Driving is one of the things people do for fun but how about making some money while you have all the fun? You didn’t think driving is quite a lucrative skill but here’s a truck driver’s salary in the US to prove that.
According to the American Trucking Association, the United States of America has since experienced a shortage of truck drivers, estimating over 80,000. This is due to so much stress from the job.
However, if you love to drive and are looking for a job with higher pay, then becoming a truck driver in the US may be the best fit for you.
Having known that this article covers all you need to know about the following:
- Who is a truck driver?
- What do truck drivers do?
- Duties of a truck driver
- Requirements to become a truck driver
- Truck driver salary in the US
- How to become a truck driver in the US, as well as everything else you need to know.
Who is a Truck Driver?
Simply, a truck driver is an individual who drives a truck or a lorry, transporting finished goods and raw materials over land or on a road from one place to another in order to earn a living.
They are driver experts trained to effectively operate the vehicle through the adequate steep grade while maintaining the brakes from overheating.
They are sometimes referred to as truckers, teamsters, or drivers in the US.
What Do Truck Drivers Do?
In a nutshell, truck drivers move goods and materials from one point to another to make ends meet. They drive routes leading to and from the manufacturing, distribution, and retailing businesses.
Also, they move cargo by way of tractor-trailers and they are in charge of connecting and disconnecting cabs from trailers as well as basic repair skills like tire changing.
For some truck drivers, there are routes they regularly drive through while some other truck drivers drive many different routes in the country.
Basically, a truck driver’s routes can be regional or national. Their job tends to keep them on the road for a week, more or less sometimes. However, this is dependent on the industry they work for.
What are the Duties of a Truck Driver?
The following are the responsibilities of a truck driver. However, this is largely dependent on their roles, qualifications, specializations as well as their years of experience.
A truck driver may:
- Load and unload cargo
- Drive long distances to deliver goods to customers
- Keep an activities log as well as record log hours into logbooks.
- Record cargo deliveries
- Report road incidents to the dispatcher when they occur.
- Refuel and clean vehicle
- Inspect trucks and record issues
- Adhere to traffic laws
- Follow accident procedures
- Record and record mechanical problems to the adequate personnel.
- Use a GPS system for routes.
- Keep commercial driver’s license updated
- Deliver goods to the clients on time
- Effectively communicate with the customers
- Maintain a positive attitude with customers.
What are the Types of Truck Drivers?
Basically, there are three different types of truck drivers:
Basically, independent truck owners have their own authority to haul goods and drive their trucks. Also, they may own a fleet of trucks around the country, ranging from two to ten trucks.
Owner-operators basically decide who can drive their trucks. This is done by listing the requirements applicants are supposed to meet.
Also, they finance the vehicle themselves, earn a higher gross salary, and have independence and schedule flexibility.
Owner-operators may deal with more expenses which include buying and maintaining the truck, paperwork, taxes as well as the medical insurance of their truck drivers.
Basically, company drivers enjoy benefits provided by employers. Some of these benefits may include medical, dental, life insurance, retirement, and vision plans. They may also include paid vacations and holidays.
Although they may have more advantageous tax situations, they experience less independence and schedule flexibility, unlike the Owner-operators.
Also, they avoid the costs of vehicle purchase and maintenance.
Generally, all truck drivers work very long hours. This could range from 65-70 hours per week and while they are on the road, they are expected to log their hours in a logbook.
While they may be delayed by some circumstances, they are expected to get the goods to their destinations early, check the manifest sheet and ensure that the load matches, and then load or unload the truck.
What are the Requirements to Become a Truck Driver?
Although there are three different types of truck drivers, there is a list of the general requirements you are expected to meet to become a truck driver.
Truck Driver Requirements:
- Must have earned a high school diploma
- Pass a drug and alcohol test
- Provide a medical certificate
- Have a clean driving record
- Posses a recent TWIC card
- Possess a recent MVR
- Provide a Class A CDL or a commercial driver’s license.
Truck Driver Skill Requirements
The following are truck driver skill requirements:
- Driving skills
- Commercial driving skills
- Basic maths skills
- Box truck
- English proficiency
- Computer literacy
- Technical computer skills
- Effective communication skills
- Customer service skills
Common Qualifications for Truck Drivers
The following are the common qualifications for truck drivers:
- CDL A
- CDL B
- Air Brake Endorsement
- CDL C
- CPR Certification
- Class D
- Certified Scrum Master
- Chauffeur’s Permit
- Crane Certification
- Driver’s license
- Doubles/Triples Endorsement
What is a Truck Driver’s Salary in the US?
- According to Glassdoor, a truck driver’s salary in the US is between $59,230 and $67,000 per year.
- According to Indeed.com, the salary of truck drivers in the US is $80,628 per year.
