How Much Do Truck Drivers Make? All You Want to Know

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make All You Want to Know

If you’re considering a career as a truck driver, one of the biggest questions on your mind is probably “How much money do truck drivers make a year?” We’ll look at how trucking and logistics relate to socioeconomics and how they each affect drivers’ take-home pay. 

The short answer to that question is, “It depends.” The average salary breakdown of a truck driver in the Taking into account the 11-hour driving limit, the United States is as follows: $26.79 per hour, $306 per day, $1,474 per week, $5,705 per month, and $80,583 per year.

Continue reading to find out more.

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make on Average?

According to Indeed estimates (and keep in mind that estimates are just that — an estimation — and will therefore vary from week to week or month to month), the average salary breakdown of a truck driver in the United States is as follows (considering the 11-hour driving limit):

  • $26.79 per hour.
  • $306 per day.
  • $1,474 per week.
  • $5,705 per month.
  • $80,583 per year.

Other benefits and bonuses might be offered based on internal company policies or outside variables like bad weather, economic fluctuations, increased demand as a result of supply chain problems, etc.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make All You Want to Know
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make? All You Want to Know

Things That Affect Company Driver Income

Only when the truck is moving forward do drivers who are paid by the mile make money. In other words, truck driver earnings don’t include the following things that take up your time on the road:

  • Waiting at border crossings or customs
  • Sitting in traffic jams
  • Scaling and weighing a load
  • Performing a circle check on your trailer and truck
  • Waiting for DOT scales and inspections
  • Waiting on delays with loading or unloading
  • Waiting for repairs on truck or trailer

Additionally, with some exceptions, federal safety regulations set a daily driving limit of 11 hours, or a maximum of 14 hours.

As soon as you begin your driving career, it’s critical to plan your routes to maximize the distance you can safely travel while adhering to the driving restrictions set forth by law and to reduce the amount of time the truck is stationary.

Salary of a Truck Driver by Trailer Type

For commercial trucking, a variety of trucks and trailers are used. The differences in trailer types are driven by the needs of the application, whereas the specifications for a truck will probably be focused on performance. For instance, some of them transport food and other consumables, while others specialize in unusual deliveries like hazardous substances and mineral resources.

Some truckers must obtain special endorsements in order to transport these loads. With that in mind, the earnings of truck drivers differ based on the following:

Requiring Special Endorsement

A special endorsement is an addition to your regular commercial driver’s license (You can carry specialized loads with a CDL, increasing your income.

An illustration of this would be truckers who transport nuclear waste from factories to disposal sites; these drivers require special endorsements, which will also raise their pay.

If you’ve ever seen a truck transporting hazardous materials and thought, “how much do hazmat truck drivers make for risking their lives?”, then this section is for you.


Driving for hazmat is priced at between $0.60 and $0.80 per mile. Regarding hazmat trucker pay, depending on their weekly workload, drivers can earn between $68,750 and $100,000 annually. You’ll also need a TSA-issued HazMat endorsement to operate such trucks, which in turn helps you earn a better salary. Do you want to know how to get a hazmat endorsement? Read our article.


You can drive with multiple trailers attached if you obtain this endorsement. These are sometimes called “long-combination vehicles,” or LCVs, as well as this certification, may be referred to as LCV endorsements. Drivers of double trailer trucks typically earn between $62,500 and $93,750 per year. A CPM range of $0.50 to $0.75 is possible.

To get a T endorsement, you must take an additional written knowledge test that covers major areas of concern (like preventing two or three trailers from rolling over), as well as fully understanding how to couple and decouple trailers correctly. Additionally, obtaining this endorsement offers chances to boost your pay.


Transportation of liquid or liquefied gaseous materials can be done safely with tank vehicles. When a vehicle has a permanent or temporary tank attached to it, you can drive it with an N endorsement.

Drivers within this category need a CDL certification different from the regular hazmat endorsement. The typical annual tanker truck driver salary ranges from $75,000 to $106,250 for drivers who log over 2500 miles per week at $0.60 to $0.85 CPM.


The “X” endorsement, which is also referred to as the Tanker/Hazmat Combo endorsement, allows you to operate tankers and other vehicles that carry hazardous materials after passing the compulsory knowledge test. The equivalent pay per mile for these truckers, who transport hazardous materials, ranges from $0.60 to $0.85. They earn between $68,750 and $106,250 yearly as well.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make All You Want to Know
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make? All You Want to Know

Trucks Without Special Endorsement


The average flatbed truck driver salary ranges between $80,000 and $90,000 yearly. The national average wage per mile is $0.50–$0.60, translating to a weekly salary of roughly $1,250–1,500. The majority of employers offer bonus pay for tarping, so you can anticipate earning $200 to $350 more per week as a result. Read this article to learn more about flatbed trucking.


Dry van drivers make between $65,000 and $75,000 annually, or $1,200 to $1,300 weekly. The cost per day is approximately $250–270, and the average dry van driver salary in CPM is $0.48–$0.52.


Perishable goods are transported between states by drivers of refrigerated trucks (reefers). Approximately $65,000 is the typical annual salary for a reefer truck driver. In a week, a reefer driver could earn $1,300 when driving for $0.52 per mile.


