How Much Does a Truck Driver Make? [Ultimate Guide for 2024]

How much does a truck driver make? Is truck driving worth it? What kind of truck driver job offers the highest income? Which states provide the highest CDL income? Navigating the rewarding field of truck driving in the contemporary job market reveals an escalating demand for skilled CDL A drivers across the United States. This comprehensive guide aims to explore the various facets of truck driver salaries, spotlighting the best paying trucking companies and strategies to elevate your earning potential within this profitable career.

how much does a truck driver earn

“How much do truck drivers make?” It’s a common question for potential CDL drivers and those considering a career change. But the answer isn’t that simple. Truck driver wages in the US vary widely, covering many key factors such as driving type (local, regional, OTR), type of freight (dry van, reefer, flatbed, etc.), level of experience, and specific certifications such as Class A CDLs. These variables make the trucking industry a diverse and flexible industry, catering to lifestyles and preferences.

But no worries, we will explain these and other factors in this article and show you an average truck driver salary for different states and CDL class A jobs. Here is what you will learn from this post: 

Key factors that affect a CDL Salary

The average pay for a Class A CDL drivers is a common starting point for salary discussions, serving as a benchmark for the industry. However, beyond the average figures lie opportunities for significantly higher earnings, especially with OTR truck driver salary packages and positions within the highest paying trucking companies. These roles often come with additional benefits and bonuses, further enhancing the total compensation package.

At Global Fleet, we know that truckers are drawn to the high salaries, but we also understand that it’s about more than just the money. We only work with trustworthy and thriving trucking companies, so our drivers get paid well and feel supported and content throughout their careers.

Payment methods vary widely, including payment per hour, per mile, or through a salary base, each catering to different aspects of trucking jobs. This flexibility allows drivers to choose positions that best fit their lifestyle and financial goals. We’ve looked at the money side of truck driving and want to help potential drivers make wise decisions. 

Making the right choice for employment can lead to a successful career, emphasizing the importance of selecting a job that not only pays well but also offers the support and benefits drivers need to thrive.

Average Pay for Class A CDL Drivers

the Average Pay for CDL Driver

Having a Class A CDL in the trucking business is pretty much like striking gold when it comes to job options. 

So, what’s the going rate for truck drivers these days? The truth is, it swings quite a bit depending on where you’re at. Some truckers, especially in places like Kentucky, are really raking it in, with paychecks that would make anyone do a double-take. And they’re not the only ones – drivers in a few other states are also seeing some hefty sums.

And get this – if you’re handling the big, unusual stuff or specialty vehicles, you’re looking at even better pay. We’re talking good cash for those who navigate the big rigs and unique loads. It’s all about the type of work you’re doing and the roads you’re traveling.

At Global Fleet LLC, we’re all about connecting drivers with the best-paying trucking companies out there. Whether you’re new to the road or you’ve been around the block, we aim to get you into those high paying trucking jobs. 

Next up, we’re diving into the details that really spice up a trucker’s paycheck: the route types, trailer types, and operating modes. Whether you’re clocking miles coast to coast, maneuvering different trailers, or choosing between flying solo or teaming up, each choice you make has a tag on your income. It’s like picking your own adventure in the trucking world, where your decisions not only shape your road life but also how thick your wallet gets.

Truck Driver Wages Across the Categories

The CDL salary range for truck drivers in the United States reflects the diverse opportunities and challenges within the industry. CDL income can significantly vary depending on the category of trucking one chooses to specialize in. Each category has its own unique demands, benefits, and compensation structures, influencing how much truck drivers make annually.

Let’s go over them one by one.

Salary of a Truck Driver by Route Type (Distance)

OTR trucking salary

OTR trucking is among the best-paying jobs in trucking in the USA. Drivers get good pay for long trips. They drive through all 48 states. Their time on the road spans weeks. Pay is by mile or hour and is quite high. They carry many products, like fresh food and global goods. The pay reflects the job’s demands. This includes lots of travel and crossing state lines. OTR driving is a profitable career choice in trucking.

