The average yearly pay for tractor-trailer truck drivers in the United States was $48,710 as of May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s up from $45,570 in 2018. Compared to 2006, when the average annual compensation for truck drivers was $36,320, the average yearly salary has increased greatly.
What you’ll earn as a trucker is mostly determined by the location of your company’s fleet, how long it’s been operating, and whether or not you have a CDL. However, there are other elements at play as well.
How Much Does a Truck Driver Make?
Inflation and other natural economic cycles have pushed trucker compensation up. As a result of historically low unemployment and intense rivalry for employees, salaries have risen in several professions in recent years. Truck drivers’ wages are rising at a similar rate to the rest of the workforce. America’s almost 3 million truck drivers will be better off since earnings are expected to stay stable for the foreseeable future as the trucking business struggles to attract enough new drivers, particularly as many veteran ones begin retirement.
Depending on the source, the average annual salary for truckers range between $50,000 to $68,000. For example, according to Indeed.com, the average yearly pay is $68,056 (as at September 2021), whereas according to Glassdoor.com, it is $57,451 (as at September 2021). These job sites use salary data that are submitted by users, so there will be variations.
And per data from BLS.gov, the mean annual wage is $48,710. The median annual salary is $47,130. Those in the 25% percentile make $37,850; 75% percentile = $58,010; 90% percentile = $69,480. The source of the BLS data comes from the National Compensation Survey, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, or the Current Population Survey.
In the trucking sector, experience is key. In the same way, as entry-level employment pays less, so do lower-level positions. Truck driving schools that provide job placement aid are your best option. Many respected organizations pay well for first-year truck drivers, despite the fact that inexperienced drivers pose a huge danger to companies. The cost of living in a location is not a factor in truck driving pay, unlike in other professions.
The compensation depends more on the job you’re doing and the firm you work for than it does on your income. According to CNN, despite the hike in pay, there are a lot of positions that no one is interested in. According to BLS, heavy truck drivers in West Alaska and the District of Columbia make the most money. Precision driving and a strong work ethic are required for these professions. As a result of the state’s landscape, some local and state-wide truckers can make a good living.
Every State Has Different Pay for Truck Drivers
Whether you’re looking for a new profession as a truck driver, or you’re unsatisfied with your present wage, you need to do some study. Despite the fact that relocating across state borders isn’t an option for everyone, it may have a significant impact on your salary and the amount of money you can spend.
It’s important to know where your state’s trucker income ranks in respect to the national average, even if you can’t really go on the road yourself. Below is a list of the average yearly truck driver pay per state as of August 18, 2021, according to zippia.com.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $55,656. Compared to the rest of the state’s population, truck drivers in Alabama make an average pay that is 4.1% greater than the state’s average per capita income. In Alabama, truckers are able to retain more of their money than they would elsewhere because of the state’s cheap cost of living. There are approximately 110,000 truck employees in Alabama, which places it in the middle of the pack nationwide.
The average yearly wage for a truck driver is $59,700, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Interstate loads require Alaskan drivers to cross into Canada, which necessitates a passport and additional licenses for fuel and weight. Truckers in Alaska receive the highest average income in the nation because of their hard labor. Although the high cost of living due to its remoteness is offset with no state income taxes.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $46,657. Truck drivers in Arizona make around 16 percent more than the state’s average per capita income. To put it another way: The mean pay for Arizona truckers is about where it should be in comparison to other states’ drivers. Phoenix alone has over 20,000 trucking employment, which is in the center of the country.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $56,889. The average compensation for truck drivers in Arkansas is among the lowest in the country. Because of Arkansas’ cheap cost of living, this isn’t a significant concern. The state of Arkansas has over 5000 truck driver jobs, placing it in the top half of the country, despite its low population density. Walmart (and its vast transportation business) is based in Arkansas, which makes it easier for the company to operate.
The average yearly income for a truck driver is $50,966. Aside from Hawaii, California is the only state with a greater cost of living, yet it only ranks 18th nationwide in the average yearly salary for truck drivers. State-average per capita income for drivers is likewise much lower than that of the trucking industry. However, the state of California has more than 49,000 local trucker jobs, which ranks it just behind Texas in that category.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $48,468. Truck drivers in Colorado make less on average than the rest of the state’s population, but they are still among the highest-paid workers in the country. The cost of living in Colorado is above the national average, while the number of truck drivers employed in the state is lower than average.
Annual median pay for a truck driver is $68,211. When compared to the average per capita income for a state, Connecticut ranks pretty well. Truckers in the country make less than a quarter of what the typical American earns. For truck drivers, the Constitution State is in the top ten in terms of average salary, while costs of living are in the bottom ten.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $66,828. As a result of Delaware’s closeness to so many major East Coast cities, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. from a logistical aspect. Delaware’s average per capita income is decent. In addition, the cost of living in Delaware is higher than the national average.
District of Columbia
A truck driver’s yearly compensation averages out to $67,359. Washington D.C., although not being a state, is significant to study. D.C.’s average per-capita income is lower than the mean truck driver earnings, the greatest discrepancy in the country. Fortunately, truckers in the Washington, D.C., area do earn a decent living.
