What Is the Average Entry-Level Wage for a Truck Driver?
Different types of truck drivers in the United States have different average entry-level wages. Read on to learn more about the entry-level salaries and wage information for tractor trailer truck drivers. Schools offering Commercial Driving degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Average Entry-Level Wage for Truck Drivers
Wages vary for tractor trailer truck drivers, as do the methods in which those wages are paid. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists median wages in terms of percent (www.bls.gov). The lowest ten percent are those drivers with less experience and the highest ten percent are those drivers with a lot of experience. The BLS states that the median hourly salary was about $11.89 for the lowest ten percent of heavy truck and tractor trailer drivers as of May 2010 Payscale.com provides a national salary range for truck drivers with less than one year experience. The range was $9.98 to $18.01 as of July 2011.
Wage Information by Company
According to the BLS, general freight trucking services employed the greatest number of long-distance truck drivers in 2010. Roughly 524,030 truck drivers worked for freight trucking services, while specialized freight trucking companies employed 196,910 individuals and product merchant wholesalers employed $64,400. Grocery and product merchant wholesalers also offered up the highest wages in the field, at about $20.93 per hour.
A January 2010 search on the truck driving job website Class A Drivers (CAD) yielded the following variety of wages for entry-level truck drivers with only driving school training experience (www.classadrivers.com). The wages are shown in cents per mile (cpm), which is a typical payment method for long-haul drivers. The wages should only be looked at as informative because actual wages and offers often change due to many circumstances:
- Crete Carrier ($0.36 - $0.39)
- FFE Transportation Services ($0.29)
- May Trucking Company ($0.34)
- TransAm Trucking, Inc. ($0.84 for Independent Contractors)
- WEL Companies ($0.30)
Wages by State
The BLS lists the top five states with the highest average hourly wage as of May 2010. The list reflects total industry averages, not just entry-level averages. The top five states are, in order:
- Alaska ($23.20)
- Nevada ($22.34)
- New Jersey ($21.09)
- Massachusetts ($21.00)
- New York ($20.84)
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