Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Salary

Men represent the vast majority of Tractor-Trailer Drivers in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $17.36 per hour nationwide. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $2K and $5K, respectively — total cash payment to Tractor-Trailer Drivers can bottom out near $30K or peak near $64K depending on individual performance. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by the particular city and experience level. Most Tractor-Trailer Drivers report high levels of job satisfaction. While around one in four report receiving no health benefits, a fair number do receive medical coverage, and more than half have dental, as well. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,262 - $72,986
(Median)
$30K
$49K
$73K
MEDIAN: $48,793
10%
50%
90%

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$13.80 - $23.29
(Median)
$14
$17
$23
MEDIAN: $17.00
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$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$30,262 - $72,986  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,055  
Profit Sharing
$130.89 - $5,027  
Commission
$0.00 - $25,434  
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).
)
$30,313 - $64,356  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 4,691
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
$13.80 - $23.29  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.23  
Overtime
$19.65 - $34.17  
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
$0.00 - $2,055  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $25,434  
Profit Sharing
$130.89 - $5,027  
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).
)
$30,313 - $64,356  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 6,933
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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

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

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


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Tractor-Trailer Drivers do not often transition into Truck Owner and Operator roles. The role averages $89K per year. Many Tractor-Trailer Drivers go on to become Heavy Truck Drivers or Light or Delivery Services Truck Drivers despite the fact that median compensation in those roles is reportedly $6K lower and $11K lower, respectively.

Truck Driver Heavy Job Listings

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


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Tractor-Trailer Drivers include Ruan Transport Corporation, FedEx Freight, YRC Worldwide Inc., United Parcel Service (UPS), Inc., and J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Tractor-Trailer Drivers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at United Parcel Service (UPS), Inc., where the median salary comes to $59K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($37K) and those starting out ($86K) creates a rather diverse pay scale. Those in search of high salaries should also consider FedEx Freight, Federal Express Corporation (FedEx), and Con-Way, Inc., top-paying firms where Tractor-Trailer Drivers rake in a comfortable $56K, $53K, or $53K, respectively.

Lowe's Home Improvement Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $32K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $26K to $40K. Other low-paying employers include Schneider National Company at $33K and C R England at $35K, though some Tractor-Trailer Drivers there earn up to $52K.

Popular Skills for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer


Survey takers working as Tractor-Trailer Drivers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Driver, tanker, Driver/Core Development, and Driving are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 11 percent and 15 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include forklift. For most people, competency in Safety Compliance indicates knowledge of Commercial 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.


For Tractor-Trailer Drivers, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Folks who are navigating the first five years of their careers have a median salary of approximately $40K in this position. Those who have been around for five to 10 years don't get much more, though; the median salary in that group is $42K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $47K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $49K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,998

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

Home to some of the best pay for Tractor-Trailer Drivers, Chicago offers exceptional salaries, 19 percent above the national average. Tractor-Trailer Drivers will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+14 percent), New York (+14 percent), Houston (+14 percent), and Philadelphia (+10 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 5 percent south of the national average, can be found in Phoenix. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Columbus (5 percent less) and Orlando (2 percent less).

Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Reviews

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.

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Experience Affects Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Salaries



National Average
$43,000



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

up arrow 15%

tanker
up arrow 14%


up arrow 10%

up arrow 7%

up arrow 5%

CDL
up arrow 5%

Commercial
up arrow 4%

Jobsite Delivery
up arrow 4%

Hazardous Material
up arrow 4%

Machine Operation
up arrow 2%

National Average
$43,000

Transport
up arrow 1%

Safety Compliance
up arrow 1%

Customer Service
up arrow 2%

forklift
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1543 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
24%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 75%
dental benefits
Dental: 62%
medical benefits
Vision: 53%
dental benefits
None: 24%
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