Find the Best CDL Jobs Near You


If you’re asking yourself “Where are the best truck driving jobs near me?“, then Truck Driving Schools Info is here to help. Our state listings of local trucking companies now hiring truck drivers will help you find local truck driver jobs near you that are offering great pay and benefits. Best of all, applying for a trucking job is free!

Find CDL Jobs Near You

PAY & BENEFITS

Most of the trucking companies in our CDL job network offer one or more of the following benefits:

  • Competitive pay
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Performance bonus
  • Driver referral bonus
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • 401(k) retirement savings plan
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid vacation
  • No-touch freight
  • Drop & hook freight
  • Consistent miles

And more!

The trucking companies in our network are currently offering one or more of the following positions:

  • Over-the-road (OTR)
  • Teams
  • Regional
  • Dedicated
  • Local
  • Owner operator

You can even apply for multiple CDL jobs offered by hundreds of trucking companies by clicking the green button below and filling out one quick application if you wish. It’s that easy.

Truck Driving Jobs Near Me

The Different Types of Truck Driving Jobs

Dry Van Haulers

The most common type of truck driving job for entry-level truck drivers is dry van hauler. Dry van haulers are usually employed by dry van carriers. Dry vans are the most common type of trailer in the business, with the 53-foot long trailer being the most common size.

Dry van haulers transport everything from non-perishable food items, medicine, retail goods, and furniture to chemicals and other hazardous or flammable materials.Dry Van Truck Driving Jobs

Dry van haulers may work for large nationwide trucking companies or smaller regional and local trucking companies. This is one of the benefits of being a dry van hauler since, many of the large trucking companies give you more flexibility in choosing which type of truck driving job you would like, whether it be a long distance, over-the-road truck driving job, a regional truck driving job, or a local route truck driving job. 

While dry van haulers do not have to worry about refrigeration, loose substances, liquids, or gases, they will need a HAZMAT endorsement if they will be transporting hazardous materials. Even if the freight being transported is not hazardous, gusty winds can make operating a dry van very hazardous due to the increased risk of the truck and trailer tipping over.

Specialized dry van haulers operate double and triple trailers and must go through special training and obtain a Double/Triple Trailers endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to qualify for this type of truck driving job.

Most dry van carriers will hire you on as an over-the-road truck driver and then, after a year or so, will allow you to switch over to a regional or local route if you so choose. While most dry van haulers are not required to unload their own freight, that doesn’t mean you won’t be required to perform some amount of manual labor. It all depends on the dry van carrier you work for.

Refrigerated Freight Drivers

While dry van haulers never transport perishable items, refrigerated freight drivers only transport perishable items. The freight may be either dry or liquid but, either way, it is temperature sensitive and requires constant refrigeration.

Refrigerated freight drivers usually get paid more than dry van haulers because of the time-sensitive nature of the job. Another reason refrigerated freight drivers usually make more on average is because they usually have to drive greater distances than dry van haulers.Refrigerated Freight CDL Jobs

Probably the main reason for this is that the state of California grows more produce and produces more dairy products than any other state and all those perishable goods have to be shipped all over the country. Texas has the most cattle of any state in the U.S. and all that beef has to be shipped across the country as well. 

As a refrigerated freight driver, you’ll most likely be hauling goods to grocery warehouses, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurant warehouses, or even the restaurants themselves. Another reason refrigerated freight drivers usually get paid more than dry van haulers is because many times they are required to make multiple pickups and multiple drop-offs and, therefore, get paid for every stop that they have to make.

One of the differences between dry van haulers and refrigerated freight drivers is the fact that refrigerated drivers are usually given the choice to either unload the freight themselves, help the customer unload the freight, or pay someone else to unload the freight. Most likely, the trucking company you work for will pay to have the freight unloaded but, that is not always the case.

Flat Bed Drivers

While dry van haulers almost always haul palletized freight, flat bed drivers must tarp and secure each and every load since each load is “loose”. Flatbed drivers haul everything from pipes and I-beams to steel coils, cable reels, and everything in between. Flat Bed Trucking JobsThis requires a substantial amount of strength, agility, and stamina compared to other truck driving jobs in the industry, not to mention the difficulty that is added to the process by cold, hot, or wet weather.

Most flatbed truck drivers cover their load with tarps in order to protect it from the elements and secure their freight with nylon straps and metal chains in order to keep it firmly in place. Flatbed drivers may even be required to use a ladder in order to climb on top of their freight so they can properly secure it although, loads of this height are rare. Also, keep in mind that flatbed drivers must repeat this process when it comes time to unload their freight.

Every flatbed driver is required to follow strict governmental safety regulations and company protocols in order to make sure the freight is safely and firmly fastened so as to prevent any injuries or fatalities to either the driver or surrounding motorists. Usually the freight is extremely heavy (weighed in tons, not pounds) and, therefore, dangerous to transport.

While there may be much more physical work tied to a flatbed job, there is also more pay per mile and more miles driven, plus, many flatbed drivers get paid a tarping fee as well. On average, dry van haulers get paid around .34 cents per mile while flatbed drivers usually average around .42 cents per mile.

Tanker Drivers

Tanker drivers haul large tanks filled with either liquids and gases, or bulk dry goods like sugar, sand, fertilizer, or powdered chemicals.