Further in this section, we can break the truck salary in the US into the following categories:
- By operating mode
- By route mode
- Also, by state
Truck Driver Salary in the US by Operating Mode
Truck driver salary in the US by operating mode is classified into:
- Company Team Driver – earn between $0.48 – $0.75 per mile.
They drive up to 6000 miles per week and earn an estimated salary of $3,154 per week.
- Company Solo Driver – earn between $0.40 – $0.64 per mile.
They drive up to 3000 miles per week and earn an estimated salary of $1,183 per week.
- Owner Operator Driver – ear between $0.94 – $1.79 per mile.
They cover up to 3000 miles per week and earn an estimated salary of $3,163 per week.
Truck Driver Salary in the US by Routes
Under this, there are the Over-the-road (OTR) drivers who spend weeks on the road and earn the highest salary. There are the Regional drivers who drive within an area and can go home to spend some time with their loved ones during weekends.
Also, there are the local drivers who drive in-state and can go home each night after work. However, they are the least paid drivers.
OTR Driver – earns between $0.44 – $0.58 per mile. They drive up to 3000 miles per week.
Regional Driver – earns $0.37 – $0.55 per mile. They drive up to 2000 per week.
Local Driver – earns up to $0.42 – $0.71 per mile. They cover up to 2500 miles per week.
Truck Driver Salary in the US by States
The following are the highest paying cities for truck driver salaries in the US according to Indeed.com:
- Houston, TX – $85,620 per year
- Atlanta, GA – $83,754 per year
- Dallas, TX – $82,769 per year
- Chicago, IL – $81,856 per year
- Charlotte, NC – $80,296 per year
- Salt Lake City, UT – $78,966 per year
- Nashville, TN – $77,683 per year
- Omaha, NE – $76,331 per year
- Indianapolis, IN – $74,497 per year
How Do I Become a Truck Driver?
Becoming a truck driver does not demand much. Basically, most transport companies will require a candidate applying for a truck driver role to have a high school diploma or an equivalent.
Generally, a long-haul truck driver must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Although the qualifications to obtain a license may vary by state, you must successfully complete and pass both knowledge and driving tests.
If you must become a truck driver, your license can be endorsed to show your ability to drive a specialized car vehicle type. Also, if you are driving for a company transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT), you must possess a hazardous materials endorsement.
While you may make do with the aforementioned license, if you want to become a professional truck driver, you may have to attend a professional truck driving school. There you can take courses to learn how to maneuver large vehicles on the highways or through crowded streets.
Also, you could learn the federal laws and regulations governing the states as well as interstate truck driving.
FAQs Truck Driver Salary in the US
According to Indeed.com, a truck driver’s salary in the US is $80,628 per year.
2. Driving skills
3. Commercial driving skills
4. Basic maths skills
5. Box truck
6. English proficiency
8. Computer literacy
9. Technical computer skills
11. Effective communication skills
12. Customer service skills
It takes an average of 7 weeks to become a truck driver in the US if you complete a full-time training program and obtain your CDL.
An over-the-road truck driver transports goods and materials long distances over land. They are usually away for a long time and may spend the night or sleep in their trucks.
Basically, driving a truck is not hard, however, it requires practice, patience, and training.
File for a USDOT number as well as a Motor Carrier Number
Pay the filing fee
Lease or purchase a truck
Obtain an adequate level of insurance
Locate truck freight to begin your first route as an owner-operator.
Truck drivers sleep in the following places:
Legal get-on ramp
A typical truck driver qualification will include a minimum of a GED or a High School Degree in addition to an average of 0 – 1 year of previous work experience. This excludes a training experience.
Must have earned a high school diploma
Pass a drug and alcohol test
Provide a medical certificate
Have a clean driving record
Posses a recent TWIC card
Possess a recent MVR
Provide a Class A CDL or a commercial driver’s license.
Which cities pay trust drivers more in the US:
Houston, TX – $85,620 per year
Atlanta, GA – $83,754 per year
Dallas, TX – $82,769 per year
Chicago, IL – $81,856 per year
Charlotte, NC – $80,296 per year
Salt Lake City, UT – $78,966 per year
Nashville, TN – $77,683 per year
Omaha, NE – $76,331 per year
Indianapolis, IN – $74,497 per year
A truck driver may:
Load and unload cargo
Drive long distances to deliver goods to customers
Keep an activity log as well as record log hours into logbooks.
Record cargo deliveries
Report road incidents to the dispatcher when they occur.
Refuel and clean vehicle
Inspect trucks and record issues
Adhere to traffic laws
Follow accident procedures
Record and record mechanical problems to the adequate personnel.
Use a GPS system for routes.
Keep commercial driver’s license updated
Deliver goods to the clients on time
Effectively communicate with the customers
Maintain a positive attitude with customers.
- Indeed.com – Truck Driver Career Advice
- Glassdoor.com – USA Truck Driver Salaries
- Betterteam.com – Truck Driver Job Description
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