What is the Average Truck Driver Salary?
You might be wondering why trucking is one of the popular options for people who want to try something new. You’ve heard that they offer promising benefits, but how much exactly are we talking about? A truck driver salary varies, depending on the experience, class license, and of course difficulty of the job.
Similar to other careers, their salary is determined by the complexity of all the factors that needs to be considered in the workplace. There are reasons why a truck driver salary is high, just looking at some commercial driving license practice tests gives you a glimpse of what these professionals have to deal with on a daily basis.
There are generally two types of trucking professionals. The first type is the long haul drivers or tractor-trailer professionals. The other being lighter trucking or shorter distance drivers. Driving light truck vehicles requires a commercial driving license (CDL) Class B, while those who prefer to transport loads of 26,001 pounds above would generally require a Class A license. With this setup, you now see possible differences in a truck driver salary.
Inexperienced, entry-level professional driver
Like any other job, the salary is directly proportional to level of experience. The average truck driver salary of an entry-level professional is at $33,940 a year for short or delivery services; while tractor-trailer drivers earn $40,360 a year.
Take note however that these figures increase when you have additional endorsements, especially in driving longer vehicles such as doubles or triples. Driving such requires precision and experience hence you’d expect more.
Some companies have programs in which they pay for a student’s tuition fee in driving school or offer lower upfront costs. In return, when the student gets his/her CDL, they will work with the company until they clear their debts.
Because of the high fees of a training school, this program may sound like the perfect option for those who are unable to pay immediately. But before engaging in such, make sure you will not be taken advantage of. Read their terms. Ask about your salary. Research your options if the company’s pay is at par with other salaries.
Experienced, mid-level professional driver
The average truck driver age is at 49, as most drivers shifted to rucking from another career and the youth is not so much interested with the profession. There has been a constant shortage of truck drivers, presenting middle-level professional drivers with a variety of options, with better offers and compensations.
A middle-level truck driver salary can expect a salary of nothing lower than $40,000. During this time some truckers that started on light vehicles venture on bigger and longer hauling, or upgrade their licenses and endorsements.
Taking and passing the test for transporting hazardous materials for example, allows for a bigger compensation. With the budget to upgrade on hand, a truck driver’s career starts to widen within these years.
Experienced, senior-level professional driver
Trucking is serious business, hence business companies are willing to pay increased prices just to have their products delivered. The safe movement and timely delivery of products is the bread and butter of the economy. This is why well-experienced truck drivers are compensated relatively for that.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) reports that the average salary of a driver employed by a private fleet is at $73,000. This goes to show that one’s career in trucking is never left stagnant as wage is constantly proportional.
The trend regarding a truck driver salary is constantly increasing. It will always be as the demand for this profession will only grow in the coming years. It has been a constant struggle for the ATA to encourage people to enter into the trucking profession. Contrary to it being a “man’s job”, women have actually been in the business for years.
As drivers become older, there is a struggle to train and encourage the younger generation to fill the growing demand for the business. Companies will always be willing to pay to meet deliveries. Keep that in mind once you start job hunting and never settle for a wage not proportional to your skills and effort.
Is Trucking for You?
There are two main reasons on why trucking is not for everyone. First, it requires long hours. Second, it does not really offer a work-leisure balance, especially for over-the-road transport. But if you don’t mind these two, and have a full grasp of how to balance and juggle work and play, then the trucking profession is surely a well-compensated job.
It can provide for your family. It comes as a bonus for people who actually enjoy driving. They treat the profession as a way to tour the country and move around while getting paid.
Trucking will always be in demand in every sector. The movement of these giant vehicles also determines the market, and on a bigger scale, the economy. Once you get your CDL, you will always have a profession that will always be in demand.