Indeed reports the median annual pay for entry level drivers as $65,794.

When you move beyond your initial year, there are job opportunities in the field however which pay even more than that—like team truck driving (around $71,000 per year) and the role of owner-operator (as much as $270,000 per year).

By combining all of this 3rd party data we can glean the following median pay stats as of July 2019:
  • First Year & Student truck drivers earn $55,512 a year on average.

  • CDL truck drivers can expect to earn $66,000 a year on average.

  • OTR CDL truck drivers earn the most, with salaries averaging $59,158 a year.

  • Team truck drivers earn an average of $71,000 each per year.

  • The average owner operator can earn $270,000 year, but they are responsible for all of their truck repairs and maintenance, which is very costly.


 

Why do pay rates vary so much?

The reason is that they are influenced by an array of different factors, including:

  • Mileage: If you are willing to drive long distances, you can typically earn more money. Assignments with smaller driving distances are often more convenient, but they tend to result in lower pay as well.

  • Education and licensing: Drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) earn more money than those without one.

  • Location: This does not have a huge impact, but there are some regions where you might earn more.

  • Experience: The turnover rate in the truck driving industry is huge. Most people simply do not have the endurance for this job, and they quit within a short span of time. So if you stick around for years and prove yourself, you can command a more competitive salary.

  • Bonuses: Different companies offer different bonuses and benefits. These can add to your pay.

  • Specific Role: There are so many different types of truck driving jobs out there! Some of them pay significantly more than others. Examples would be team truck driving or specialized hazmat hauling.

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