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 $17.24 per hour nationwide. Bonuses, profit sharing, and commission all factor into final incomes for Tractor-Trailer Drivers. Ranging between $30K near the bottom and $64K near the top, total earnings can include up to $2K from bonuses and up to $5K from profit sharing, with a high-performing minority reaping commissions of $25K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though geography and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and one in four lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a strong majority and dental coverage is claimed by the greater part. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,132 - $72,633
(Median)
$30K
$48K
$73K
MEDIAN: $48,177
10%
50%
90%

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$13.46 - $22.94
(Median)
$13
$17
$23
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$30,132 - $72,633  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,061  
Profit Sharing
$197.97 - $4,917  
Commission
$0.00 - $24,917  
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).
)
$29,874 - $63,840  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,859
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$13.46 - $22.94  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.82  
Overtime
$18.63 - $34.16  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,061  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $24,917  
Profit Sharing
$197.97 - $4,917  
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).
)
$29,874 - $63,840  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,729
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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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Though some Tractor-Trailer Drivers move into positions like Truck Owner and Operator (where the average salary is $89K), this progression is not the norm. Many Tractor-Trailer Drivers choose to become Heavy Truck Drivers and Trucking and Transportation Fleet Dispatchers as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $5K less and $6K less, respectively.

Truck Driver Heavy Job Listings

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


Ruan Transport Corporation, FedEx Freight, United Parcel Service (UPS), Inc., Swift Transportation Corporation, and Ryder Integrated Logistics Inc are top-notch employers for Tractor-Trailer Drivers in this area. Tractor-Trailer Drivers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at YRC Worldwide Inc., where the median salary comes to $63K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($41K) and those starting out ($80K) creates a rather diverse pay scale. Tractor-Trailer Drivers will also find cushy salaries at United Parcel Service (UPS), Inc. (+$58K), FedEx Freight (+$55K), and Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) (+$52K).

Lowe's Home Improvement Inc. offers the lowest pay in the industry by far, with a median salary about half the top paying employer's rate ($32K). Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include C R England at $34K, and Schneider National Company where $34K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Tractor-Trailer Drivers there earn up to $59K.

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 tanker, Driver, Driver/Core Development, and hazmat are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 16 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like forklift and CDL. 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.


Tractor-Trailer Drivers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $42K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $40K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $46K in this role. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $49K.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Tractor-Trailer Drivers that is 18 percent greater than the national average, Chicago offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Tractor-Trailer Drivers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+16 percent), Houston (+12 percent), Indianapolis (+9 percent), and Nashville (+5 percent). Phoenix is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 5 percent. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Columbus and Detroit (4 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Reviews

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

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

tanker
up arrow 16%

Driver
up arrow 15%

up arrow 9%

Driver/Core Development
up arrow 9%

Driving
up arrow 5%

Hazardous Material
up arrow 5%

Commercial
up arrow 4%

Sales
up arrow 4%

Jobsite Delivery
up arrow 3%

Machine Operation
up arrow 2%

National Average
$43,000

Transport
up arrow 1%

Safety Compliance
up arrow 1%

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

CDL
up arrow 5%

forklift
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1420 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
23%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 74% dental benefits Dental: 61%
vision benefits Vision: 51% employee benefits None: 24%
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