John’s a senior in high school, and everyone is pressuring him about college. He knows he has to choose a career path, but he doesn’t like the idea of going to school for any longer. Although his parents have their heart set on him going to college, it’s so expensive. John wants to earn money now – he doesn’t want to put his life on hold for another four years or more He sits alone in his room, wondering what trade he could learn where he’d make a decent living. A semi-truck barrels down the city street outside his window, interrupting his thought. Then he wonders, how much can you make driving truck? He finds a recent news article about how truckers are making more money than they did last year, and that growth is expected to continue. He also learns that there are lots of trucking jobs available.
So, how much money are we talking about and what things impact the salary potential for truck drivers?
How Much Can You Make Driving Truck? Factors That Impact Trucker Salary
There are many things that affect how much money a truck driver makes. Here are the top six factors to consider when wondering how much can you make driving truck.
The number of miles you’re driving and the cost of fuel can affect how much you earn as a truck driver. For example, long-haul drivers tend to make more money than those who drive for smaller, local companies and want to be home the same day.
- Education and licensing
If you earn your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) you’ll make more money than if you don’t have a CDL, because this will open the door for you to drive big rigs.
Some regions of the country have a higher rate per mile for truckers than others. This one isn’t a major influencer, but you may make more money in certain states. Also, if the price of gas is cheaper in your state, this can be more economical than if you’re driving in states with high fuel rates or lots of toll roads.
The longer you drive the more money you will make. Many companies are searching for experienced drivers, and they’re willing to pay more for people who know what they’re doing.
Depending on what company you’re driving for, you might get some pretty good bonuses or incentives. This gives you the potential to earn money beyond your base salary.
- Specific Role
Certain trucking positions pay better than others. For example, if you’re a specialty driver, such as in hazmat hauling, you will make more money than traditional drivers. Owner-operators also have the potential to make more money, although they do have more responsibility.
Although these six points are important to consider, there’s enough research out there to give you a ballpark trucker salary potential.
How Much Can You Make Driving Truck? Average Trucker Salary
Each year there are various estimates on average truck driver salaries. The most recent number provided by Indeed.com is $78,678 per year. This number is based on what truckers in the United States report as their annual salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an annual wage of $43,590 for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. When you consider those averages and the factors listed above the impact trucking, it’s safe to say you can earn anywhere from $26,920 to $63,140 or more. Again, that number depends on your location, bonuses and years of experience. On AllTruckJobs.com, job posts range from $41,000 to more than $200,000, depending on driver type, freight type, and driver experience.
Listen Here! Industry Expert Shares How Much You Can Make Driving Truck!
For someone like John, who is graduating from high school, a truck driving job would be a lucrative option. He can attend a trucking school, which doesn’t take near as long as going to college, and quickly start earning an annual income. Plus, he will earn more money the longer he drives. There’s also plenty of opportunities to move up and around in the trucking industry.
How much can you make driving truck? Find out by browsing open positions and applying online today!