Average salary of over-the-road truck drivers:

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for an OTR Truck Driver in the United States in 2024 is approximately $59 per hour or $122,717 per year.

otr truck driver salary

Regional Trucking Income

If you love hitting the road but still want your home-cooked meals, regional trucking is your sweet spot. Regional drivers stick close to a certain area, never straying more than 1,000 miles from home. This setup lets you savor the open road by day and still make it back for dinner. You’re on the move but can often enjoy being home weekly.

Average salary of a Regional Truck Driver:

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a Regional Truck Driver in the United States in 2024 is about $61.70 per hour or $128,327 per year.

regional truck driver salary

Local Truck Driving Income

Local trucking puts you at the heart of your community. You’re the vital link between businesses and the locals, delivering goods right in your city or neighborhood. Since you’re sticking to city limits, you can wrap up your day’s work and be back at home in no time. It’s all about short trips and daily homecomings.

Average salary of a Local Truck Driver: What’s the Annual Earnings Potential?

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a Local Truck Driver in the United States in 2024 is approximately $54.29 per hour or $112,933 per year.

local truck driver salary

Salary of a Truck Driver by Trailer Type

Dry Van Trucking Earnings

Dry Van trucking is a popular choice for CDL A job seekers. It involves moving non-perishable items in enclosed trailers. This role can take you on regional or OTR routes and is perfect for newcomers. It’s all about handling various cargoes and making sure they arrive on time. If you’ve got a CDL A license and prioritize safety, dry van trucking provides a solid start in the trucking world.

Average Pay for Dry Van CDL Drivers:

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a Dry Van Driver in the United States in 2024 is about $50.76 per hour or $105,578 per year.

dry van truck driver salary

Reefer Trucking Earnings

Reefer, also known as refrigerated trucking, is all about moving perishable goods in trailers that keep everything at just the right temperature. It’s a step up from Dry Van trucking because you’ve got the extra job of keeping an eye on those temperatures. This kind of trucking needs you to be on your game, ensuring everything from fresh veggies to medical supplies stays cool or frozen as needed. If you’re good with details and like the idea of a job that’s a bit more involved, reefer trucking could be your lane. It’s about more than just driving. It’s about delivering quality, every time.

Average Reefer Truck Driver Salaries: What to Expect:

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a Reefer Truck Driver in the United States in 2024 is approximately $40.44 per hour or $84,118 per year.

reefer truck driver salary

Flatbed Truck Driver Salary

Flatbed trucking is for those who don’t mind a bit of muscle work. It’s all about hauling oversized loads that won’t fit in your average trailer. This job involves more than just driving; you’ll be hands-on, securing and checking your cargo to make sure everything’s safe for the road. It’s a skillful and sometimes risky business, especially when hauling hazardous materials. If you’re up for the challenge, flatbed trucking can be rewarding, offering a chance to tackle a variety of tasks and ensuring no two days are the same.

Average Pay of a Flatbed trucker: High Paying Truck Driving Jobs

According to Glassdoom, the average hourly wage for a Flatbed Truck Driver in the U.S. in 2024 is roughly $52.18 per hour or $108,532 per year.

Flatbed truck driver salary

Step Deck Trucking Earnings

Step deck trailers, cousins to flatbeds, feature a lower deck perfect for those extra-long hauls. Just like flatbed trucking, you’ll need a good set of skills for securing and transporting your cargo. What sets this gig apart is the focus on longer loads that just don’t fit anywhere else. It’s a bit of a niche, sure, but if you’ve got the knack for handling these unique challenges, step deck trucking can offer slightly better pay due to its specialized nature. Ready to stretch your trucking legs? Step deck could be your next move. 

Average Pay of a Step Deck Trailer Driver:

Regarding earnings for step deck trailer drivers, they can vary just like in any trucking job, influenced by factors such as experience, location, and the type of loads you haul. Given its specialized nature, step deck trucking might offer better pay compared to some standard trucking jobs. It’s a great option for drivers looking to diversify their skills and tackle new challenges. For more details on step deck trucking earnings, contact Global Fleet LLC now. We’re here to help!

