How Much Do Truck Drivers Make in 2024?

truck driver salary

Last Updated July 11, 2024

As with any profession, it’s important that if you’re thinking of becoming a trucker, you do so with the belief you’ll enjoy the day-to-day behind the wheel. However, we work to pay the bills, so earning a decent income is just as important, and it’s helpful to know your earning potential before entering the industry. You may be convinced you’d enjoy life on the road, but how much would you make as a truck driver? What is the average truck driver salary?

Continue reading to find out how much truckers make in 2024, broken down by state, trailer-type, routes, and operating models.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make?

Overall, the median pay for truck drivers in 2024 is $103,853, which includes owner-operators, who average $323,889 per year and company drivers who average $59,925 per year. Both types of truckers – owner-operators and company drivers – earn above the national median salary across all industries ($59,428).

Let’s break down the median pay across truck drivers a bit further:

  • Per year: $108,204
  • Per month: $7,353
  • Per week: $1,900
  • Per day: $394
  • Per hour: $34.53

But how much truck drivers make depends greatly on a multitude of factors, even if the drivers have the same amount of experience behind the wheel.

What Factors Affect How Much Truck Drivers Make?

While in 2024, the average annual truck driver salary is $103,853, this figure can vary tremendously based on factors such as:

  • Where the Driver Lives
  • What Type of Truck They’re Driving
  • Driving Routes
  • Level of Experience
  • Trailer and Freight Type
  • Operating Model
  • CDL Class Type

For example, a tanker driver brings home significantly more than a private fleet driver. In a bit, we’ll dive deeper into specific trucker salaries based on these various factors, but first, in what states can drivers earn the most?

What Are the Best States for Truck Drivers?

Interestingly, the most lucrative states for company truck drivers in 2024 are almost entirely located in the eastern half of the country, whereas West Coast states lag a bit behind. Here are the top 10 best states for truck drivers, based on a combination of average truck driver salary, available trucking positions, and location quotient, a ratio that shows a state’s trucking industry concentration vs. the rest of the country. Note that a higher location quotient equals a healthier, larger trucking industry in that area.

All data provided by Zippia, unless otherwise noted.

State Average Truck Driver Salary Available Truck Driver Positions in 2023 Location Quotient
Kentucky $68,557 6,466 2.03
Pennsylvania $68,232 14,369 1.43
Indiana $67,338 9,598 1.69
Delaware $70,901 1,484 1.37
Mississippi $66,365 3,254 1.78
Ohio $66,665 15,146 1.72
Oklahoma $67,261 3,032 1.14
Rhode Island $70,834 671 0.64
Wisconsin $66,857 5,493 1.15
Arkansas $65,794 2,518 1.10

1. Kentucky

The average truck driver in Kentucky earns $68,557 per year. This is higher than most states, and with a location quotient of 2.03, the industry as a whole is thriving in Kentucky vs. the nationwide average.

2. Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the average driver earns $68,232 per year. The most recent data shows a staggering 14,369 trucking jobs available in the state in 2023.

3. Indiana

The average annual salary of truck drivers in Indiana stands at $67,338. As of 2023, there are 9,568 available positions for prospective truckers.

4. Delaware

Delaware drivers bring home $70,901 per year, on average – well above the national average for company drivers.

5. Mississippi

Trucking is a more common and opportunistic profession in Mississippi than most states, with a location quotient of 1.78. Here, the average annual salary for a truck driver is $66,365. In comparison, the median salary for Mississippians across all industries in 2021 was $26,807.

6. Ohio

The average driver living in Ohio earns $65,665 per year. Currently, there are 15,146 available trucker roles in the state, offering the most driving opportunities compared to the other top states.

7. Oklahoma

Oklahoma-based truck drivers earn, on average, $67,261 annually. This is significantly more than the state’s average salary across all professions of $30,976.

8. Rhode Island

Live in Rhode Island and want to become a truck driver? Good news – the average driver earns more than $70,000 in the Ocean State ($70,834 to be exact), making it one of the top states to live in, if you’re looking for a higher trucking salary.

9. Wisconsin

Wisconsin boasts 5,493 available trucking positions in 2023 with an average truck driver salary of $66,857.

10. Arkansas

Truckers in Arkansas make much more than the average individual in Arkansas. Here, the average trucker salary is $65,794 vs. a per capita income across all industries of $29,210.

What Are the Worst States for Truck Drivers?

Now that we’ve covered where drivers earn more in the U.S., let’s look at where drivers earn less than the national average or where there might not be as many trucking jobs available as other states (data provided by Zippia).

