How Much Do Semi Truck Drivers Make?

Posted - April 30, 2022
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Before you enter a profession, it makes sense to question how much employees already in it make. By doing so, you can determine whether such an industry is worth your time and effort. 

Have you been wondering how much semi truck drivers make? Don’t get behind the driver’s wheel without learning this crucial payment information.

The Different Truck Driving Job Types

How much a semi truck driver earns can depend on the type of truck driving they do. Some driving jobs are more complicated or dangerous than others, which can be reflected in their earnings.

  • Dry van hauler – Semi trucks with rectangular trailers transporting goods packaged in boxes and pallets. These drivers generally don’t have to unload the goods themselves. 
  • Freight hauler – Freight haulers transport goods that dry van haulers can’t, such as oversized cargo and hazardous liquids. 
  • Tanker haulers – Tanker haulers transport hazardous and non-hazardous liquids. They are among the most in-demand drivers and are generally well-paid. 
  • Flatbed haulers – Flatbed haulers drive open-air trailers, transporting machinery and dry products that are too awkward to fit in the semi trucks of dry van haulers
  • Local and regional haulers – Local and regional haulers transport multiple loads around their local area or region, often returning to their own homes each night
  • Refrigerated haulers – Refrigerated haulers are required to transport goods that must remain at a specific temperature. There are often time limits, and drivers must have basic temperature knowledge.
  • Auto haulers – If you’re an auto hauler, you generally earn more than the average semi truck driver. You drive with specially designed trailers for car transportation, which requires great skill. 
  • Less-than-truckload haulers – These truck drivers usually have small loads and deliver several each day. They may be required to load and unload their own shipments. 
  • Hotshot haulers – Hotshot haulers drive class 3 and class 5 trucks with small trailers. They often deliver locally and regionally and take multiple loads daily. 

What is the Average Salary of a Semi Truck Driver? 

The average salary of a semi truck driver is $59,000 per year, or $28.74 an hour. However, entry-level drivers may start on $39,000 yearly. 

The 90th percentile of truck drivers earns an average salary of $89,000 or $43 per hour, while the 75th percentile earns $36 an hour or $74,000 per year. 

Which States Pay Semi Truck Drivers the Most? 

Whether you’re selling a truck to buy a new one and want to boost your earning potential or are curious about the best state to be a truck driver, it’s worth looking at which states pay semi truck drivers the most.

You might be surprised at your earning potential here in Texas and further up the country in North Dakota and Wyoming. In Texas, the average salary is $63,672, while in neighboring Louisiana, it’s $59,347. New York semi truck drivers earn an average of $73,897, similar to Wyoming drivers who make $73,153. Connecticut isn’t far behind on $68,927, and North Dakota drivers earn several thousand more, making an average of $79,731 per year.

Out of all states and cities, the highest-paid drivers are working in Philadelphia, PA, Reno, NV, Grand Rapids, MI, and Moorhead, MN.

Which Semi Truck Drivers Earn the Most?

When you’re trying to decide which type of semi truck you want to buy, it can be worth considering which type of semi truck provides you with the most earning potential. 

CDL drivers, who transport goods from warehouses to store locations, can earn an average salary of $58,020. They are among the most common truck driving jobs, and there are hundreds of thousands of vacancies country-wide.

Local drivers, who primarily operate semi trucks in their local area, can earn an average of $48,429. If you’re a truck driver-over-the-road, a pro driver who specializes in the transportation of construction materials, heavy freight, and machines, you might earn an average salary of $68,874.  

Ready to Upgrade Your Semi Truck? Sell to TruckVin

Keeping a fleet upgraded is the key to enjoying low-maintenance and cost-effective semi trucks. If you’re a semi truck driver who is ready to move on to something bigger and better, contact TruckVin to receive a fair, fast offer on your current model. Our goal is to see you with cash in hand, ready to finance your new truck purchase with ease.