How Much Do Truck Drivers Make

Truck Drivers Can Earn Close to Six Figures Annually

Truck drivers can earn a very solid income. You don’t have to look at too many classifieds or drive on too many freeways to figure out how indispensable truck drivers are to the economy. You will see advertisements for experienced truck drivers with clean records to earn as much as a low six-figure income in an owner operator position.

Despite all of the trucks you see each time you get on the freeway, there are not enough truck drivers out there to keep up with the demand for the products they carry in the United States. Increasing consumer demand for products from all different parts of the world necessary increases the demand for truck drivers to take these products from various ports to their destinations.

As more and more people get advanced educations, there are fewer and fewer people with clean records available to follow careers in truck driving. If you’ve got a clean record and enjoy driving, there are excellent career opportunities as a truck driver for you to consider.

However, for those who are truck drivers, it is the unique style of life provided by working on the open road that is more appealing than income opportunities. Truck drivers are stuck going and sitting in the same office every day. Truck drivers have a lot more opportunities for diverse scheduling as well. Truck driving can even be a family enterprise, as you can work as a husband and wife team or just bring your family and pets along for the joy of life on the open road.

Taking Note of Different Truck Driving Career Types

Owner Operators

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make

Owner operators are responsible for providing the truck to be used for the jobs. It doesn’t typically matter whether you own the truck or have some type of lease agreement for its use. You will be responsible for keeping the truck in good working condition. In many cases you’ll also be responsible for paying for the fuel. You get paid for carrying loads between origin and destination, typically based on miles driven. Since you provide the truck, you usually get paid significantly more money.

Independent Truckers

Independent truckers are responsible for maintaining their own trucks, as with owner operators. It is up to you to have a reliable truck to haul loads and meet deadlines. The primary difference is that independent truckers generally contract for each haul. You may bid on loads from a website. You can make a lot of money as an independent trucker as you can aggressively go after contracts and haul a lot of loads, but you have to have the right personality for it. Most truckers with their own trucks prefer to work as owner operators because they don’t have to find, bid for, and negotiate the terms of each haul.

Company Drivers

Company drivers are employees of a specific company. Your pay will be predefined, but it can be any combination of salary, hourly, and mileage. You will not have much flexibility in choosing routes and work times. You will typically use a company truck that is maintained and paid for by the company for which you’re employed.

Qualifying to Be a Truck Driver

Before you can start bidding on contracts or taking employment as a truck driver, you must get your Commercial Drivers License, or CDL. Though this is a license provided by your state, it is regulated by the federal government as a form of interstate commerce. In order to get your CDL you must pass a written test and a driving test.

In order to prepare for a career as a truck drive and to get your CDL, it is typically recommended that you go to a special school for truck drivers. Typical curriculum includes practical driving instruction as well as some academic curriculum. If you do well in both aspects of the training you shouldn’t have any trouble passing the exams. If you want to start out as a company driver, many companies will provide good prospective employees with the truck driving education necessary to pass the exams.

Truck Driver Employment Search

There are many different proven routes to landing a job as a truck driver. The best truck driving schools have job placement programs. If you want a broader selection with more flexible options, you can search for your own truck driving job using classifieds in newspapers, trucker lounges, websites, and trucking magazines. You can go through listings of trucking companies and make some calls to find out if they’re looking for employees.

If you have some Internet savvy, there are a lot of different websites and search engines you can use to find a job in trucking driving. Many of these websites will allow you to narrow your job search to meet specific criteria, such as the type of job, the route areas, and pay.

So how much do truck drivers make? for those who find the open road lifestyle of driving a truck and interacting with many different people on a regular basis appealing, a career as a truck driver can be both very relaxing and financially rewarding. As it requires far less education than other careers with similar pay, getting into truck driving can be a quick way to brighten up a tough financial situation.