You like to drive and have always enjoyed the feeling of being on the road. The idea of exploring America while being paid to do it sounds exciting but you’re wondering how much is a truck drivers salary? The answer is that it depends on a number of things. It depends on the type of driver, where you live, your driving record, and your years of experience. On average, truck driving is a well-paying job. Overall, the average truck driver with a few years under their belt can make about $45,000 to $53,000 per year. Many drivers with less than a year’s experience make $35,000 a year. However, these averages don’t give a complete picture because what you will make depends a lot on the type of truck driver you want to be.
The OTR or Over The Road Driver
These are the truck drivers you often see when driving on the interstate. If you’re the sort who enjoys road trips and seeing other parts of the country besides your home state, OTR truck driving is a good fit for you. The salary you get depends on the company you work for and the type of freight you haul. For example, perishable items hauled in refrigerated trucks are a great responsibility for the driver which means he will command a higher salary than someone who hauls dry goods. The average salary for over the road drivers is between $55,000 to $59,000 per year.
Pick-Up & Delivery Driver
The pick-up & delivery driver picks up and delivers freight for businesses and establishments that are local to an area. Their average salary is between $36,000 and $58,000 per year. If the open road is not for you, then a great benefit for this type of trucker is that he can return home at night. Among the biggest employers of the pick-up & delivery driver are express delivery services and couriers. You may have to load and unload the packages.
Independent Truck Driver Or Owner-Operator
As the name implies, the independent truck driver is his own boss and negotiates his own rates. You will be a freelancer who doesn’t have to commit to any particular company or carrier. If you are good at this, it means job security because a company going out of business doesn’t mean you’re unemployed, it just means you have one less potential client to do business with. The independent truck driver will need his own truck and equipment. It also requires experience as a trucker because you will need to know the business well to find clients. Your experience and reputation will also be your chief selling points when looking for a client and negotiating your rate. What you make can vary but some independent truck drivers can net $70,000 to $100,000 per year. Note that truck maintenance and other expenses will come out of your pocket.
The Highest Paid Truck Drivers
Truck drivers who carry specialized freight are paid a higher salary on average than those who don’t. What sort of freight is this? Examples include delivering new cars to dealerships, refrigerated goods, hazardous materials, tanker trucks, and dump trucks for coal mines.
Another type of truck driver that gets paid better than average is the heavy load hauler. These drivers haul over sized and over weight freight that require special permits from the states they carry it through. A great deal of skill and knowledge is required for this work because the loads they carry are often too large to fit into a single lane on most highways and are too heavy for some bridges.
The best thing about truck driving is that the need for them will always be there. Goods will always require transport from those who sell or manufacture them to those who need them. That means there will always be demand for your trade. If you are committed and work hard, you can do very well. However, truck driving is a big field and the type that’s best for you can only be decided by you. If you need more information or have questions on getting started as a truck driver, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to answer your questions.