Everything you need to know about driving truck salaries

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Everything you need to know about truck driving salaries

When thinking about choosing a career path almost everybody pays special attention to a possible earnings rate. A truck driving salary can vary in a huge diapason and here we will consider what such earnings depend on.

American reality

Many people are choosing the transportation industry because they believe that salaries for a truck driver are always competitive and attractive in comparison with most other spheres. But the situation in the whole is not that easy and unambiguous.

  1. A trucking driver salary varies from state to state. According to recent research, the lowest rate was found in North Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Illinois and Michigan with annual driver truck salary around 40.000 USD while the leader state is undoubtedly Wyoming with 55.000 USD per year. There are a lot of reasons for such a huge difference starting from supply and demand on the labor market and ending with the location of the most prosperous trucking companies.
  2. Experience. A new driver who just got a CDL certificate and started his career path should not expect a competitive salary from the very beginning. Moreover, in most cases he will have to start in smaller and less successful companies which are not able to provide him with a desirable salary truck driver wish as well as with a benefits package he heard about. First job will give more experience and skills than money, but this step is important for the future career.
  3. Routes. It’s not surprising that the salary of a truck driver who has international routes is higher than for a local one. International or even between-states trips require harder work, longer hours at the steering wheel and separation with the family for days or even weeks. Not every driver agrees on it, but if he did, the earnings are significantly rising.
  4. Company’s level. Normally, the bigger and more successful the company, the higher salary it provides. Yamato Holdings, Seino Holdings, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, Schneider National are just a few examples of the American biggest trucking employers providing a more attractive salary for a truck driver. Additionally, private fleets like Walmart also provides their employees with decent earnings.

Besides earnings young drivers should also consider their expenses. A necessary for commercial driving CDL is a great tool to get a first job, but most employers additionally require practical knowledge approval. Therefore, a candidate will need to pass a training program either at technical school or at the company.

salary chart

Jobs with the highest payment

Here we consider one more aspect which affects the salary of truck drivers – complexity of a job.

In this regard one of the most difficult driving experiences is connected with ice road truckers. It’s a special category of drivers requiring perfect driving skills, knowledge how and ability to work in stressful and sometimes emergent situations on snowy and ice roads (which in many cases can be a frozen lake or swamp). Despite a short season for this driving activity (even in the coldest regions real winter lasts 4 months maximum), ice road truck drivers’ salary allows them not to work for the other months of the year.

The salary of truck drivers dealing with uncommon vehicles is also pretty much higher. Here we can speak about oversize trucks, tankers and other massive trucks. Certainly, in most cases the driver needs to pass additional courses and exams to be able to drive this “monster of the road”, but it is definitely worth it.

The cargo also can strongly influence the salaries of truck drivers. Delivering deadly hazardous materials or valued technologies can drastically raise the earnings. On the other side it brings additional risks, so only experienced drivers with great recommendations can get this responsibility.

Here we also can mention household goods drivers. The main reason why the salary for these truck drivers is higher is because this job involves physical work with loading and unloading heavy and volume items.

In comparison with other countries all over the world, the salary for a truck driver in the U.S. is quite competitive and decent. Choosing a particular sphere and knowing your capabilities will allow you to choose the best option and to make a great career together with making savings for life.

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