Truck drivers are an essential part of the transportation industry, responsible for moving goods worth billions of dollars each year. With such a crucial role in the economy, it’s no surprise that truck drivers earn a good living. However, various factors influence their salaries, including experience level, type of cargo transported, and location.
Salary Range for Truck Drivers
Most drivers log between 2,000 and 3,000 miles per week and earn between 28 cents to 40 cents per mile, resulting in a weekly wage between $560 and $1,200. If drivers maintain these rates for 52 weeks, their annual income can range from $29,120 to $62,400. However, salaries can differ based on factors such as experience, location, and type of cargo.
Average Annual Salary for Truck Drivers
According to a recent survey by Indeed.com, the average annual salary for truck drivers in the United States is $66,196, a significant increase from previous years. The demand for goods and a shortage of qualified truck drivers contribute to this increase in salary.
How Much Do Local Truckers Make per Week?
The earnings of local truckers in smaller cities or towns are typically lower than those in larger metropolitan areas. As per ZipRecruiter, local truckers in the United States earn between $808 and $1,269 per week, depending on average distance and cargo type.
Factors Contributing to Low Wages in the Trucking Industry
Several factors contribute to the lower wages in the trucking industry:
- The competitive nature of the sector exerts downward pressure on prices and wages.
- Technological advances allow companies to track their trucks closely, increasing efficiency and reducing drivers’ hours.
- The rise of short-haul shipping due to online shopping has reduced the income of drivers compared to long-haul shipping.
As a result, truck drivers’ salaries have not kept up with inflation. Many companies offer limited benefits, leading to difficulties for drivers in making ends meet despite working long hours.
How Do Truck Drivers Earn Money?
Truck drivers can earn money in various ways. One way is using a load board, an online marketplace where shippers list available truck loads. Drivers can search the load board for high-paying loads and contact the shipper directly to book them. Another way is by working with a freight broker, who acts as a middleman between shippers and truck drivers, matching them for high-paying loads. Although freight brokers typically receive a lower rate than direct bookings, it’s still an excellent way to find high-paying loads. The third option is to work with a trucking company with long-term contracts with shippers, enabling them to offer higher rates than load boards or freight brokers.
How Long Does it Take to Get a CDL?
Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) duration depends on the type of training program and the state in which you apply for your license. Full-time driver training programs usually take about seven weeks. Still, some programs can be completed in as little as three weeks, while others may take up to six months. It’s best to speak with a representative from your driver training school to find out the exact timeframe for getting your CDL.
The profession of truck drivers remains irreplaceable in the transportation industry since it requires manual labor. Unlike other jobs replaced by robots and artificial intelligence, the trucking industry depends on human effort. However, the fact remains that truck drivers are paid relatively poorly compared to other professions. This is primarily due to industry competition, online shopping trends, and technological advancements that monitor truckers’ daily work closely. As a result, many truck drivers struggle to make ends meet. Nevertheless, their weekly wage increases yearly, which is a positive indication that their contributions are appreciated.