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How Much Can Truck Drivers Make?

Truck Driver's Income may be Higher than you Think

Updated June, 2021

Income and the potential to earn money is key when someone is considering what trade or profession they wish to pursue in their lives. People want to pick a career that ensures that they can make a healthy amount of money and live a comfortable life. Some potential job candidates can be “turned off” from truck driving. They don’t understand that you actually can make quite good money by getting into the industry. Even when you are first starting, you can obtain a CDL in 4-6 weeks and make the same amount (or more) than some graduates of 2-to-4-year university students!

A truck driver’s income varies widely. Income is based on the type of CDL someone holds along with the type of driving they choose. In this post, we will explore exactly how much the average truck driver makes in the various truck driving positions.

The Average Starting Salary For a Truck Driver:

The “average” salary across the board for a starting truck driver runs at around $45,000 annually. However, that salary can fluctuate based on what type of driving you do. Other factors such as how many loads you deliver on time, if the goods are delivered damage-free, or if you pick up other pay incentives/bonuses, can affect your salary.

Median truck driver salaries for those with experience in the industry can average up to $70,000 per year. This is slightly above the median household income of about $68,703 annually as of 2019.

Truck Drivers See Modest Pay Increases Annually:

The average job in the US sees pay increases of about 2-3% annually. However, the truck-driving industry is running pay increases of about 8 to 12% annually in recent years. That is a massive pay increase for any industry in the US right now and especially for a truck driver’s income. Many other Americans have barely seen their paychecks increasing in recent years.

These salary increases are on average, and some carriers in the industry are willing even to pay drivers more than that!

Other Benefits Drivers May Receiving:

Many trucking carriers add additional benefits for their drivers. These are often offered by companies to get drivers to work for their carrier and keep their fleet moving:

  • sign-on bonuses
  • paid vacation time – including extended home time for those who are over-the-road truckers as they get time off between each 3 to 6-week working stint to spend at home with their family in addition to paid vacation time.
  • full health benefits – including dental and vision
  • retirement options – often including employer matches up to a certain monetary value or percentage of the employee’s pay.
  • possibilities for tuition reimbursement from the costs of getting CDL.
  • additional performance bonuses are also often possible.

Other employers may offer additional benefits, but these benefits are common for many carriers to offer to their drivers.


Truck drivers are well-paid, and they are in high demand. This can promise long-term job security for those who get into the industry. If you are interested in getting into a high-paying career after you get your CDL, please feel free to contact us at United Truck Driving School for further assistance and to enroll in classes to help you get all of these great benefits!

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