Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Tractor-Trailer Drivers earn an average of $18.50 per hour. In the world of Tractor-Trailer Drivers, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $5K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $10K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $31K and $68K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by the particular city and experience level. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — around one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and more than half receive dental plans. Most Tractor-Trailer Drivers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$32,026 - $75,576
$32K
$50K
$76K
MEDIAN: $50,226
10%
50%
90%

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$14.27 - $24.53
$14
$18
$25
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$32,026 - $75,576  
   
Bonus
$258.69 - $4,957  
Profit Sharing
$30.91 - $9,594  
Commission
$0.00 - $36,950  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,217 - $68,081  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,518
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$14.27 - $24.53  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $4.15  
Overtime
$20.24 - $35.76  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$258.69 - $4,957  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $36,950  
Profit Sharing
$30.91 - $9,594  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,217 - $68,081  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 5,563

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer

Truck driver/tractor-trailer drivers must have knowledge of commercial driving regulations in order to transport all types of goods from livestock to materials over long-distance hauls. They must know how to maneuver the truck into the unloading and loading positions. Truck drivers must know how to go through a weigh station before and after loading. They also have to go through weigh stations while on the road. Truck drivers must maintain a log according to I.C.C. regulations. The log is presented to any law enforcement that requests it or to an employer. Some only drive during the day on short haul trips. Others may drive cross-country and take many days to get there. They are only allowed to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Truck drivers must navigate through big cities, small towns, rain and snow. Knowledge of how to drive in any weather condition is a must. Truck drivers have to go to school to get the special license. They must complete a CDL (Commercial Driver License) class. They must have a CDL-A in order to drive a heavy truck. Tests and classes are given at a truck driving school. Truck driving must be taken very seriously. Truck drivers put their own lives and other people's lives in the line of fire by being careless. Safety is essential for this job.


Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Tasks

  • Transport, deliver and pickup goods or equipment by heavy truck.
  • Keep accurate driving log and may be responsible for general truck maintenance.

Common Career Paths for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer


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While Tractor-Trailer Drivers do not often become Truck Owners and Operators, the job pays $92K per year on average. Tractor-Trailer Drivers most frequently become Heavy Truck Drivers and Light or Delivery Services Truck Drivers even though median compensation is $8K lower and $13K lower, respectively.

Truck Driver Heavy Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer


Dominating the field, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., FedEx Freight, YRC Worldwide Inc., Ruan Transport Corporation, and Swift Transportation Corporation are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Tractor-Trailer Drivers. The biggest paychecks can be found at United Parcel Service (UPS), Inc. — the median salary there is $62K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $36K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $82K. XPO Logistics, FedEx Freight, and ABF Freight System, Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Tractor-Trailer Drivers earning around $62K, $60K, or $58K at each firm, respectively.

Employees of Swift Group Ltd can expect to make the least, with the company offering a median salary of $39K; however, pay is widely dispersed from top to bottom, ranging from $30K to $63K. Other low-paying employers include Ruan Transport Corporation at $42K and Swift Transportation Corporation at $42K, though some Tractor-Trailer Drivers there earn up to $64K.

Popular Skills for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in hazmat, Sales, tanker, and Safety Compliance are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 9 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Driving, forklift, and Driver. Those proficient in Commercial are, more often than not, also skilled in Safety Compliance and Jobsite Delivery.

Pay by Experience Level for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $42K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $46K. Tractor-Trailer Drivers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $49K. Tractor-Trailer Drivers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $51K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $46,217

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Tractor-Trailer Drivers, Chicago provides a pay rate that is 17 percent greater than the national average. Tractor-Trailer Drivers will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+13 percent), New York (+10 percent), Portland (+8 percent), and Philadelphia (+7 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 7 percent south of the national average, can be found in Phoenix. Below-median salaries also turn up in Orlando and Jacksonville (7 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer?

Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer in Clearfield:
"It's very enjoyable albeit having to deal with other drivers."
Pros: Freedom from someone breathing down my neck 24/7 and trusting me to get my job done no matter what. Flexible schedule. Great people to work with, very cheery place to work. Mostly always have something to do. Good start time and end time.
Cons: Promised 80 hrs. Per pay period, but frankly now hardly meet those numbers, barely make 70 on a good period. Sometimes come back to warehouse with more work to do and hours to make, sometimes not. Would prefer a more solid schedule or salary pay. I know it's not my employers fault that customers dwindle down but I need hours.

Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer in Kirkwood:
"Fun Career enjoy the stores I deliver to."
Pros: I love driving truck and working with the customers we deliver to.
Cons: Under paid and not appreciated by the company I work for.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1203 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
24%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Salaries



National Average
$46,000



Skills That Affect Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Salaries

up arrow 9%

up arrow 8%

up arrow 4%






Commercial
0%

Machine Operation
0%

Less than Truckload (LTL) Freight
0%

National Average
$46,000

CDL
up arrow 6%

up arrow 9%

up arrow 10%

up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1203 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
24%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 71%
dental benefits
Dental: 58%
vision benefits
Vision: 50%
dental benefits
None: 27%
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