It pays an average of $45,757 per year to be a truck driver. Even though the cost of living in Florida is greater than the national average, the state’s mean annual truck driver income is among the lowest in the country. Here, truckers make around 5% less than the state’s per capita average.
It pays an average of $60,087 a year to be a truck driver. More money is earned by truck drivers in Georgia than the average per capita income for all jobs in the state. The cheap cost of living in Georgia offsets Georgia’s poor position in mean yearly salaries for truckers.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $45,504. Less than 400 truck driver positions are available in Hawaii, which is a very low amount. Because of its high cost of living, Hawaii does not even make it into the top ten states for truckers’ yearly wages.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $48,535. Truck drivers in Idaho make a little less than the state’s average per capita income, making them one of the states with average-paid workers. Mean salaries in Idaho are below the national level, despite a significantly lower cost of living than the national norm.
The average yearly income for a truck driver is $56,899. With so many Midwestern metropolitan hubs nearby, the state is an ideal location for truckers. Illinois’ cost of living is higher than the national average, and the state’s mean salaries are among the best in the country.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $61,911. The mean yearly salary for truck drivers in Indiana is greater than the state’s per capita income, making it one of the best states in the US in that regard. Despite Indiana’s cheap cost of living, truckers in the state earn more than the national average.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $55,956. More than half of all Iowa truck drivers make more than the state’s average annual salary. Low living costs, however, help to offset some of the lower wages. Much of Iowa’s trucking sector is seasonal due to the state’s reliance on agriculture.
It pays an average of $59,847 a year to be a truck driver. Mean yearly pay for truckers in this area are among the best in the country. Because Kansas is one of the most affordable places to live in, they can save a lot of that money. However, there are over 20,000 truck driver jobs in the state.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $62,443. Another state where truck drivers make much more than the average per capita income is Kentucky. The disparity is one of the largest in the nation. While Kentucky’s cost of living is lower than the national average, its average pay is in the center of that range.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $50,619. Compared to other Southern states, truckers in Louisiana have a hard time making ends meet. Only three states in the Southeast, including Louisiana, pay truck drivers less than the national median per capita income. The typical salary for truckers in Louisiana is likewise among the lowest in the country.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $64,441. Only a few states have a greater cost of living than Maine. Currently, truck drivers in Maine make more than the state’s average per capita income, which makes truck driving employment more financially enticing there.
A truck driver’s yearly compensation averages out to $64,167. Truck drivers in Maryland make more per capita than the state’s average salary. Only a few states in the United States have a higher cost of living than Maryland for truckers.
Annual truck driver wages are $69,220. Despite the fact that truck drivers in the Bay State are among America’s best-paid, the cost of living is among the highest. There are currently over 23,300 truck driver jobs in Massachusetts.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $57,744. Mean yearly pay for truckers in Michigan are above the national average. Also, they get to enjoy one of the most affordable living prices in the United States.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $55,755. A large portion of the year is spent driving through ice or snow, so it’s only appropriate that truckers in Minnesota are among the nation’s highest-paid. The state’s approximately 28,000 truck driver jobs, on the other hand, is not bad.
The average truck driver’s salary is $55,547 per year. Mississippi’s cheap cost of living is one of its advantages. As the least costly state, Mississippi’s truck drivers, who are among the average-paid in the country, benefit from the state’s cheap costs.
$59,982 is the average yearly income for a truck driver in the United States. Missouri’s average per capita income is higher for truckers while also more than the national average. Missouri is one of the most populous states in this category.
The average yearly income for a truck driver is $46,624. In comparison to other states, the cost of living in Montana is average. The mean annual compensation for Montana’s truck drivers is not bad in regards to expenses.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $49,168. Nebraska’s truck drivers earn wages that are below the national average and the state’s average per capita income. However, the cost of living is rather modest.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $59,015. Truck driver compensation in Nevada is among the best in the nation. Truckers in Nevada make more per capita than the national average, making them among the highest-earning workers in the state.
It pays an average of $69,132 per year to be a truck driver. Truck driver compensation is good in New Hampshire, with truckers earning much more than the state’s average salary. The cost of living in New Hampshire is higher than the national average for truck drivers, while the state’s wages are somewhat above the national average.
A truck driver’s yearly income is $67,996. As a result, New Jersey has a number of toll highways, high taxes, and is among the costliest places to live in the nation. New Jersey’s truckers do make a decent yearly compensation.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $49,811. Truck drivers in New Mexico make a median compensation that is a little lower than the state’s per capita income, which puts them in the lower end of the pack. However, the cost of living in New Mexico is also on the cheap side.
$64,302 a year is the average yearly truck driver income. It might be difficult for truckers to make a living in New York because of the high cost of living and hefty income taxes in the area. New York is a decent place to work as a truck driver compared to other states. The average income is lower than that of truckers in this area.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $61,483. Here, truck drivers make more than the national average and earn more than most other state employees. Those who drive trucks in North Carolina make a decent salary compared to the rest of the state’s residents.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $57,035. As a result of North Dakota’s decade-and-a-half-long oil and gas boom, salaries have increased in all businesses. North Dakota’s truckers have enjoyed the benefits, earning among the highest mean salaries.