State Average Truck Driver Salary in 2023
Hawaii $44,475
Alaska $47,735
Florida $56,563
Idaho $47,833
Texas $50,414
Oregon $53,050
Colorado $58,278
Montana $56,810
Nebraska $54,316
Washington $61,194

Keep in mind that $61,194 doesn’t go as far in Washington due to factors such as taxes and cost of living as it does in Mississippi, for example – a state with a much lower average cost of living. That’s why the worst states for truck drivers aren’t strictly the 10 states where drivers earn the least.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make Based on Trailer and Freight Type?

Now that we’ve sorted out which regions and states are the best for current and prospective truck drivers, let’s take a look at how much truck drivers make based on the type of trailer and freight they’re hauling.

Trailer Type Annual Salary
Oversized Load Driver $96,532
Fuel Tanker Driver $89,624
Crude Oil Driver $87,249
LTL Driver $78,621
Dry Van Driver $77,042
Refrigerated Truck Driver $72,714
Delivery Driver $72,062
Flatbed Truck Driver $67,562
Hotshot Truck Driver $58,947
Hazmat Truck Driver $57,554
Concrete Truck Driver $56,671
Double Trailer Truck Driver $56,348
Ice Road Trucker $56,348
Dump Truck Driver $53,781

Oversized Load Driver Salary

The average oversized load truck driver earns a fairly lucrative $96,532 per year. Oversized load drivers have the tough task of operating an abnormally wide or long vehicle, so this substantial figure takes that into account.

Fuel Tanker Driver Salary

Like hazmat drivers, fuel tanker drivers transport large quantities of potentially dangerous chemicals. Because of this, their average salary in the U.S. is $89,624.

Crude Oil Driver Salary

There’s a lot of money in the oil industry, so it’s no surprise that crude oil truck drivers can make a fantastic living with the average driver bringing home $87,249 in 2024.

LTL Driver Salary

LTL (less-than-truckload) drivers can expect to make $78,621 per year. This is one of the higher-paying types of trucker positions with drivers making $38.00 an hour.

Dry Van Driver Salary

Becoming a dry van driver can pay off – literally. These truck drivers make upwards of $77,042 annually or $1,482 per week.

Refrigerated Truck Driver Salary

As of 2024, refrigerated truck drivers make $72,714 per year, or $1,398 per week. If you’re looking for a well-paying, secure career, becoming a reefer driver and transporting perishable items nationwide can be a great choice.

Delivery Driver Salary

Delivery drivers can make a good living, earning $72,062 per year or just over $19.00 an hour. This figure can greatly fluctuate, however, depending on experience and the company you’re driving for.

Flatbed Truck Driver Salary

Flatbed truck drivers can expect to make $67,562 per year with an average hourly rate of $31.39. Some of the best states for flatbed drivers include Wyoming, Montana, Vermont, and Rhode Island, where the average driver makes more than $90,000 annually.

Hotshot Trucking Salary

Hot shot drivers are tasked with delivering time-sensitive truck loads to nearby locations. The average hot shot trucker earns $58,947 annually.

Hazmat Driver Salary

If you’re operating a hazmat truck, you will be hauling potentially dangerous chemicals. The most recent data found an average annual salary for hazmat drivers of $57,554 per year.

Concrete Truck Driver Salary

Concrete truck drivers (or cement truck drivers) earn $56,671 annually, earning the highest in Pacific Northwest states like Alaska, Washington, and Montana.

Ice Road Truck Driver Salary

Ice road truckers can expect to make $56,348 per year. Often operating in challenging, dangerous weather conditions, ice road truckers can earn up to $90,000 once they have a few years of experience.

Double Trailer Truck Driver Salary

The median double trailer truck driver (also known as a tandem truck driver) salary sits at $56,348 per year.

Dump Truck Driver Salary

Data from 2023 reveals that dump truck drivers earn $53,781 annually, and the high-end of the dump truck driver salary caps out at just over $70,000.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make Based on Routes?

Trucker salaries vary greatly depending on where, and for how long, they’re driving.

Trucking Route Type Annual Salary
OTR Driver $99,751
Regional Truck Driver $75,877
Local Truck Driver $65,754
International Truck Driver $56,348

OTR Driver Salary

OTR (over-the-road) drivers currently make $99,751 per year. These long-haul truckers can expect to be behind the wheel on coast-to-coast type routes with many driving through all 48 contiguous states over the course of a calendar year.

Regional Truck Driver Salary

Regional truck drivers aren’t always driving coast-to-coast like OTR drivers, but this allows them to complete more hauls. They make a fantastic living, earning $75,877 annually.

Local Truck Driver Salary

Local drivers, unlike regional and OTR drivers, are usually restricted to driving within a 100-mile radius from their homebase. Because of this, their routes are a bit less complex and demanding, meaning they earn a bit less than regional and OTR truckers. Recent data shows the average local truck driver makes $65,754 per year.