Liquid tanks are usually filled with baffles to prevent the liquid from sloshing around inside the tank. Liquid tanks that do not have any baffles inside usually take some getting used to since the increase and decrease of speed causes the weight of the liquid to be displaced. This means the driver must be extra careful when operating the truck on downgrades and when taking turns to ensure that the tank doesn’t tip over due to weight displacement.

Tanker Truck Driving Jobs Near MeThe tanks may be food-grade which means they are specifically designed to transport food items and must be cleaned after every load. This can add a substantial amount of time to the driver’s schedule.

Many tanker drivers haul hazardous or flammable materials such as gasoline, oil, acids, or other dangerous chemicals and this requires that the driver go through special training and background checks in order to obtain a HAZMAT endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Tanker drivers may also have to connect and disconnect hoses to the tank but, that’s about the extent of manual labor required. While dry van haulers have to worry about dangerous crosswinds tipping the truck over, today’s tanks are designed to allow crosswinds to blow over and under the tank.

Most entry-level truck drivers don’t transport tanks full of dry goods like sugar, sand, and fertilizer but may be hired to operate liquid tanker trucks. This is most likely the reason why there are many more local route truck driving jobs available for dry bulk tankers than over-the-road CDL jobs.

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Drivers

Less-Than-Truckload drivers or, LTL drivers for short, are truck drivers that operate either large commercial straight trucks or small tractor trailer combos, and service a regional area. LTL trucking jobs are usually reserved for more experienced truck drivers.LTL Trucking Jobs Near Me

The difference between LTL drivers and dry van haulers is that LTL drivers make multiple stops and are required to unload all of the freight themselves. Because of this, there is much more manual labor and time-related stress. This is why LTL drivers generally make more money than straight dry van haulers.

LTL drivers may work solo or in a two-person team and are almost always required to do shift work. Some drivers prefer to work in a team since the manual labor part of the job is shared equally. The downside to this though, is that the pay is shared equally as well.

The good news is that LTL drivers get to go home every night. The bad news? The hours are usually long, meaning you may have to get up early in the morning and arrive home late in the evening. This can cause stress on a marriage or a family but, may be the perfect truck driving job for a single person.

Another benefit of an LTL truck driving job is that you’ll most likely have the same route(s), either every day or every week, which can make driving much easier since the area your operating in becomes familiar to you.

Depending on who you ask, one downside of being an LTL driver is that you are paid by the hour instead of being paid by the load or by the mile. Another downside is that if your route is in a major metropolitan area, you’ll have to deal with the stress of city driving.

Specialized Truck Drivers

The term “specialized truck driver” can mean anything from auto haulers, bull haulers, oversized/overweight equipment transporters, double and triple trailer operators, etc. Many of these truck drivers must use specialized equipment specially designed and rated for the type of freight they’re hauling.

Oversized/Overweight equipment transporters must be escorted by pilot cars to ensure that the truck safely reaches its destination. Truck drivers transporting oversized equipment use low boy flatbeds and must take extra precautions that dry van haulers aren’t required to take.Specialized CDL Jobs Near Me

Bull haulers is a general term for truck drivers that transport live animals such as bulls, cows, chickens, or pigs and are paid to get the animals to their destination alive and well, often checking on their freight to make sure that the animals are safe.

Auto haulers drive a specially made two-tier flatbed designed to transport automobiles to car auctions, dealerships, and auto warehouses. Many auto haulers are employed by trucking companies that specialize in transporting used cars or trucks, new cars or trucks, or even exotic cars, while some auto haulers are owner/operators who transport the vehicles using their own equipment.

Most specialized truck driving jobs come with higher than average pay because of the nature of the job and the skills it takes to perform the duties of the job successfully.

Owner/Operators and Independent Drivers

Up until now, I have talked about the different CDL jobs available to truck drivers employed by a trucking company. But, some of you may decide to be your own boss and become an owner/operator or an independent truck driver instead of working for a trucking company.

Owner/operators are self-employed truck drivers that contract their services out to various trucking companies. While company drivers use a company truck to haul freight, owner/operators own their own truck and lease it onto a trucking company, which gives them readily available access to freight. While owner/operators have to pay their own expenses like fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, etc., some trucking companies will offer the owner/operator a fuel surcharge.

One benefit of being self-employed is that all work-related expenses can be written off at tax time. The bad news is that some of these expenses can cut into your weekly pay, like the volatile price of diesel fuel, for example. Whether diesel fuel is only $2.00 per gallon or $5.00 per gallon, a company-paid truck driver will still make the same amount of money either way since the trucking company is paying the expense but, an independent truck driver will almost always make less when fuel costs more.

Another great benefit of being an independent truck driver is that you can choose who to do business with and can even do business with more than one freight company. Plus, you’re not constrained to the same rules as an employee truck driver because you own the truck, you’re your own boss, and you choose when to work, where to work, and for how long.

Independent truck drivers can even get their own authority, which means they can start their own trucking business by acquiring the correct insurance, permits, equipment, business capital, and enrolling in a Drug and Alcohol Testing Program. Of course, having your own authority comes with its share of headaches, like having to pay Heavy Highway Tax, applying for state permits and bonds, applying for Intrastate authority, and having to build your own customer base. Plus, as a business owner you are required to keep records such as employee records, safety records, HOS records, and maintenance records, to name a few.

Some owner/operators sign onto an exclusive use agreement which states that the owner/operator agrees to only run freight for that trucking company and no one else.

