If you are considering a career as a truck driver, it’s natural to wonder what your earning potential could be. Many different factors impact how much a truck driver makes, and your earnings will be influenced by things like the kind of runs you make, how long you’re away from home, and where you drive. Here is what you need to know about your ability to make a living as a truck driver.
In 2014, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for truckers driving heavy trucks and tractor-trailers was $39,520. This salary is a pay rate of $19 per hour. Keep in mind that a wide range of factors can influence this median figure. Some states have higher median incomes than others, and of course, the median income can vary drastically between different segments of the trucking industry.
In addition to their base incomes, truckers often receive other benefits. Because there is a worsening shortage of drivers nationwide, many companies offer sign-on bonuses that can be substantial. Most trucking companies also offer annual salary increases and many offer performance bonuses. Truckers also frequently have very generous health and dental insurance benefits for themselves and their families, which can also make a compensation package more attractive.
There are a number of different things that drivers can do to increase their earning potential. This includes things like specializing a certain kind of driving, such as driving oversized loads, and taking long-haul jobs. Having a CDL is essential for increasing your income. There are pros and cons to becoming an owner-operator, but many drivers find that they can significantly increase their income that way.
The road to making the living you want as a truck driver starts with HDS Truck Driving Institute. Our trucking school in Tucson can have you behind the wheel and earning in as little as four weeks. Find out more about our trucking programs by calling (877) 205-2141.