Power Only Trucking Salary

Power Only Trucking is all about flexibility. It’s perfect for drivers who don’t own a trailer but still want to hit the road. You’ll be hitching up to a client’s trailer and moving it to its next destination. This kind of work offers a range of pay, influenced by the client you’re working for and how far you’re going. The real perk? Lower overhead costs since you’re not maintaining a trailer. Plus, you have the chance to earn rates on par with or even better than other trucking gigs, depending on the deals you land. If you’re looking for variety in your trucking career, power only could be your ticket to a wide world of opportunities.

Average Salary of a Power Only Truck Driver:

In the Power Only Trucking world, how much you make can really differ. It all depends on where you’re working, how much experience you’ve got, and who you’re driving for. Generally speaking, it’s a pretty good deal, especially if you don’t have your own trailer. Not having to buy, take care of, or insure a trailer means you save a bunch of money, which could mean more cash in your pocket at the end of the day.

Salary of a Truck Driver by Operating Mode

Solo Truck Driver Pay

Solo trucking puts you in the driver’s seat of your income. It’s the essence of trucking, granting you full control over your rig and your earnings. Ideal for those who thrive on independence, this role wraps responsibility and autonomy into one. 

As a solo truck driver, you’re not just driving. You’re managing your loads, schedules, and even your pay per mile or hour. Excelling in this role requires a CDL A license, top-notch organization, and quick decision-making. Solo trucking is not just about navigating roads; it’s about steering your financial future, offering a clear route to increasing your income through diligent work and smart route choices.

Average Income of a Solo CDL Driver: Understanding Your Earnings:

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a Solo Truck Driver in the U.S. in 2024 is roughly $57.79 per hour or $120,211 per year.

solo truck driver salary

As we can see, trucking offers a world of options. Each type, from OTR to local, brings its own set of rewards. Dry Van, Reefer, Flatbed, and Step Deck have unique challenges. They offer different ways to earn. Solo trucking lets drivers take charge of their earnings.

So, let’s sum it up. 

Here are the highest-paying CDL salaries at one glance:

  1. Regional Trucking: $128,327 per year
  2. OTR Trucking: $122,717 per year
  3. Solo Trucking: $120,211 per year
  4. Local Truck Driving: $112,933 per year
  5. Flatbed Trucking: $108,532 per year
  6. Dry Van Trucking: $105,578 per year
  7. Reefer Trucking: $84,118 per year

Understanding the nuances of truck driver compensation by category is important for any driver looking to make a great deal. With the right information and support from a trusted partner like Global Fleet LLC, drivers can make informed decisions that make pickup trucking an attractive and satisfying experience.

Next, we’ll dive into “Truck Driver Wages Across the States”. This will show how pay varies in different areas. It’s a closer look at where drivers can make the most money. Trucking isn’t just about the drive. It’s also about smart choices for a better truck driving career.

CDL Salaries Across the States

cdl salaries across the states

Truck driving across the U.S. is like navigating a highway of opportunities, where what you earn swings wildly with the map. Some states are like hitting a gold mine, while others are more about the love of the drive and the community you’re part of.

High-Paying States for Truck Drivers

Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Indiana lead as some of the top-paying states for truck drivers, according to the latest data. 

Delaware surprises many with its average annual CDL A salary. The blend of a robust economy and a strong demand for trucking services pushes wages higher in these areas. 

Mississippi tests a trucker’s toughness. It’s hot. The roads are long. Sometimes, the rain hits hard. Truckers here earn their pay and respect. It’s all about mastering those tricky hauls.

States with Competitive Truck Driver Salaries

Close behind the leaders, states like Ohio, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island offer substantial CDL wages, thanks to their strategic locations and booming industries. 

Wisconsin’s got its own way of rewarding truckers. The state’s known for good work paying off, making it a great spot for truckers aiming for a solid career. No exact numbers here, but let’s just say it’s worth the haul.