While it’s possible to make much more as an owner/operator than you would as an employee, competition is tight and buying or financing your own truck can be very expensive.

What Kind of Truck Driving Job Do You Want?

Whether you already have your commercial driver’s license (CDL) or you’re just thinking about getting your CDL, before you even think about what kind of truck driving job you want to pursue, you should first ask yourself the following ten questions:

  1. How much money do I want to make as a truck driver?
  2. What kind of job benefits do I want?
  3. Do I want to work for a large company or a small company?
  4. Do I want a non-union OTR truck driving job or a union LTL/Delivery truck driving job?
  5. How long am I willing to be away from home?
  6. Do I want to get home every night, every week, or every couple of weeks?
  7. Do I want to drive for a trucking company whose nearest terminal is a long drive from home?
  8. Do I want to haul hazardous materials and deal with the extra stress/risk that comes with it?
  9. How much manual labor do I want to deal with as a truck driver?
  10. Do I want to work for someone else or be my own boss and deal with the added risk/stress?

Once you know the answer to these ten questions, you can then decide which truck driving job to pursue and which trucking companies to research if you already possess your CDL.

If you’re just thinking about obtaining your CDL and haven’t acquired any truck driver training yet, then answer the ten questions above and see whether you want to get the CDL training you need to obtain a Class A or Class B license.

If you plan on becoming an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver, LTL truck driver, or a regional/dedicated route driver then, you’ll need to learn how to operate a full-sized rig and obtain your Class A CDL. With a Class A CDL, you’ll qualify for trucking jobs that require a Class A, Class B, or Class C license.

If you’re more interested in driving a local route and being home every night then, you’ll need to obtain your Class B commercial driver’s license. With a Class B CDL, you’ll only qualify for truck driving jobs that require a Class B or Class C commercial driver’s license.

CDL Training

Before you can get a high-paying truck driving job, you first need to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL), but before you can get your commercial driver’s license, you need to get the proper CDL training.

You basically have three options to choose from when it comes to truck driver training. You can:

  1. Go to a private truck driving school in which you pay the tuition cost out of your own pocket, either through school loans, grant aid, cash, or credit cards.Trucking Companies with CDL Training for Truck Driving Jobs
  2. Go to a community college with a truck driver training program and pay the tuition cost out-of-pocket, either through school loans, grant aid, cash, or credit cards.
  3. Go to a company sponsored truck driving school in which a trucking company sponsors your CDL training by sending you to a school they have approved. The trucking company pays for your training with the expressed agreement that you’ll work for them for at least 1 year after you graduate (this is usually backed up by a signed contract but, not always).
  4. Get accepted into a company paid CDL training program in which the trucking company trains you at their own on-site facility for free with the expressed agreement that you’ll work for them for at least 1 year after you complete your truck driver training. Again, this is usually backed up by a signed agreement but, not always.

All three CDL training options have their own pros and cons but, the fact of the matter is, whichever option you choose, you should have no problem acquiring a truck driving job if you are a hard-working student with the motivation to succeed as a professional truck driver. Especially, since there is currently a shortage of qualified truck drivers in the U.S.

Common Hiring Requirements

Most trucking companies require each applicant to meet the same general criteria in order to be considered for the truck driving job they’re applying for. While some trucking companies may have somewhat stricter requirements than others, most companies require that their applicants meet the following conditions to some degree or another:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age. Some trucking companies require you to be at least 22 years of age.
  • You must be able to prove that you currently reside at the address you list on your application. Some trucking companies require that you live in the same state as their headquarters or that you live in the same state as the company terminal located closest to you.
  • You must be a legal U.S. citizen or be legally allowed to work in the United States (Green Card).
  • You must show your Social Security card and/or legal Birth Certificate.
  • You must possess a Class A, B or C commercial driver’s license (CDL) depending on the position you’re applying for.
  • You must have a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL if you will be hauling materials deemed hazardous.
  • You must possess a valid U.S. Passport if you will be hauling freight to Mexico or Canada.
  • You must have a good employment record that is verifiable for the last 5 years.
  • You must undergo a full criminal history background check.
  • You must have a clean driving record. Most trucking companies put a limit on the number of at-fault accidents, moving violations, reckless driving violations, and license suspensions you’re allowed over a certain period of time, usually between 2 to 5 years.
  • You cannot have any DUIs in the last 7 years. Some trucking companies require no DUIs in the last 10 years. Other trucking companies allow 1 DUI in the last 10 years.
  • Any DUI/DWI that occurred inside a tractor-trailer will disqualify you immediately.
  • You must not have had any open container violations in the past 10 years.
  • Any felonies you have been convicted of must be 10 years of age or older. Most trucking companies will review felonies on a case-by-case basis.
  • Any misdemeanors you have been convicted of must be 3 years of age or older. Most trucking companies will review misdemeanors on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must not have had any violent felonies or major drug convictions in your lifetime.
  • You must be able to pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination and mandatory drug/alcohol test.

