There are 2 big questions that many people ask when they consider a career as a truck driver:
- How much does a truck driver make?
- Is there anything you can do to make more money as a truck driver?
In the United States, truck drivers earn an average salary of $66,196 per year, according to a recent survey by Indeed.com. Earnings for truck drivers depend on a wide range of factors. Here are some of the factors that affect an individual driver’s income:
- The kind of driving job an individual does.
- How many years have they been driving?
- Bonuses and incentives.
- Licensing and endorsements.
- Specialized hauling.
How much does a truck driver make a year?
Truckers’ base pay is most often calculated based on cents per mile. Mileage compensation is the most common type of compensation in the industry as it allows for flexibility and efficiency while maintaining a good wage. Regional drivers travel within a limited geographical area. Drivers who work in regional areas typically return home once every week or twice every two weeks. The average regional driver earns between $0.37 and $0.55 per mile, meaning they earn between $37,840 and $56,249 per year.
Drivers work in the over-the-road industry, primarily on the continental US, crossing into Canada and Mexico occasionally quoting. In just your first year of driving, you may earn between $44,999 – $56,212 ($865-$1,081 per week or more). Drivers who specialize in deliveries for one company enjoy consistency with their routes along with more time at home. According to some estimates, dedicated drivers can earn between $0.58 and $0.78 per mile, equating to $1,140 up to $1,538, or $60k – $80k per year (per week or per year).
Two drivers on a driver team alternate driving shifts and rest. In 2013, team drivers earned as much as $1,923 per week, up to $2,884 per week ($100,000 to $150,000 per year). Drivers receive an average of $0.48 – $0.75 per mile and can earn as much as $0.75 per mile up to $0.75 per mile.
It can be pretty variable how much drivers are paid from company to company. Employers who have been in the industry for several years and who pay well and respect their drivers are the best. Founded over 65 years ago by a driver who turned a single truck into over 8,000 trucks, Werner Enterprises has been serving consumers’ transportation needs.
Pay for Werner
- $75k – $85k per year on average.
- The best earners earn $90k – $100k annually on average.
- On privileged accounts across the country, you’ll receive guaranteed weekly pay between $1,000 and $1,350.
- Team drivers earn between $73k and $80k per year.
- Weekly payments for a sign-on bonus of up to $7,000.
- Over 200 options available for both home time and pay.
- New equipment of the highest quality.
- Relocation bonus programs available to select customers.
Incentive and bonus programs
Many companies offer weekly pay guarantees and incentives to attract drivers in today’s competitive market. The sign-on pay at Werner Enterprises, for example, ranges from $2,500 to $7,000, and the weekly salary ranges between $1,000 and $1,350. Werner announced an increase in the driver pay package of over $20 million in early 2021. Teams earned an extra $8,000 per year, and solo van drivers received $3,500 per year.
Other compensation may be paid to company drivers. Consider the total compensation package of a company before accepting a driving position. It is possible to enjoy a healthy health insurance plan and earn an excellent return on retirement with a company with a solid compensation package. Professional truck drivers and Werner Enterprises are among the benefits, which include:
- Students who qualify can receive tuition reimbursement of $15,000.
- If they qualify as riders or pet owners.
- In addition to their health and dental insurance.
- As well as life and disability insurance.
- As well as 401(k) retirement plans.
- HSAs and health plans.
- Fuel cards and pay tolls.
- Exemption from military skills tests.
- Program for veteran drivers.
- Country’s top employer for veterans.
- Matching programs for teams.
- Highest mileage in the industry.
- Plan for employee stock purchases.
Certifications and endorsements
A truck driver’s salary can also be increased with these additional levels of training.
HAZMAT endorsements can earn drivers a few cents per mile more, depending on the company they work for. Some companies may pay out drivers more even when not hauling hazardous materials.
Liquid bulk transportation presents unique challenges. A partially loaded tank trailer, for instance, surges as the truck moves. At traffic lights, for example, this poses a problem. The surge is reactivated as soon as the truck moves. A specialty tanker training certificate will increase an employee’s earnings and be valuable to an employer.
Loads taller or wider than 13 feet 6 inches require a permit and are typically more expensive than standard-sized loads. Oversize licenses may be required for the following items:
Parts for aeronautical industries:
- Heavy equipment such as farm tractors, construction equipment, and military vehicles.
- Bridge beams.
- Parts for water vessels.
Do truck drivers truly earn a good living?
Between 28 and 40 cents are paid to truck drivers on average every mile. The average weekly mileage for drivers is between 2,000 and 3,000 kilometers. This amounts to an average weekly wage between $560 and $1,200. If you worked as a driver for all 52 weeks of the year, you might expect to make between $29,120 and $62,400.
There are good opportunities for truckers to make good money, as you can see. It’s not just experienced drivers who can earn good money. Veterans looking for their next career can find some special incentives from some companies. On Werner’s Truck Driving Jobs for Veterans page, you can learn more about their opportunities for veterans. Job opportunities for veterans improve as they gain experience. For more information about becoming a trucker, visit Werner’s Professional Truck Drivers website. Werner’s page on how to start your truck driving career will explain how to get your CDL and begin your career as a truck driver. The Werner’s Driver Jobs page has the most recent driver compensation packages.