Arkansas and Vermont keep the competition tight, offering truckers good pay that reflects their need for skilled drivers to keep their economies rolling.

Exploring Opportunities in Mid to Lower Wage States

Even in states where the pay might not be breaking any records, there’s a whole lot more to consider. Places like Oregon and Texas, they’re not at the top of the pay scale, sure, but they’ve got their own appeal. It’s crucial to think about the amount of work available. Because what really matters isn’t just the size of the paycheck, but how consistently you can earn it. It’s the whole picture that counts: the lifestyle, the community, and yes, the opportunities for steady work. And about those states not leading the pay race this year, like Washington, Nebraska, and all the way down to Hawaii, don’t write them off just yet. Each one has its own vibe and could be just the right spot for truckers who value more than just a paycheck.

Bottom 10 Average CDL Driver Salaries by State in 2024

Here are the states where truck drivers have the lowest average salaries according to Zippia.

  1. Washington
  2. Nebraska
  3. Montana
  4. Colorado
  5. Oregon
  6. Texas
  7. Idaho
  8. Florida
  9. Alaska
  10. Hawaii

At Global Fleet LLC, we’re committed to connecting truck drivers with the highest-paying trucking companies, ensuring you find opportunities that align with your income goals. Whether you’re seeking the top OTR truck driver salary or exploring the average pay for Class A CDL drivers across various states, we’ve got the insights and network to boost your career. Let Global Fleet LLC guide you to where truck drivers make the most, supporting your journey to financial success in the trucking industry.

Which States Offer the Highest Truck Driver Salaries?

Wondering which states have the top truck driver salaries? We’ve cut through the complex world of driver pay to show you where the best-paying jobs are. Thanks to our deep dive into the industry, we’ve found the top spots for truckers to earn big. Here’s where truck drivers can pull in the highest salaries in 2024:

Top 10 Average CDL Driver Salaries by State in 2024

Here are the states where truck drivers have the highest average salaries according to Zippia.

  1. Kentucky
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Indiana
  4. Delaware
  5. Mississippi
  6. Ohio
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Arkansas

Following the top earners, states like Delaware, Ohio and Rhode Island show strong potential for truck drivers looking for substantial pay. These areas combine strong industry needs with significant job opportunities, making them prime spots for trucking careers. They provide varied job routes, from bustling city deliveries to expansive cross-country hauls, all with solid wages. 

At Global Fleet LLC, our mission extends beyond job placement. We aim to build careers that match your financial aspirations and life preferences. Knowing where to drive is as important as what you transport. We’re dedicated to linking our drivers with the highest-paying trucking jobs, ensuring your journey on the road leads to financial well-being and career fulfillment.

Whether you’re attracted to the demanding drives of Kentucky or the dynamic transport lanes of Pennsylvania, Global Fleet LLC is here to navigate you through the trucking industry’s top earning opportunities.

Tips to Maximize Earnings in Trucking: A Guide to High-Paying Truck Driving Jobs

Success in trucking hinges on maximizing your revenue. At Global Fleet LLC, we understand the importance of matching the right service with customer demand to grow your trucking operation.

Here’s how you can boost your earnings in trucking:

  • Stay Informed: Work with a trusted CDL driver recruiting agency like Global Fleet LLC, and stay ahead of market trends to adjust your services swiftly and stay on top of the competition, boosting your bottom line.
  • Build Your Network: Networking is key. Through Global Fleet LLC, join trucking networks to discover new markets and form valuable partnerships that can lead to increased sales.
  • Increase Your Loads: More loads equal more revenue. With our support, find the right loads, plan efficiently, and partner with trusted brokers to ensure a steady flow of work.
  • Negotiate for Higher Rates: Leverage the latest industry rate trends with insights to negotiate better contracts. Higher rates contribute directly to higher profits.
  • Specialize for Higher Pay: With the right support from Global Fleet LLC, specialize in high-paying freight types such as hazardous materials or oversized loads. These niches, while requiring extra qualifications, offer lucrative payoffs.