Health Requirements

 

Many trucking companies also require that applicants meet certain physical and/or health criteria. These may include the following, to some degree or another:

  • Your blood pressure must be 140-159/90-99 for the 1-year DOT certificate.
  • Your blood pressure must be 160-179/100-139 for the temporary 3-month DOT certificate.
  • You will be disqualified if your blood pressure is above 180/110.
  • If you have diabetes, you cannot use needle-injected insulin. Oral meds are allowed.
  • If you have diabetes, your blood sugar A1C test must be less than 10%. Oral meds are allowed.
  • You cannot have any current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency, collapse, congestive failure, or any other cardiac disease.
  • If you’ve had previous cardiac issues, you will be required have an annual stress test and a doctor’s release.
  • If you suffer from sleep apnea, you must demonstrate that you have it under control.
  • In order to demonstrate that your sleep apnea is under control, you must have an annual sleep study within the last 12 months and a doctor’s release.
  • You must have 20/40 vision or better in both eyes. Eyeglasses/contacts are allowed to correct your vision.
  • You must be able to hear a forced whisper from more than 5 feet away. Hearing aids are allowed.

Many of these health requirements fall in line with Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations regarding the health and safety of commercial truck drivers. 

Rookie truck driver sees his first paycheck and feels like he just got a colonoscopy from the trucking company.

Don’t worry. Your DOT medical exam does NOT include a colonoscopy. Yikes.

Truck Driving Job Salaries

How much money you want to make as a truck driver mainly depends on which type of truck driving job you choose, how much truck driving experience you have, how many miles you’re willing to drive, how clean your driving record is, whether you are an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver, regional truck driver, local truck driver, or an owner/operator, whether you have any additional endorsements on your CDL, and whether you’re a union or non-union truck driver.

The trucking company you work for can also make a difference in how much you get paid. Generally, smaller trucking companies pay their drivers more than larger trucking companies but, this isn’t always the case.

Salaries Earned by OTR Truck Drivers

OTR truck driving jobs usually pay more than regional or local route jobs since you get paid by the mile and you’re usually driving thousands of miles with each load that you drop. Most over-the-road truck drivers possess a Class A CDL. While it was common for over-the-road truck drivers to be part of a union years ago, most OTR drivers are non-union today.

Truck Driving Jobs Salaries Paid by Trucking Companies

The average salary for an over-the-road truck driver differs from state to state but, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2015, truck drivers employed in the state of Florida made the least amount of money with an average salary of $37,830, while truck drivers employed in the state of North Dakota made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $53,400.

Salaries Earned by Hourly Truck Drivers

With regional and local route CDL jobs, the driver usually gets paid by the hour. Exactly how much is usually based on the driver’s experience, where the route is located, what class CDL they possess, and whether they’re a union or non-union truck driver.

Union truck drivers usually make more than non-union truck drivers but, must also pay union dues. City routes usually pay more than routes in suburban areas, since the driver has to put up with the stress of city traffic and fight against difficult time constraints.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers anyone who operates a truck or van with a capacity less than 26,000 lbs. of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) to be a light truck driver or delivery service driver. Since most regional and local route truck drivers fall under this category, we can use this information to calculate how much regional route and local route truck drivers make in each state.

The average salary for light truck drivers and delivery service drivers differs from state to state but, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2015, light truck drivers employed in the state of Arkansas made the least amount of money with an average salary of $29,260, while truck drivers employed in the state of Alaska made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $42,830.

CDL Classes

Another factor that will determine what kind of truck driver salary you can command is how much experience you have as a truck driver and what class your CDL is. Obviously, someone straight out of truck driving school is not going to get paid as much as someone with 5 to 10 years of experience under their belt, at least not for the same exact truck driving job.

While truck drivers that possess a Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) are restricted to trucking jobs that only require a Class B or Class C CDL, a truck driver that possesses a Class A CDL is qualified to operate any Class A, Class B, or Class C vehicle, except for a passenger bus or school bus, which require a Passenger Endorsement.

Truck drivers that have an endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) such as a HAZMAT, Air Brakes, Double and Triple Trailers, Combination Vehicles, or Tanker endorsement require extra training and testing and, therefore, generally make more money than truck drivers that don’t have any CDL endorsements.

Most Common Job Benefits Offered by Trucking Companies

Almost all trucking companies, both large and small, offer the same type of job benefits to some degree or another. The kinds of benefits you’ll receive depend entirely on how much experience you have as a truck driver and how long you have been with the company. Full-time truck drivers almost always receive more job benefits than part-time drivers.

It’s always a good idea to make sure the trucking company you plan to work for offers the kind of benefits you’re looking for as a truck driver. Most trucking companies will list the job benefits they offer on their website.

Below is a list of the most common job benefits offered by trucking companies:

  • Sign-on Bonus
  • Performance Bonus
  • Fuel Savings Bonus
  • Paid Orientation
  • Weekly Pay
  • Pay Raise Every Year
  • Layover Pay
  • Multiple Stop Pay
  • Detention Pay
  • NYC Pay
  • Major Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan
  • Paid Vacation
  • Guaranteed Home Time
  • Late-model Equipment
  • On-site Laundry Facilities
  • On-site Cafeteria

Some trucking companies offer paid training in addition to paid orientation.

Now, let’s see how many truck driving jobs are available in each state and how much you can expect to make, on average, as a truck driver in your own state.

Over-The-Road Truck Driver

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heavy and tractor trailer drivers is expected to grow 5% from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as average for all occupations. As of May 2015, Heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers in the state of Florida made the least amount of money with an average yearly salary of $37,830, while truck drivers employed in the state of North Dakota made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $53,400. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines heavy and tractor trailer drivers as truck drivers who operate a full-sized truck with a 53’ trailer attached to it that is equal to or exceeds a Gross Vehicle Weight of 26,000 lbs., which includes the combined weight of the truck, trailer, passengers, and cargo.