International Truck Driver Salary

International truckers have authority to cross borders and usually work for large, international companies, often construction or shipping companies. The average international truck driver salary in 2024 is $56,348 per year.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make Based on Operating Models?

Operating models make a huge difference regarding how much a trucker can earn. A few operating modes include owner-operators, lease operators, solo truck drivers, private fleet driving, and team truck drivers. Let’s take a look at the salary for each.

Type of Trucker Annual Salary
Owner-Operator $323,889
Lease Operator $240,405
Team Truck Driver $90,312
Solo Truck Driver $81,249
Private Fleet Driver $29,992

Owner-Operator Salary

Successful owner-operators can make a great living, but running your trucking business comes with great responsibility. The average owner-operator makes $323,889 per year. Keep in mind though that owner-operators are also responsible for the expenses that come with running a trucking company, so while their income is high, the take home pay will be less.

Lease Operator Salary

Some owner-operators choose to lease-on, meaning that they still own their truck, but they lease the rig, and their truck driving services to another trucking company, hauling freight in the name of the other company. Lease operators can make a great living, earning $240,406 per year.

Team Truck Driver Salary

Team truck drivers partner with other drivers to deliver freight quicker than one would as a solo driver. Team truck drivers earn $90,312 annually, making it one of the higher salary trucking positions.

Solo Truck Driver Salary

Some company drivers work solo. Solo drivers are responsible for both driving a truck and delivering cargo without the help of a partner.

A solo driver spends a lot of the time alone behind the wheel, but they don’t have to split earnings or compete with other company drivers. As of 2024, solo truck drivers earn $81,249 annually.

Private Fleet Driver Salary

Private fleet drivers are not required to obtain operating authority from the FMCSA, leading to lower average salaries. These drivers, who work in-house for private companies, earn $29,992 per year.

How Much Do CDL Drivers Make Based on Class Type?

Whether you’re planning on being a Class A, B, or C driver will make a big impact on your potential salary. Let’s take a look at how much CDL drivers make based on class type.

CDL Class Annual Salary
Class A $78,621
Class B $58,499
Class C $43,422

CDL Class A Salary

Class A truck drivers operate vehicles greater than 26,000 pounds with trailers over 10,000 pounds. Additionally, Class A drivers can operate Class B and Class C vehicles, making them the most experienced of the different class types. Because of this, CDL Class A truckers earn the most, averaging out to a $78,621 annual salary.

CDL Class B Salary

Class B truckers drive single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 26,000 pounds, and these drivers can pull trailers as long as the trailer is under 10,000 pounds. Additionally, Class B drivers can also operate Class C vehicles. The average CDL Class B trucker earns $58,499 annually.

CDL Class C Salary

Class C drivers operate trucks below 26,000 pounds, and they are also able to drive vehicles that contain hazardous materials. The average salary for Class C drivers in 2024 is $43,422.

Other Trucking-Related Salaries

Truck Dispatcher Salary

Truck dispatchers are in control of routes, scheduling, and any other planning-related duties to certify that all goods are transported timely and efficiently. This can be a lucrative career, as the average truck dispatcher makes $44,139 in 2024.

Freight Broker Salary

Freight brokers play an important role in trucking, acting as the liaison between carriers and shippers. A freight broker makes, on average, $66,989 per year.

Beginner Truck Driver Salary vs. Experienced Truck Driver Salary

Finally, it’s important to remember that if you’re a beginner truck driver, you’ll start off earning much less than veteran drivers.

Entry-Level vs. Experienced Truck Driver Annual Salary
Entry-Level Driver $47,656
Experienced Driver $75,414

However, if you stick with it, you can see your earnings ascend quickly. The average entry-level truck driver earns $47,656 per year, while the average experienced truck driver earns $75,414 per year.

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Truck Driver Salary FAQs

How do CDL drivers get paid?

CDL drivers most often get paid on a cents-per-mile basis. This is a common theme throughout the entire trucking industry, as paying per mile allows for flexible and easily calculated wages.

What CDL jobs pay the most?

Owner-operators make far and away the most money in the trucking industry, earning, on average, over $300,000 per year. Other CDL jobs that pay well, however, include team truck drivers, crude oil drivers, fuel tanker drivers, and regional truck drivers.

What companies pay for your CDL?

Many companies offer to pay for your truck driving school, such as Maverick Transportation, Schneider Trucking, and Swift Transportation.

How much do truck drivers make per year?

The average truck driver made $103,853 in 2024. However, this figure largely varies based on numerous factors, such as experience, trailer type, operating model and routes.

How much do semi-truck drivers make?

As of 2024, a standard semi-truck driver makes $102,636 per year.

How much do truck drivers make an hour?

As of 2024, the average truck driver makes $34.53 an hour.