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How Much Do Truck Drivers Earn?

The Benefits of a Truck Driving Career

Updated May 2024

As you begin your new career in trucking, one of the most important factors to consider is income and the questions that come along with the subject. How much money can you expect to earn in your first year? How much will your salary increase as you gain experience? What benefits are offered in the trucking industry? Having these answers and understanding your options will allow you to have realistic expectations when entering the trucking industry.

What is the Average Salary of a Truck Driver?

Salaries expectations for truck drivers can vary depending on a multitude of factors, including driving routes, type of equipment, and experience levels. Over-the-road (OTR) drivers make longer trips, earning more while spending more time away from home. Local and regional drivers make shorter trips and will earn less but are usually home every night. Another level of earning potential is for those transporting hazardous materials, as these loads require drivers with higher levels of skill.

It’s important to remember that the different types of trucking are not considered when calculating the overall national salary average. Keeping that in mind, the BLS reports that the median salary for truck drivers is $54,320, but Indeed puts the average for Indiana at $85,046.

The nice thing about trucking is that you’re in control, so your salary will steadily increase as you gain more on-the-road experience. The increased experience will also open doors to new job opportunities, allowing you to choose the routes you want to drive or even be promoted into more executive positions like fleet manager or company leader, increasing your salary exponentially.

What Benefits Do Truck Drivers Get?

In addition to a high earning potential, trucking is one of the few industries that still offers a full benefits package. Carriers are even offering additional benefits in an effort to combat the driver shortage that the U.S. is currently facing. These added benefits include higher wages and sign-on bonuses. Benefits already being offered include:

  • Financial bonus incentives for meeting performance milestones
  • Reimbursement for CDL training
  • 401(k) investments with carrier match
  • Complete Healthcare Coverage (including Dental, Medical, and Vision coverage)
  • Paid vacation time

Industry Outlook

According to the American Trucking Association, There are currently more than eight million people working in trucking-related jobs. Each year, there are about 241,200 openings throughout the U.S., and the growth rate is steady at 4%. Due to a retiring workforce and the industry growing, the shortage of drivers continues to increase, making the demand for truckers higher than ever.

Trucking has always been an important industry, but post-covid, it’s even more respected than before. Truck drivers are imperative to the world we live in, and they’re continuing to be paid and benefited respective to their importance, making it the best time to join the industry!

Ready to take the first step towards your new career in trucking? DriveCo CDL Learning Center can get you trained and ready for your new career in just four weeks! To learn how to get started, give us a call!