How Much Can You Make In Your First and Second Year of Driving?
A truck driving career can provide a substantial entry-level salary, as well as opportunities for growth. Unlike many industries that have struggled with stagnant wages, trucking pay has increased 8% to 12% in the past few years, reports the American Trucking Associations. An average yearly salary for a driver is approximately $40,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but can vary significantly. Learn more about the factors that determine how much you can make in your first and second year of driving.
Not just how much experience you have, but the type of experience, can influence how much you are paid in your first two years of driving. A driver with additional certifications, more road time, or in an in-demand driving specialty may be able to make more than the average entry-level driver.
If you can prove yourself as a driver with an excellent safety record, you may have more room for negotiation as you complete your first and second years of driving. Companies will likely be more willing to pay the higher end of their range for drivers that have evidence that shows they are safe out on the road because it will save them in costs associated with accidents.
Base payment is often just one part of your total take-home pay as a truck driver. Many companies offer bonuses or other incentives based on your performance. If you’re willing to go above and beyond, you can expect to make more money than average.
Wages can vary significantly depending on the transportation company for which you work. Companies have different budgets, demands, specialties, and pay structures. How much a large national transportation company pays its drivers may be vastly different than smaller regional or local companies.
The $40,000 yearly pay for truck drivers in their first and second year of driving is a national average. Certain areas of the country can pay much higher than that. For instance, Alaska has an average pay of $54,000 and North Dakota pays over $50,000 on average, according to the BLS.
Start building up your experience on the road with Contracted Driver Services. We have been working with transportation clients across the nation since 2001, and have the staffing experience and industry expertise to match candidates with the driving opportunities that are the best fit. Search our current openings to get started with CDS.