It should come as no surprise that over-the-road truck drivers (heavy and tractor trailer divers) make more money, on average, than regional or local truck drivers. They drive more miles, transport heavier loads, and are forced to spend more time away from home. Most OTR truck drivers are paid by a set mileage rate.

While the mileage rate will vary from trucking company to trucking company, most trucking companies will pay an entry-level truck driver at a starting rate of 28 to 32 cents per mile with a 2-cent raise every year until the maximum rate has been reached. The average yearly salary of an entry-level truck driver usually falls somewhere between $25,000 and $45,000 depending on the starting mileage rate, how many miles were accumulated, and whether the driver received any bonuses that year, like a sign-on bonus, safety bonus, or fuel bonus.

More experienced truck drivers can expect to make 40 to 42 cents per mile with a 2-cent raise every year until the maximum rate has been reached. Depending on the trucking company, the maximum pay rate is usually 46 to 50 cents per mile. This means that the average salary for an experienced truck driver can fall anywhere between $45,000 and $75,000.

It should also be noted that flatbed drivers and refrigerated freight transporters almost always make more money, on average, than dry van haulers, due to the nature of the job.

Of course, specialized truck drivers, like heavy haulers, bull haulers, and auto haulers who possess a specialized skillset or CDL endorsement, like a HAZMAT or Double and Triple Trailers endorsement, can command a greater salary, since they are required to take more risks than the average truck driver.

Keep in mind that, becoming an over-the-road truck driver is a major lifestyle choice, because you are required to spend days or even weeks on the road away from your spouse or family, and not everyone is equipped to do that, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.

2017 Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Driving Job Wages

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Below, we’ve created a table to show you how much heavy and tractor trailer drivers make in each state to give you an idea of how much you could make as an over-the-road truck driver in your state. “ALW” stands for Average Living Wage.

As you’ll see by studying the table below, one way to maximize your earning potential as a heavy and tractor trailer truck driver is to live in a state with a high truck driving salary and plenty of job openings. Probably the best example of this is the state of North Dakota where the average over-the-road truck driver pulls in over $53,000 a year according to May 2017 wage statistics taken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Driver Job Statistics

State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
Alabama35,35037,550+6%4,060$40,080
Alaska2,9202,950+1%310$56,250
Arizona25,77029,190+13%3,230$44,640
Arkansas36,41039,960+10%4,370$40,620
California147,500165,000+12%18,200$45,560
Colorado25,38029,830+18%3,350$46,960
Connecticut14,98016,110+8%1,750$48,530
Delaware4,3804,280-2%450$42,550
Florida86,070100,200+16%11,210$41,150
Georgia59,74068,220+14%7,580$42,510
Hawaii3,9304,170+6%450$49,050
Idaho12,28014,750+20%1,670$44,250
Illinois70,31075,460+7%8,180$47,730
Indiana56,76060,510+7%6,540$46,270
Iowa43,67049,260+13%5,450$42,570
Kansas21,65022,690+5%2,440$44,300
Kentucky29,39031,130+6%3,360$43,430
Louisiana25,00027,240+9%2,970$41,800
Maine9,5509,410-1%980$40,670
Maryland23,10024,470+6%2,440$47,230
Massachusetts23,28024,630+6%2,660$50,580
Michigan57,17062,740+10%6,870$42,180
Minnesota38,40040,860+6%4,420$46,570
Mississippi22,36023,510+5%2,530$40,780
Missouri45,61047,100+3%5,030$43,480
Montana6,6706,940+4%740$44,700
Nebraska28,99031,530+9%3,440$43,590
Nevada11,46012,700+11%1,400$50,440
New Hampshire6,9407,510+8%820$44,370
New Jersey49,85055,340+11%6,080$48,290
New Mexico10,63011,190+5%1,200$44,860
New York65,59070,050+7%7,580$48,460
North Carolina59,31063,870+8%6,940$42,490
North Dakota12,39015,770+27%1,820$53,020
Ohio76,08079,090+4%8,470$43,990
Oklahoma24,89026,850+8%2,920$43,130
Oregon23,61026,220+11%2,880$45,600
Pennsylvania84,61091,910+19%10,020$46,150
Rhode Island3,6703,920+7%420$46,600
South Carolina29,31033,390+14%3,710$42,260
South Dakota8,6009,260+8%1,010$40,850
Tennessee63,99069,050+8%7,510$41,510
Texas185,220217,490+17%24,410$44,260
Utah24,18032,510+35%3,810$45,500
Vermont4,3504,300-1%450$44,190
Virginia44,66048,160+8%5,240$42,780
Washington38,03040,660+7%4,420$46,990
West Virginia11,24011,840+5%1,270$38,580
Wisconsin52,11056,560+9%6,160$44,330
Wyoming6,3907,640+20%860$49,420
The table above shows you how many heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers were employed in each state as of May 2016 and the projected employment numbers for truck drivers in the year 2026.

The “Percent Change” is the number of heavy and tractor-trailer trucking jobs estimated to increase or decrease in that state by the year 2026.

