Gianni Evangelisti By: Gianni Evangelisti
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make

If you are considering a career as a truck driver, one of your first questions is probably "How much do truck driver's make?" A truck driver's salary depends on many factors - all explained in detail in this article.

We break down the average salary by vehicle driven, how much a truck driver can make per mile, salary bonuses, incentives, and average salary by state.

Summary: Learn how much a truck driver makes. If you want to prepare for your CDL, take our CDL practice tests.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics separates truck driver statistics into two broad categories:

  1. Tractor-Trailer Drivers
  2. Delivery Truck Drivers

Average Truck Driver Salary (Tractor-Trailers)

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tractor-trailer drivers earn the following:

  • 2021 Median Hourly Earnings: $23.23 per hours
  • 2021 Median Yearly Earnings: $48,310 per year

Average Truck Driver Salary (Delivery Truck Drivers)

According to BLS, delivery truck drivers earn the following:

  • 2021 Median Hourly Earnings: $17.62 per hours
  • 2021 Median Yearly Earnings: $36,660 per year

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While some professional truckers are paid a base salary, most truck drivers’ compensations are based on a per-mile agreement.

The mileage rate paid depends on a trucker’s experience, the type of trucking work, the employing carrier, and the location of the work.

In general, truckers paid by the mile earn more than those with base pay.

Most carrier companies compensate their truck drivers between $.28 per mile and $.40 per mile. (BLS)

How much truck drivers make per week depends on several factors including:

  1. How many miles per week they drive
  2. Per mile rates

Here are some facts to consider:

On the low end, if a truck driver drives 2,000 miles per week and is paid $0.28 per mile, they would make $560 per week.

On the high end, if a truck driver drives 3,000 miles per week and is paid $0.40 per mile, they would make $1200 per week.

In addition to the base ‘per mile’ compensation, a truck driver has additional earnings opportunities. Carriers offer bonuses that include:

  • The Sign-On Bonus - Trucking companies often choose to offer a sign-on bonus.
  • The Fuel Efficiency Bonus - Truck drivers who opt to employ the many techniques to reduce fuel expenditures are financially rewarded by the carrier company.
  • The Monthly Mileage Bonus - When a driver hits a threshold, the event triggers some agreed-upon mileage bonus payment.
  • The Safety Pay Bonus - Safety is of the utmost importance to trucking companies. Employers prefer safe drivers with proven safe driving records.
  • The Layover Pay Bonus - When truckers are delayed by circumstances beyond their control, a layover bonus would be triggered to compensate drivers for productive time lost.
  • The Clean DOT Inspections - Maintaining regular, clean vehicle inspections with Department of Transportation benefits the carrier, who then pays it forward to the trucker in terms of a bonus.

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Location Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Alabama 32,170 $19.51 $40,580
Alaska 2,380 $27.71 $57,630
Arizona 25,450 $21.84 $45,430
Arkansas 34,700 $20.18 $41,980
California 138,380 $22.74 $47,300
Colorado 22,880 $23.48 $48,840
Connecticut 12,560 $23.98 $49,880
Delaware 4,370 $21.23 $44,160
District of Columbia 530 $25.37 $52,760
Florida 87,960 $20.20 $42,020
Georgia 62,500 $20.80 $43,260
Guam 320 $13.96 $29,050
Hawaii 3,300 $23.51 $48,910
Idaho 11,940 $20.20 $42,010
Illinois 70,380 $23.39 $48,650
Indiana 54,560 $22.22 $46,210
Iowa 38,470 $21.07 $43,820
Kansas 20,370 $22.20 $46,180
Kentucky 24,850 $21.90 $45,550
Louisiana 21,070 $20.24 $42,090
Maine 8,830 $19.25 $40,040
Maryland 23,320 $23.05 $47,940
Massachusetts 27,650 $24.19 $50,310
Michigan 55,940 $20.89 $43,450
Minnesota 34,860 $23.42 $48,710
Mississippi 22,710 $20.15 $41,900
Missouri 44,470 $21.67 $45,070
Montana 6,440 $22.16 $46,100
Nebraska 26,360 $21.49 $44,710
Nevada 11,760 $24.48 $50,920
New Hampshire 6,870 $21.65 $45,030
New Jersey 48,760 $23.60 $49,080
New Mexico 10,970 $21.37 $44,460
New York 62,360 $24.26 $50,460
North Carolina 58,110 $21.17 $44,030
North Dakota 10,560 $25.04 $52,080
Ohio 74,090 $21.64 $45,010
Oklahoma 25,750 $21.10 $43,880
Oregon 23,300 $22.79 $47,410
Pennsylvania 82,330 $22.43 $46,650
Puerto Rico 8,480 $9.57 $19,910
Rhode Island 3,200 $23.25 $48,360
South Carolina 29,620 $21.28 $44,270
South Dakota 7,880 $19.99 $41,590
Tennessee 63,030 $20.99 $43,660
Texas 191,490 $21.76 $45,260
Utah 24,760 $21.92 $45,600
Vermont 3,440 $21.76 $45,250
Virgin Islands 310 $17.19 $35,750
Virginia 42,820 $20.51 $42,660
Washington 31,610 $23.37 $48,620
West Virginia 12,110 $19.00 $39,520
Wisconsin 49,760 $22.09 $45,950
Wyoming 6,340 $24.13 $50,200

The earnings potential for truckers depends upon how they choose to work as a professional truck driver.

Below are the primary ways truck drivers manage their driving careers:

Solo Over-The-Road (OTR) Driver Salaries

Solo truck drivers account for the largest portion of the trucking workforce. Earnings vary and depend upon the rates, incentives and bonuses offered.

Approximate Average OTR Driver Salary: $45,000 to $50,000 per year.

Team Driver Salaries

A team of drivers allows the pair to travel longer distances as one driver can rest while the other driver keeps the truck moving forward.

Approximate Average Team Driver Salary: $125,000 to $150,000 per year

Driver-Trainer Salaries

Some truckers many years into their career choose to train new drivers as a way to increase their earning potential and to stay closer to home.

Approximate Average Driver Trainer Salary: $60,000 to $75,000 per year.

Owner-Operator Salaries

Truck drivers with sufficient experience often opt to own their own vehicle while remaining its primary driver.

Essentially, an owner-operator has great earnings potential as the owner-operator cuts out the middleman by contracting directly with clients.

Approximate Average Owner Operator Salary: $100,000+ per year.

Carrier Management

Veteran truck drivers often move to managerial positions with larger carrier companies - as a supervisor or a dispatcher.

Top-level management positions often have yearly salaries that reach beyond six figures.