The average yearly income for a truck driver is $60,898. There are just a few states in the country where truck driver pay is higher than the national average, yet the cost of living is somewhat average. In Ohio, truckers make percent more per capita than the rest of the state’s residents.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $53,697. When it comes to living costs, Oklahoma is the second least costly in the United States, making it easier for truck drivers to enjoy a decent living.
A truck driver’s average yearly income is $45,994. As one of the fairly average states for truckers, Oregon has a mean yearly pay that is less than the state’s per capita income.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $65,510. That is a significant difference between the state’s average per capita income and the yearly mean salary for truck drivers in the country.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $69,391. Although the cost of living in Rhode Island is high, truckers in the state make decent pay. Massachusetts and Oklahoma are both within the same range as Rhode Island.
The average yearly income for a truck driver is $60,159. Here, truckers make much more per capita than their peers. There is a disparity between the state’s cost of living and the national average for mean truck driver pay in South Carolina.
The average yearly income for a truck driver is $54,949. Over the last year, truckers in South Dakota have earned more than the state’s average annual wage. However, North Dakota is still higher. This may explain why there are fewer truckers here, despite its larger population, whereas North Dakota has a decent amount of drivers.
The average yearly wage for a truck driver is $54,802. A lot of truck drivers call Tennessee home, making it one of the most densely populated states in the country. Several interstate roads run in all directions and Tennessee’s favorable regulatory environment attracts a large number of people.
The average yearly income for a truck driver is $44,700. However, Texas has no state income tax. Drivers in this state earn below the national average but are still making a good salary.
$52,450 is the average yearly income for a truck driver in the United States. The median yearly compensation for truck drivers in this region is greater than the state’s median per-capita income.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $65,812. For truck drivers in Vermont, the compensation and cost of living are both higher than the national average, making it easy to make a good living. The average truck driver pay in Vermont is greater than the state’s average per capita income for the state’s truckers.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $57,766. There is a decent percent gap between the average truck driver’s yearly salary and the state’s per capita income. Drivers in this area can comfortably deal with a higher cost of living.
$50,824 is the yearly earnings of an average truck driver. There are at least two advantages for truck drivers in Washington: better wages and no state income taxes. That’s excellent news, and it’s something to celebrate. However, truckers in this area make a little less than the state’s per capita income for truckers and the cost of living is on the high end.
$59,837 is the average yearly wage for a truck driver. A few years back, truck drivers in West Virginia were paid the lowest average income in America. However, things have changed. Truckers in West Virginia now earn approximately much more than the average annual truck driver salary.
The yearly compensation for a truck driver is $60,222. One of only two states where the mean pay rank and cost of living rank coincide with the state of South Carolina. As a result, the average truck driver salary in Wisconsin is quite higher than the state’s average per capita income.
The average yearly income of a truck driver is $55,214. Truck driver income and cost of living are among the best in the country. Truckers in Wyoming make more per capita than the state’s average wage. Because of the absence of a state income tax, a larger portion of their earnings remains in their wallets.
Tips to Make Six Figures as A Truck Driver
So, you’ve decided to become a truck driver in order to make up to $100,000 each year. What’s the secret to your success? That’s a lot of money for a career in this line of work, to say the least. It might take up to ten years of expertise to begin earning an annual salary of $60,000. Drivers, on the other hand, are likely to retire before they can earn that coveted six-figure pay.
There are a handful of crazy ways to make over $100,000 a year as a truck driver.
Specialize in Truck Driving
Hazmat haulers and big load drivers round up the top three earners in the specialty category. Ice road truckers may make a year’s pay in a few months despite the great risk and hazard of their work. These individuals represent the pinnacle in their profession. There is no substitute for skill. In the event that their trucks break down, truckers must be able to repair them on the road. In a three-month season, someone may theoretically make more than $120,000 each year.
Drivers of oversized loads: Drivers of oversized loads earn a good income. This profession requires a high degree of focus and patience. Maintaining a vast, winding road straight requires a lot of expertise. They are constantly at risk when they are forced to share the road with approaching automobiles. In order to ensure the safety of their voyage, they go with a crew that includes a spotter. The question is, if you’re not ready to put your life on the line, how can a truck driver expect to bring home anywhere between $100,000 and $120,000?
Owner-operators make around this much money on a daily basis. After everything is said and done, the expenses of operating a vehicle may be so costly that you might effectively halve your earning potential.
In some states, the average compensation for a local truck driver is higher than the national average, according to our research. Massachusettsis the most populous state, followed by New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The local truck driver job market in most states in the United States is presently highly active, with a number of organizations actively looking to hire for this position. Only a few states pay less than the national average for local truck drivers, so making the move to a new region to develop your career as a local truck driver should be approached cautiously. It is also necessary to take into account the rising cost of living. Good luck in finding yourself a decent and stable job in the trucking industry!
Geoff is a freelance writer at TruckersTraining.com with 20+ years of experience driving trucks and buses, dispatching, supervising, and training commercial driving teams. His expertise is writing topics on the transportation and trucking industry, and information technology trends.