The “Projected Open Jobs” is the number of heavy and tractor-trailer CDL jobs that are projected to be available by the year 2026. This gives you a good indication of how easy or difficult it may be to get a full-time over-the-road (OTR) truck driving job in that state in the future.

The annual mean wage is calculated by adding up all the heavy and tractor trailer drivers’ wages in that state from the lowest annual wage to the highest annual wage, and then dividing the total by the number of annual wages that were added up. This shows you what the middle annual wage is between the lowest and highest wages for heavy and tractor trailer drivers. Fifty-percent of drivers make more than this wage and fifty-percent of drivers make less than this wage.

Light Truck or Delivery Service Driver

Light truck drivers and delivery service drivers are anyone who drives a truck or van with a capacity less than 26,000 lbs. of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). Most regional and local route truck drivers fall into this category since they usually operate a truck that is smaller and lighter than a full-sized tractor trailer.

On average, truck drivers that operate light trucks and delivery vans make less than heavy and tractor trailer drivers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for light truck drivers and delivery service drivers was $34,080 and the mean hourly wage was $16.38, as of May 2015.

For general freight trucking, the mean annual salary was $38,880 and the mean hourly wage was $18.69. Courier and express delivery drivers make the most in this industry with a mean annual wage of $50,840 and a mean hourly wage of $24.44. Light truck and delivery service drivers in the state of Arkansas made the least amount of money with an average yearly salary of $29,260, while light truck and delivery service drivers employed in the state of Alaska made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $42,830. 

While over-the-road truck drivers are paid by the mile, regional and local route truck drivers are almost always paid by the hour. Hourly salaries can vary and are usually calculated by how much experience the driver has, how clean their driving record is, what class CDL they possess, whether the driver is union or non-union, and the location of the route.

Truck drivers that possess a Class B CDL can choose to apply for truck driving jobs where a Class B or Class C CDL is required, giving them more employment options than a truck driver who only possesses a Class C commercial driver’s license (CDL).

City routes usually pay more than routes in suburban areas since the driver has to put up with the stress of city traffic and fight against difficult time constraints. New York City is a great example of this. 

While OTR drivers are usually away from home for days or weeks at a time, light truck drivers and delivery service drivers are almost always able to get home at the end of the day.

2017 Light Truck Driving Job Wages

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Below, we’ve created a table to show you how much light truck and delivery service drivers make in each state to give you an idea of how much you could make as a regional or local route light truck driver in your state. “ALW” stands for Average Living Wage.

As you’ll see by studying the table below, one way to maximize your earning potential as a light truck driver is to live in a state with a high truck driving salary and plenty of job openings. Probably the best example of this is the state of Alaska where the average light truck driver pulls in over $42,000 a year according to May 2017 wage statistics taken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Light Truck and Delivery Service Driver Job Statistics

State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
Alabama12,99013,660+5%1,470$29,780
Alaska1,5301,570+3%170$43,160
Arizona15,64018,570+19%2,090$37,900
Arkansas7,0007,660+9%840$31,630
California111,900125,400+12%13,840$38,760
Colorado18,71022,520+20%2,550$38,160
Connecticut11,43012,330+8%1,340$38,480
Delaware2,9503,090+5%330$36,430
Florida55,72065,590+18%7,370$33,670
Georgia28,88033,550+16%3,750$36,280
Hawaii5,1805,520+7%600$37,120
Idaho2,2002,500+13%280$32,480
Illinois48,63053,170+9%5,810$36,890
Indiana19,09020,320+7%2,200$32,950
Iowa11,05011,930+8%1,300$33,910
Kansas9,1009,530+5%1,020$34,910
Kentucky13,64014,960+10%1,640$35,220
Louisiana15,82017,340+10%1,900$32,810
Maine5,0905,140+1%540$32,030
Maryland23,59025,070+6%2,500$37,710
Massachusetts20,99022,110+5%2,380$39,180
Michigan29,93031,630+6%3,410$35,150
Minnesota16,50017,420+6%1,880$39,010
Mississippi7,4207,840+6%850$31,750
Missouri16,81018,410+10%2,010$35,060
Montana3,2203,620+12%400$33,740
Nebraska5,5206,030+9%660$34,150
Nevada7,8108,690+11%960$35,680
New Hampshire4,9105,290+98%570$33,180
New Jersey31,77035,550+12%3,920$37,390
New Mexico5,0305,230+4%560$34,880
New York48,25052,320+8%5,700$36,950
North Carolina27,63029,910+8%3,260$32,610
North Dakota2,8803,250+13%360$40,050
Ohio37,95039,500+4%4,230$33,500
Oklahoma9,65010,170+5%1,090$34,820
Oregon10,13011,880+17%1,330$37,130
Pennsylvania37,64039,410+5%4,230$33,430
Rhode Island4,3204,690+9%510$34,390
South Carolina14,92017,040+14%1,890$31,670
South Dakota2,8203,070+9%340$31,810
Tennessee20,69021,530+4%2,310$35,370
Texas70,57082,660+17%9,270$34,510
Utah9,57012,760+33%1,490$33,930
Vermont2,6602,680+1%280$36,800
Virginia23,45025,140+7%2,730$34,240
Washington21,47023,640+10%2,610$39,580
West Virginia6,6306,830+3%730$31,680
Wisconsin18,98020,670+9%2,260$32,930
Wyoming1,6001,790+12%200$36,640
The table above shows you how many light truck and delivery service drivers were employed in each state as of May 2016 and the projected employment numbers for light truck and delivery service drivers in the year 2026.

