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Truck Driver Salaries Explained

Photo of a pile of cash laying on a check Driving a truck as a CDL-A professional is often overlooked by many as a viable career. The truth is truck driving is one of those rare evergreen jobs - always necessary and always in demand. Not much slows the transportation and freight industry down, not even a global pandemic (truck drivers were even hailed as heroes during this unprecedented time). When one sector of the economy slows down, such as construction or auto-hauling, another grows in demand. The diversity of goods being hauled across the country is at an all-time high as we as consumers continue to consume at record levels.

With this level of job security also comes high demand. High demand comes with good pay. Sign On bonuses, longevity bonuses, performance and safe driving incentives keep the salaries for drivers at a respectable level. This is especially true considering you don’t need formal post-secondary education to drive a truck.

According to Indeed.com, the current average truck driver salary in the U.S. is $61,397.

There are many different factors that go into a truck driver salary: bonuses, years of driving experience, route type (OTR, Regional, Local) and freight type. It is also notable that drivers who own or lease their truck make higher salaries than company drivers, though the expenses of maintaining and operating their own truck cuts into profits.

Typically, salaries for drivers follows as such: OTR > Regional > Local and Specialized Commodity Freight > General Commodity Freight. Drivers that stay out on the road and drive longer distances will make a lower CPM (cost-per-mile) and be home less often, but will earn a higher overall paycheck.

There are also many benefits included in today’s truck driving jobs.

  • 401(k) + matching
  • Health, Dental and Vision insurance
  • PTO
  • Referral Programs
  • Fuel Discounts
  • Many More

Based on a survey from Indeed.com of over 40,000 people, 51% of drivers are satisfied with their salaries. Though the salary and benefits are respectable for not needing a college degree or spending years in trade school, this shows that truck driving is a tough job that deserves respect.

It’s important for carriers to compensate their current and prospective drivers; however. there are other ways to show appreciation. Expressing your gratitude on social media, providing awards recognizing safe driving or longevity with the company and encouraging feedback are just a few great ways to engage your drivers in a positive way while also showing prospective drivers they would appreciate driving for your company.

Want to learn more about where your pay ranks in the competitive driver market? Let’s chat!

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