An oversize load truck driver’s average annual salary is $118,750, which equates to about $2,375 per week or $0.95 per mile if you’re moving heavy machinery cross-country.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make All You Want to Know
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make? All You Want to Know

Salary of a Truck Driver by Route Type (distance)

The salary of a truck driver can also be determined by the type of route they usually drive, and how much the company they work for pays for those routes. Route classification generally breaks down into three groups: OTR (as mentioned above, this stands for “over-the-road,” or long-haul trucking); Regional, which means you’ll be driving primarily through one section of the country, like the Midwest or the Northeast Corridor; and Local, which is exactly what it sounds like — you’re far likelier to be back home daily.

Otr (over the Road) Driver Salary

Over-the-road or long-haul truckers are experts at moving cargo over great distances, usually within states but occasionally across international borders. The average OTR truck driver salary in the United States is approximately $70,000 per year, according to recent estimates and extrapolations using a dry van driver’s pay.

OTR truckers could make up to $0.90 per mile, or roughly $2,250 per week, depending on the load and the driver’s level of experience. Read our article to learn more about what is an otr truck driver.

Regional Truck Driver Salary

Truckers who run freight along regional routes earn slightly less than OTR drivers. According to ZipRecruiter, the average regional truck driver salary is $60,000 per year or $1,200 per week. Regional truckers earn between $0.60 and $0.70 per mile.

How Much Do Local Truck Drivers Make?

Drivers who only deliver locally frequently don’t need additional endorsements. Glassdoor claims that local truckers often earn $50,000 annually without bonuses. That said, the average local truck driver salary per week is around $1000.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make All You Want to Know
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make? All You Want to Know

Benefits of Becoming a Truck Driver

If you work full-time for a transportation company or major retailer, you may be eligible for benefits including:

  • Healthcare, dental, and vision benefits
  • Paid vacation
  • Participation in a retirement savings plan
  • Full or partial reimbursement for your training
  • Bonus pay for tenure or referring other drivers
  • Bonus pay for extra loads or miles

If you are an independent contractor or owner-operator, you can access benefits by becoming a member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which offers:

  • Life and health benefits
  • Accident insurance
  • Truck insurance
  • Discounts on fuel
  • Business support services

Read about: What is a Sedan?

Salary for Independent Contractors

In commercial freight, there are a few options for working for yourself. You could independently contract with or work for a carrier as a freelancer, or you could own a small trucking company.

TBS Factoring is a company that makes technology for independent truck drivers and owner-operators. It reports that independent truckers charge more for the mile, $1.50 to $3.00. That’s roughly three to six times more money per mile than company drivers.

However, you will spend a significant amount of this gross pay to cover additional expenses, including:

  • Your truck — plus truck insurance, fuel, and maintenance
  • Other insurance to cover potential damage to the freight you carry
  • Self-employment tax, which was 15.3% in 2020 according to theIRS
  • License plates and permits
  • Your health insurance and retirement savings
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make All You Want to Know
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make? All You Want to Know

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Truck Driver?

You need a high school diploma or GED to work for the majority of employers. The GED can be obtained in about four months, and testing costs typically range from $80 to $140.

Additionally, CDL training is necessary. Programs for getting a CDL can be completed in a few weeks, a few months, or a year. The cost of training courses at community colleges and private truck driving schools can vary from $1,000 to $10,000. The majority of accredited programs cost between $5,000 and $8,000 per year.

Many transportation businesses offer programs for about $6,000. Graduates who work for the company for a specific amount of time are frequently reimbursed.

After training, the cost of getting your CDL depends on your state and may include:

  • The cost of your regular driver’s license
  • CDL application fee
  • CDL exam fee
  • Fee for the license itself

The most expensive part is typically your license fee. The price ranges from $20 to $120.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make All You Want to Know
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make? All You Want to Know


How Much Does a Truck Driver Earn in USA?

In the United States, the average salary for a truck driver is currently USD 28.69 per hour or USD 59,684 annually. The amount of money a truck driver makes in the US varies and is significantly influenced by location. It ranges from USD 39,000 to USD 89,000.

Do Truckers Make over 100k?

Yes. You can earn $100,000 or more a year as a truck driver. It usually requires a couple of years and denotes that you are either a team driver or a trainer.

Is Truck Driving Still a Good Career?

Right now is the best time to start a truck driving career. Due to the huge amount of freight that needs to be hauled, truck drivers are more in demand than ever. For those looking for trucking jobs, this is creating a lot of stable, excellent opportunities.

Can a Foreigner Work as a Truck Driver in USA?

If you are a foreign worker hoping to work as a truck driver in the US, you may be served best by applying for an H-2B Visa. This visa is the best choice for truck drivers, claims

Summary: How Much Do Truck Drivers Make?

It can be difficult to choose a trucking company to work for, especially for those who are just starting out in the industry. Before choosing a carrier to work for, always consider the benefits they offer and the support system they provide for their drivers. Utilize this information when making route decisions to minimize uncertainty and maximize your earnings.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. KV Auto tries to give you the best car industry information. Thank you for reading.

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