The “Percent Change” is the number of light truck and delivery service jobs estimated to increase or decrease in that state by the year 2026.

The “Projected Open Jobs” is the number of light truck and delivery service truck driver jobs that are projected to be available by the year 2026. This gives you a good indication of how easy or difficult it may be to get a full-time light truck or delivery service job in that state in the future.

The annual mean wage is calculated by adding up all the light truck drivers’ and delivery service drivers’ wages in that state from the lowest annual wage to the highest annual wage, and then dividing the total by the number of annual wages that were added up. This shows you what the middle annual wage is between the lowest and highest wages for light truck drivers and delivery service drivers. Fifty-percent of drivers make more than this wage and fifty-percent of drivers make less than this wage.

Owner/Operator or Independent Truck Driver

It should come as no surprise that owner/operators and independent truck drivers have more occupational freedom and the chance to make more money than company truck drivers since they’re not constrained to the wage and work policies that a company employee is and can even get their own authority.

While it is true that owner/operators and independent truck drivers have the potential to make between $100,000 and $150,000 annually, that’s the gross amount, before taxes and expenses have been paid. The average net salary of an owner/operator, after taxes and expenses have been paid, is usually anywhere from $35,000 to $75,000.

But, let’s face it, some truck drivers prefer occupational freedom over a cushy paycheck that comes with a boss attached to it.


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Find the Best CDL Jobs Near You


If you’re asking yourself “Where are the best truck driving jobs near me?“, then Truck Driving Schools Info is here to help. Our state listings of local trucking companies now hiring truck drivers will help you find local truck driver jobs near you that are offering great pay and benefits. Best of all, applying for a trucking job is free!

Find CDL Jobs Near You

PAY & BENEFITS

Most of the trucking companies in our CDL job network offer one or more of the following benefits:

  • Competitive pay
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Performance bonus
  • Driver referral bonus
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • 401(k) retirement savings plan
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid vacation
  • No-touch freight
  • Drop & hook freight
  • Consistent miles

And more!

The trucking companies in our network are currently offering one or more of the following positions:

  • Over-the-road (OTR)
  • Teams
  • Regional
  • Dedicated
  • Local
  • Owner operator

You can even apply for multiple CDL jobs offered by hundreds of trucking companies by clicking the green button below and filling out one quick application if you wish. It’s that easy.

Truck Driving Jobs Near Me

The Different Types of Truck Driving Jobs

Dry Van Haulers

The most common type of truck driving job for entry-level truck drivers is dry van hauler. Dry van haulers are usually employed by dry van carriers. Dry vans are the most common type of trailer in the business, with the 53-foot long trailer being the most common size.

Dry van haulers transport everything from non-perishable food items, medicine, retail goods, and furniture to chemicals and other hazardous or flammable materials.Dry Van Truck Driving Jobs

Dry van haulers may work for large nationwide trucking companies or smaller regional and local trucking companies. This is one of the benefits of being a dry van hauler since, many of the large trucking companies give you more flexibility in choosing which type of truck driving job you would like, whether it be a long distance, over-the-road truck driving job, a regional truck driving job, or a local route truck driving job. 

While dry van haulers do not have to worry about refrigeration, loose substances, liquids, or gases, they will need a HAZMAT endorsement if they will be transporting hazardous materials. Even if the freight being transported is not hazardous, gusty winds can make operating a dry van very hazardous due to the increased risk of the truck and trailer tipping over.

Specialized dry van haulers operate double and triple trailers and must go through special training and obtain a Double/Triple Trailers endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to qualify for this type of truck driving job.

Most dry van carriers will hire you on as an over-the-road truck driver and then, after a year or so, will allow you to switch over to a regional or local route if you so choose. While most dry van haulers are not required to unload their own freight, that doesn’t mean you won’t be required to perform some amount of manual labor. It all depends on the dry van carrier you work for.

Refrigerated Freight Drivers

While dry van haulers never transport perishable items, refrigerated freight drivers only transport perishable items. The freight may be either dry or liquid but, either way, it is temperature sensitive and requires constant refrigeration.

Refrigerated freight drivers usually get paid more than dry van haulers because of the time-sensitive nature of the job. Another reason refrigerated freight drivers usually make more on average is because they usually have to drive greater distances than dry van haulers.Refrigerated Freight CDL Jobs

Probably the main reason for this is that the state of California grows more produce and produces more dairy products than any other state and all those perishable goods have to be shipped all over the country. Texas has the most cattle of any state in the U.S. and all that beef has to be shipped across the country as well. 

As a refrigerated freight driver, you’ll most likely be hauling goods to grocery warehouses, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurant warehouses, or even the restaurants themselves. Another reason refrigerated freight drivers usually get paid more than dry van haulers is because many times they are required to make multiple pickups and multiple drop-offs and, therefore, get paid for every stop that they have to make.

One of the differences between dry van haulers and refrigerated freight drivers is the fact that refrigerated drivers are usually given the choice to either unload the freight themselves, help the customer unload the freight, or pay someone else to unload the freight. Most likely, the trucking company you work for will pay to have the freight unloaded but, that is not always the case.

