Truck driving has become quite a recommended job nowadays as it pays well and the lifestyle of a truck driver can really save you from the daily boring and repeated office desk job. If you have what it takes in this job and you have the ability to handle it well, this job will be a very good choice. However, whenever someone applies for a job or reads about a new vacancy, the first question popping up in his or her mind usually is about the payment. So, how much do truck drivers make?
The average salary that truck drivers earn is from $30,000 to $40,000 per year. Before you judge this level of salary, let me remind you that there are huge numbers of factors that can affect the salary of a truck driver and not all truck drivers earn the same amount of money. The biggest element in determining the income a truck driver is the trucking company that hires you. A good company will have better policies in bonus and compensation for truck drivers. A bad one will try their best to reduce costs and exploit labor from you as much as possible. Thus, selecting a trucking company to work for is a very important decision.
Other factors that affect the level of salary for truck drivers include experience, distance, type of truck used, type of cargo, etc. Experienced drivers surely earn higher than non-experienced ones. Cross-nation truck drivers will earn more than intrastate ones. So to break it down to factor by factor, how much truck drivers make can be understood as follows:
Some trucking pays on the basis of hours. However, that has become less popular nowadays and payment to truck drivers is mostly made based on mileage. The pay per mile for truck drivers can be equivalent to $20-50 per hour depending on how fast the drivers go. It also depends on the company’s policy, state price market, geographical conditions of the trip and the freight hauled behind the vehicle. The geographical conditions in different states will constitute varied pay rate for truck drivers. According to a research, Nevada and Alaska are states that pay truck drivers the biggest salary because of their long trips and harsh road conditions. New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey also pay well.
Experienced drivers with class A certification surely earn much higher than those without the certification or the experience. On average a class A truck driver can earn around $65,000 per year while a non-experienced one with only a CDL earns around $35,000. There are 3 classifications for truck drivers, Class C is the lowest and earns the least. The middle one is Class B. and Class A is the top one. With Class A certification, you will have huge opportunities to be hired by market-leading trucking companies.
Type of truck
Before getting into this job, you should know exactly which type of truck driver you want to become and the type of truck you will drive. Heavy truck with greater loads will be more difficult to drive and thus pays higher than light truck drivers. If you drive a dump truck around the neighborhood to collect trash and disposals, you will earn around $22,000 per year, while over-the-road CDL heavy truck drivers earn around $75,000. Tank truck drivers earn around $25,000 and bulk truck drivers around $20,000. To put it frankly, the bigger the truck, the greater miles you must go and the more loads you haul behind the vehicle, the more you will earn.
Type of cargo
The type of cargo also affects the salary paid to truck drivers. Postal service truck drivers usually earn more than normal freight truckers. Hazardous materials, heavy machines or inflammable items are cargo that pays higher than normal hauled freight. Sometimes drivers can earn bonuses for hauling such dangerous goods, although this depends heavily on the company’s policies.
So, to be short, truck drivers can earn from $20,000 to $75,000 per year depending on factors such as experience, type of truck, type of cargo, distance, hours of working, company’s policies, state’s policies, etc. with an average of $30,000 to $40,000. If you can handle the job well and have little problems with long hours of driving and being far away from home, truck driving is a rewarding job in the market. And this is the answer for how much do truck drivers make.