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Average Truck Driver Salary: How Much Do Truck Drivers Make?

If you’re wondering how much do truck drivers make, the short answer is a surprisingly good salary. The average truck driver salary is over $70,000, with specialized drivers earning $90,000 or more.

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a truck driver, the stable work, high demand, and large sign-up bonuses make it a good time to start. 

What Is the Average Salary for a Truck Driver in the U.S.?

A truck driver in the US. earns an average of $30,000 to $76,000 per year. According to Indeed.com, the average truck driver’s salary is $76,982 per year. 

So, how much do truck drivers make a week? This will vary by type of job as well as location, distance, type of load.  Average weekly salaries for truck drivers range from $700 to $1,400 or more.

What Determines a Truck Driver’s Salary?

Average truck driver salary will vary by factors from location to terrain, cargo, and experience. Here are the factors that affect a trucker driver’s salary:

Location 

Certain locations are in high demand and offer higher trucker driver salaries than even nearby locations. New York is known for its high truck driver salaries, as are Alaska and Mississippi. Location demand can vary by season, although many locations offer consistently higher salaries. Keep in mind that the best locations offer both higher salaries, and a low cost of living. 

Experience

Truck drivers with greater experience can command higher salaries. Like most industries, experience and time driving trucks will be rewarded with higher salaries

License 

Truck drivers can earn various licenses, including licenses for oversized loads or hazardous materials. These additional licenses, and the associated load availability, can command significantly higher truck driver salaries. 

Long Haul or Short Haul 

When determining the average truck driver’s salary, the distance and route are major factors. Long hauls can require more sacrifice and time away from home compared to short hauls, making them less desirable. To compensate, long-haul loads usually pay more than short-haul loads. 

Distance

Distance traveled is a key factor in calculating the cost per load. Some loads are even paid on a per-mile basis. Like long-haul routes, the greater the distance, generally the higher the truck driver salary. 

Cargo

When calculating how much do truck drivers make and the type of cargo plays a major role. Different types of cargo can require more licensing. Specialized cargo can also pose additional risks, or require additional insurance. Hazardous materials, tankers, and high-value items are examples of loads that will give trucker drivers a higher salary.  

5 Best States for Truck Drivers

If you’re deciding where to set up a home base as a truck driver, you’ll want to consider the total pay as well as the cost of living in the state. Here are the 5 best states of truck drivers:

Kentucky

Average Annual Salary: $70,057

With an annual truck driver salary on the high end of average, and the cost of living quite reasonable, Kentucky is an ideal home base for truck drivers. It is also centrally located, making it easier for drivers to take loads anywhere in the country.  

Top Companies For Truck Drivers In Kentucky

  • Paschall Truck Lines Inc.
  • DHL Express
  • Ballard, Inc.

Pennsylvania

Average Salary: $84,624 

With its central location within the northeast states, Pennsylvania offers some of the highest truck driver salaries in the country. It also boasts several major cities as well as rural areas with low cost of living, making it an ideal base for truck drivers looking to transport between the midwest and northeast or within the northeast. 

Top Companies For Truck Drivers In Pennsylvania

  • Shawnee Trucking PA, Inc.
  • Watsontown Trucking Company
  • Zimmerman Truck Lines, Inc.

Iowa

Average Salary: $76,298

With its central midwest location and easy access to both coasts, Iowa has long been a national hub for the trucking and transport industry. Salaries 8-9% above the national average, and one of the lowest costs of living in the country make Iowa an ideal hub for truck drivers. 

Top Companies For Truck Drivers In Iowa

  • TMC Transportation
  • Heartland Express Inc
  • Keane Thummel Trucking

Rhode Island

Average Salary: $75,294

Rhode Island might be the smallest state, but it offers big benefits for truck drivers. Located close to major northeast cities, you can expect a lower cost of living than much of the northeast and a higher-than-average truck driver salary. For those who want the New England charm and a higher salary, Rhode Island is an excellent choice. 

Top Companies For Truck Drivers In Rhode Island

  • Central Transport
  • Cranston Trucking Co.
  • Trans Link Nationwide Trucking and Logistics

Indiana

Average Salary: $77,188

With its central midwest location between major hubs such as Chicago, Memphis, and the northeast, Indiana offers salaries 10% higher than the national average and a low cost of living. 

Top Companies For Truck Drivers In Indiana

  • Venture Logistics
  • Harvey Trucking Services
  • Oatts Trucking

Greater Opportunities for Truck Drivers

How much do truck drivers make? More than national average salaries, with plenty of room for growth. Taking into account location, experience, licensure, type of cargo, truck drivers have an opportunity to earn and build a good life for their families. 

Selecting a state that offers the best ratio of quality of life and truck driver salary can help maximize opportunities. Earning specialized licenses can also increase salary opportunities anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 or more per year.

If you’re ready to start finding the best jobs in the industry, TruckDrivingJobs.com helps qualified truck drivers with their Class A CDL license find jobs. Find the best jobs and start earning more starting from next week!

FAQ

Can Truck Drivers Make $100k?

Yes. Truck drivers can make more than $100k per year. Owner-operators can regularly make more than $100k. Truck drivers with specialized additional licenses also can reach a 6-figure income.

What is the Highest Paying Truck Driving Job?

The highest paid truck driving job depends on location, route, distance, type of cargo, driver experience, and more. Generally, ice road trucks, hazmat trucks, oversized loads, and tanker haulers command the highest salaries.

Do Truckers Pay for Gas?

No. The company you are driving for will provide a gas card or other means to pay for gas. If you are an owner-operator, you will have to factor gas expenses into your total earnings.

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TruckDrivingJobs.com

Where the best truck drivers go to find jobs nationwide!