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How Much Money Do American Truck Drivers Make?

Written by: Nick Kovgunov
How Much Money Do American Truck Drivers Make

How Much Money Do American Truck Drivers Make?

Truck driving is an essential occupation. It keeps our goods and domestic products moving through the States.

If you’re looking for a career that accommodates wanderlust, truck driving presents multiple possibilities. Nevertheless, factors such as years of service, geographical area, and the kind of trucking play a substantial role in a truck driver’s salary, causing it to vary significantly.

We will show you how much truck driver earn in the United States and what factors come into play!

How Much Money Do American Truck Drivers Make

Average Salary

It’s important to take into account the typical wages listed by various sources when discussing truck driver pay. The current data points towards an average yearly wage for truck drivers in the U.S., falling between $60,175 and $77,810. It’s important to realize that these figures represent averages and are susceptible to multiple influencing factors.

Pay scale for a truck driver can be greatly affected by aspects such as years of experience, the location of the job, and the nature of the cargo. Truck drivers, for example, may make more money working in high-demand locations or specialized businesses than those in other areas or industries. Similar to this, experienced drivers who have a history of outstanding performance and safe driving frequently command higher compensation.


One choice available to truck drivers is to operate their own fleet of vehicles as owner-operators. Compared to working as a business driver, this career option has the potential to pay more. Owner-operators in the United States make an average yearly compensation of $188,151, according to reported salaries on Indeed. However, keeping in mind the additional responsibilities and costs involved in being an owner-operator is crucial.

Truck drivers who operate their own vehicles must manage both the driving and business aspects of their operations. They are in charge of keeping their trucks in good working order, taking care of paperwork, locating and obtaining clients, and managing financial matters like paying for gasoline, insurance, and taxes. Owner-operators must carefully examine the added workload and costs involved despite the possibility of better earnings.

Entry-Level Positions

Entry-level positions are frequently where people begin their careers as truck drivers. Typically, drivers with little driving experience and new to the industry fill these positions. As expected, beginning truck drivers would make less money than seasoned ones.

An entry-level truck driver can anticipate to make about $41,335 annually on average. The earning potential tends to grow with tenure, skill, and knowledge, signifying that initial earnings are just a starting point. Drivers may see their salaries rise as they get more driving experience, increase their abilities, and maintain a spotless driving record, making them more desirable to employers.

Regional Truck Drivers

The sort of driving required might also have an impact on truck driver earnings. Regional truck drivers work within particular regions or localities, as opposed to long-haul drivers who travel great miles throughout the nation. Regional drivers frequently have more consistent schedules and shorter routes, which can affect their ability to make money.

Regional truck drivers in the US make an average yearly salary of $85,525 per year. Due to the specialty and experience needed for particular regions, regional drivers typically earn more money. These drivers frequently gain a thorough awareness of the region they work in, allowing them to navigate effectively and easily meet delivery deadlines.

The Factors of Pay

The truck driver salary differs not only because they are experienced or newbie. There are also factors that influence you earn per hour/mile. Let’s dive more!

Type of Trucking

A driver’s income may be significantly impacted by the type of trucking they do. For instance, due to the specialized nature of their employment, tractor-trailer truck drivers who cross city and state lines with big cargo weighing 26,001 pounds or more may receive greater compensation. This form of trucking frequently entails higher levels of responsibility and ability, which equates to higher pay.


The distance that truck drivers travel is one of the main elements that affects their income. Many truck drivers receive compensation based on the distance they cover. As a result, traveling farther could perhaps result in better pay. Keep in mind that various factors, like traffic conditions, weather, and cargo type, can alter the actual miles a driver can cover within a specific time

Company Size

The size of the trucking company that a driver works for may also influence their compensation. While larger entities might offer per-mile rates ranging from $0.23 to $0.60, smaller trucking enterprises typically propose rates between $0.35 and $0.50. Larger businesses frequently have established contracts and a higher amount of work, which can result in chances for truck drivers that are more consistent and may pay more.

Experience and Specialization

More seasoned or skilled truck drivers frequently have the ability to make more money. Experienced drivers have a history of driving safely, and they may have developed connections with clients or businesses that respect their knowledge. Additionally, drivers that handle certain cargo or drive specialist trucks may command a greater wage. Despite the average annual truck driver salary being above $70,000, drivers in specialized roles can earn up to $90,000.

How Much Money Do American Truck Drivers Make


The geographic location has a big impact on how much a truck driver makes. The demand for drivers and the cost of living in a specific area might affect salaries. Truck drivers are in high demand in some areas, thus compensation may be higher to entice and keep qualified drivers in those areas. Remember that the higher salaries in certain locations could be offset by a higher cost of living. Truck driver salaries listed in the search results range from $40,000 to $78,000 year, with specialized drivers possibly earning more.

Final Thoughts

For those looking for a job on the road, truck driving offers many alternatives. It’s vital to consider all the factors that can influence a truck driver’s earnings. There are several options open to truck drivers, ranging from the median income reported to the possibility of better earnings as an owner-operator and the gradual rise in earning potential with experience.