FAQs: Answering Your Top Questions

1. How much does a truck driver make in a year? 

In the U.S., earnings for CDL class A drivers depend on their location, experience, and the type of truck they operate. For instance, OTR (Over The Road) truck drivers have an average hourly wage of approximately $59, translating to an annual income of around $122,717.

2. What is the highest salary for a truck driver?

The highest salaries in trucking tend to be in specialty categories, such as oversized loads or hazardous materials, and experienced Regional Truck Drivers. These positions can command salaries ranging from $102,000 to $163,000 per year, especially those associated with prominent trucking companies.

3. Are CDL drivers in high demand? 

Yes, CDL drivers are in high demand throughout the United States. The trucking industry continues to grow, creating a need for skilled drivers to move goods across the country. This qualification provides stable employment opportunities and competitive salaries for drivers.

4. How much do OTR truck drivers make? 

OTR truck drivers, due to the requirement to stay home for long periods and travel long distances, tend to earn higher wages. According to, these drivers can earn between $110,000 and $137,000 on average per year, with the potential for more depending on experience, company, and other forms of compensation.

5. Which states offer the highest pay for truck drivers? 

States like Delaware, Rhode Island, and Kentucky top the list with the highest average wages. This often reflects the cost of living and specific requirements for trucking jobs in these areas.

6. What are the highest paying CDL class A jobs? 

Specialized hauling in areas such as HazMat, oversized loads, or refrigerated transport (reefer) typically offers the highest truck driver salaries, with owner-operators and long-haul (OTR) drivers also seeing substantial earnings.

7. How do you become a high paid truck driver?  

Gaining experience, other certifications (such as hazardous materials), and partnering with reputable trucking companies known for high wages and good working conditions earn you more money.

8. How Much Does a Female Truck Driver Make?

In the trucking industry, salary is based on mileage, hours, and job type, not gender. Thus, female truck drivers earn similarly to males for equivalent work, with salaries varying by experience, driving category, and specialization. This ensures equal pay for all drivers.

9. Do Truck Drivers Get Paid Hourly? 

Yes, some truck drivers in the U.S. are paid hourly, especially in local driving positions. However, long-haul or OTR drivers often earn by the mile. Hourly pay can also apply to specific tasks like loading and unloading.

Get a High Paying CDL A Truck Driver Job with Global Fleet LLC

Looking for a high-paying CDL A truck driver job? Global Fleet LLC connects you with the best-paying trucking companies. 

At Global Fleet LLC, renowned for excellence in truck driver recruitment, we are dedicated to bridging the gap between drivers and the highest paying trucking jobs available, ensuring a fulfilling and financially rewarding career path. Proudly, more than 800 truck drivers have embarked on new career journeys with our assistance, boasting an impressive 89% satisfaction rate. Our focus transcends mere job placement; we aim to secure your future with premier trucking companies known for their competitive truck driver wages.

Reach out to us or complete our website form to connect with our dedicated truck driver recruitment team. Our experts are dedicated to understanding your skills, preferences, and career goals, ensuring we match you with the ideal position. Whether you’re searching for well-paid CDL jobs, OTR positions, or roles in top-paying trucking companies, Global Fleet LLC is ready to help you out!


In trucking, your paycheck really comes down to the kind of work you’re doing and where you’re doing it. Whether you’re hitting the road for long trips across the states or moving unique loads, there’s solid cash in it. It’s all about finding the right job that fits what you’re looking for and pays what you want to make.

The trucking family’s got room for all – whether you’re just starting out or you’ve got miles under your belt. With options ranging from OTR, where you can make around $122,717 a year, to regional routes paying about $128,327, and even local gigs at around $112,933, it’s clear there’s potential to earn well in this industry.

Armed with comprehensive salary data, making informed choices can lead to both financial objectives and career fulfillment. If you’re considering your next move, Global Fleet LLC can guide you to opportunities that suit your expertise, preferences, and financial aims.

become a truck driver

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