Understanding The Trucker Pay Scale

Long drives, big trucks, and truck stop food are just some of the things that go along with being a trucker today. For a truck driver, however, the biggest incentive is their paycheck...

The average trucker salary varies by location, experience & company

2019 Trucker Salary Update
2019 Median Pay is $59,158 - ZipRecruiter.com

The 2019 Average Truck Driver Pay Guide Update


We're well into 2019, and freight demand is on the rise. Trucking is still in high demand with a massive lack of qualified drivers to fill the ranks of many trucking companies.

But for potential drivers, the biggest question remains unanswered: how much does truck driving pay in 2019?

There are a few variables that go into the "average" we use, but it comes from over 6.5 million salaries submitted from truckers online and job boards. A large data source of this kind allows us to have a better understanding of how much the average trucker will make and share it with you. Remember, this is a national average and you should check with each company to verify the data in your area.

Our new 2019 median pay is $59,158.

This comes out to drivers earning $1,137 per week. From the data set provided, we can also see that at the lowest point, salaries were $17,200 per year. We're assuming that this is a part-time position wherein the driver did not log a lot of time.

Alternatively, the high-end salary was $166,000 per year. These drivers either have a very long tenure, but most likely they're owner-operators.

It can mean the difference between a happy driver and a delivery that is never completed.

Understanding the right path for a successful career in trucking before you get started can help you get the salary and security you deserve.

The salary scale typically begins around $28,000 and can go as high as $68,000 for new drivers. Truck drivers who work for commercial trucking companies and distribution centers can expect to earn a fairly decent salary based on these figures.

However, if the driver is an independent contractor, the salary depends on a number of factors.

An independent truck driver is his or her own boss and therefore can negotiate the rates they will accept for the delivery of cargo.

Clearly, this has a big impact on their average wage as an independent commercial truck driver.

Often, independent drivers will add travel accommodations to their rates as a part of their negotiations with their clients. This is especially true of independent drivers who travel distances further than 700 miles in a day to make a delivery. Fatigue is a danger to truck drivers and therefore the need to have a place to sleep comfortably overnight is very important when they take on a long haul.

Pay Per Hour

Often, truck drivers will negotiate their salaries around a rate that is based on mileage and not on hours. For an experienced independent truck driver, the rate per mile could be as high as 60 cents a mile. This means for an experienced independent truck driver traveling an average of 70 miles an hour on the interstate can make an average of 42 dollars an hour. If the haul, or trip, equals out to 800 miles then the driver will make $480. This of course does not include his or her rates for accommodations.

Experience and Reputation

The average driver pay is also based on experience and reputation. A reputable truck driver is often going to get paid a higher rate because he or she is in high demand. Until a driver builds a reputation as a professional and reliable truck driver they will have to be satisfied with a lower pay rate. Just like many other job professions out there, a truck driver salary will depend on a person’s ability to perform at or above the client’s expectations.

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Pay Per State

Truck Driver Pay Per State
Image Courtesy Of BLS.gov

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