How Much Do Beginner Truck Drivers Make?

Trucking is crucial to the American economy as truck drivers transport goods and materials to businesses and consumers nationwide. However, potential truck drivers may need clarification about how much they can expect to earn in their first year on the job. This post will discuss the expected income of beginner truck drivers and the factors that impact earnings.


Beginner Truck Driver Salaries

New truck drivers typically earn income based on the miles they drive. The amount they make per mile depends on their employer, experience, and type of freight. On average, beginner truck drivers earn between $0.25 and $0.40 per mile, amounting to an annual salary of $28,000 to $35,000 if they drive an average of 40,000 miles yearly. Additional assignments and bonuses for meeting milestones, such as driving a certain number of miles without accidents, can increase their earnings.

The Lowest and Highest Salaries for Truck Drivers

While trucking is essential to the economy, it is only sometimes the most lucrative. The average annual salary for truck drivers in the United States is $59,684, or $28.69 per hour. However, pay scales vary, with the lowest 10% earning around $39,000 annually and the top 10% earning $89,000 annually. Therefore, understanding what to expect regarding salaries is crucial for those seeking to enter the field.

Weekly Earnings for Truck Drivers

Weekly earnings for truck drivers depend on several factors, including the miles they drive and the pay per mile. The average truck driver can complete 2,000 to 3,000 miles per week, translating to weekly earnings of $560 to $1,200. Some drivers may also receive additional compensation for deliveries that require special equipment or hazardous materials.

Do Local Truck Drivers Make Good Money?

Local truck drivers have advantages such as being home every night, setting routes, and reducing delays due to weather or traffic. However, on average, local driving jobs pay less than over-the-road (OTR) trucking jobs, with an average salary of $51,355 compared to $59,857 for OTR truck drivers. Personal budgets and finances should also be considered when deciding which job suits you.

Experienced Truck Driver Salaries

Experienced truck drivers can earn significantly more than beginner drivers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for professional truck drivers is $73,780, nearly $14,000 more than the average salary for all occupations in the United States. However, the job’s physical demands should be considered when deciding whether the increased pay is worth the extra hours on the road.


While the average salary for truck drivers is decent, earnings can vary depending on several factors, such as experience, type of job, and location. Therefore, it is essential to research the average pay in a given area before pursuing a truck driving career.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.