hours they can drive daily.

Many trucking loads are paid by total miles or total mileage estimate, with longer distances commanding a higher price per mile. In time, you can take on jobs requiring driving longer distances for better pay. 

Benefits of being a truck driver

Truck driving is a lucrative career with many benefits. The highest-paying jobs for new drivers provide benefits ranging from flexibility to job security to competitive starting salaries. Becoming a truck driver can be a stable long-term career or a stepping stone on your career trajectory.

Here are the main benefits of being a truck driver.


As you grow in your trucking career, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to increase your work flexibility. For example, owner-operators and independent drivers can often choose their own loads and schedule. Want to take a month off in the summer? Becoming a truck driver can give you this type of flexibility. 

Truck drivers can also choose to select loads that meet their requirements. So whether they want full-time or part-time work, drive short-haul loads to be home every night or become long-haul truckers to travel the country, trucking offers plenty of different options. 


Driving a truck can be surprisingly lucrative, with many trucking companies offering great pay. Hauling specific loads under special conditions pays extra, including hazardous materials, ice road trucks, oversized loads and trucking in difficult terrain. 

Owner-operators can also expect to earn higher pay with few overhead expenses.  Truck driving can lead to excellent pay if you take the right jobs. Many companies even offer large sign-on bonuses to new drivers. 


If you love to travel, truck driving is the ideal job. You’ll see much of the country and can explore local areas during your rest time. Also, if you’ve always dreamed of visiting all 50 states, driving a truck is a great way to get paid to do so without sacrificing job benefits

Job security

With the current national shortage of truck drivers, you will have your pick of loads and jobs. Even new drivers can get great-paying jobs in today’s environment. So whether you’re looking for a contracted company driver position or are an independent driver searching load boards, plenty of trucking jobs are available.

Get paid with the best trucking jobs for new drivers

If you’re a new truck driver, finding a well-paying job that can jump start your career is a must. With one of these five options, you can gain experience while earning a good salary to take your trucking career to the next level. 


How much do beginner truckers make?

New CDL drivers can expect to earn at least $40,000 with a sharp increase in pay after the first few years of driving.

Is becoming a truck driver worth it?

Truck driving is an excellent career with job security, competitive salaries and great job benefits.

Can truck drivers be home every night?

Local drivers and some regional truckers work schedules that allow them to be home each night.

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Where the best truck drivers go to find jobs nationwide!