Flat Bed Drivers

While dry van haulers almost always haul palletized freight, flat bed drivers must tarp and secure each and every load since each load is “loose”. Flatbed drivers haul everything from pipes and I-beams to steel coils, cable reels, and everything in between. Flat Bed Trucking JobsThis requires a substantial amount of strength, agility, and stamina compared to other truck driving jobs in the industry, not to mention the difficulty that is added to the process by cold, hot, or wet weather.

Most flatbed truck drivers cover their load with tarps in order to protect it from the elements and secure their freight with nylon straps and metal chains in order to keep it firmly in place. Flatbed drivers may even be required to use a ladder in order to climb on top of their freight so they can properly secure it although, loads of this height are rare. Also, keep in mind that flatbed drivers must repeat this process when it comes time to unload their freight.

Every flatbed driver is required to follow strict governmental safety regulations and company protocols in order to make sure the freight is safely and firmly fastened so as to prevent any injuries or fatalities to either the driver or surrounding motorists. Usually the freight is extremely heavy (weighed in tons, not pounds) and, therefore, dangerous to transport.

While there may be much more physical work tied to a flatbed job, there is also more pay per mile and more miles driven, plus, many flatbed drivers get paid a tarping fee as well. On average, dry van haulers get paid around .34 cents per mile while flatbed drivers usually average around .42 cents per mile.

Tanker Drivers

Tanker drivers haul large tanks filled with either liquids and gases, or bulk dry goods like sugar, sand, fertilizer, or powdered chemicals.

Liquid tanks are usually filled with baffles to prevent the liquid from sloshing around inside the tank. Liquid tanks that do not have any baffles inside usually take some getting used to since the increase and decrease of speed causes the weight of the liquid to be displaced. This means the driver must be extra careful when operating the truck on downgrades and when taking turns to ensure that the tank doesn’t tip over due to weight displacement.

Tanker Truck Driving Jobs Near MeThe tanks may be food-grade which means they are specifically designed to transport food items and must be cleaned after every load. This can add a substantial amount of time to the driver’s schedule.

Many tanker drivers haul hazardous or flammable materials such as gasoline, oil, acids, or other dangerous chemicals and this requires that the driver go through special training and background checks in order to obtain a HAZMAT endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Tanker drivers may also have to connect and disconnect hoses to the tank but, that’s about the extent of manual labor required. While dry van haulers have to worry about dangerous crosswinds tipping the truck over, today’s tanks are designed to allow crosswinds to blow over and under the tank.

Most entry-level truck drivers don’t transport tanks full of dry goods like sugar, sand, and fertilizer but may be hired to operate liquid tanker trucks. This is most likely the reason why there are many more local route truck driving jobs available for dry bulk tankers than over-the-road CDL jobs.

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Drivers

Less-Than-Truckload drivers or, LTL drivers for short, are truck drivers that operate either large commercial straight trucks or small tractor trailer combos, and service a regional area. LTL trucking jobs are usually reserved for more experienced truck drivers.LTL Trucking Jobs Near Me

The difference between LTL drivers and dry van haulers is that LTL drivers make multiple stops and are required to unload all of the freight themselves. Because of this, there is much more manual labor and time-related stress. This is why LTL drivers generally make more money than straight dry van haulers.

LTL drivers may work solo or in a two-person team and are almost always required to do shift work. Some drivers prefer to work in a team since the manual labor part of the job is shared equally. The downside to this though, is that the pay is shared equally as well.

The good news is that LTL drivers get to go home every night. The bad news? The hours are usually long, meaning you may have to get up early in the morning and arrive home late in the evening. This can cause stress on a marriage or a family but, may be the perfect truck driving job for a single person.

Another benefit of an LTL truck driving job is that you’ll most likely have the same route(s), either every day or every week, which can make driving much easier since the area your operating in becomes familiar to you.

Depending on who you ask, one downside of being an LTL driver is that you are paid by the hour instead of being paid by the load or by the mile. Another downside is that if your route is in a major metropolitan area, you’ll have to deal with the stress of city driving.

Specialized Truck Drivers

The term “specialized truck driver” can mean anything from auto haulers, bull haulers, oversized/overweight equipment transporters, double and triple trailer operators, etc. Many of these truck drivers must use specialized equipment specially designed and rated for the type of freight they’re hauling.

Oversized/Overweight equipment transporters must be escorted by pilot cars to ensure that the truck safely reaches its destination. Truck drivers transporting oversized equipment use low boy flatbeds and must take extra precautions that dry van haulers aren’t required to take.Specialized CDL Jobs Near Me

Bull haulers is a general term for truck drivers that transport live animals such as bulls, cows, chickens, or pigs and are paid to get the animals to their destination alive and well, often checking on their freight to make sure that the animals are safe.

Auto haulers drive a specially made two-tier flatbed designed to transport automobiles to car auctions, dealerships, and auto warehouses. Many auto haulers are employed by trucking companies that specialize in transporting used cars or trucks, new cars or trucks, or even exotic cars, while some auto haulers are owner/operators who transport the vehicles using their own equipment.

Most specialized truck driving jobs come with higher than average pay because of the nature of the job and the skills it takes to perform the duties of the job successfully.

Owner/Operators and Independent Drivers

Up until now, I have talked about the different CDL jobs available to truck drivers employed by a trucking company. But, some of you may decide to be your own boss and become an owner/operator or an independent truck driver instead of working for a trucking company.

Owner/operators are self-employed truck drivers that contract their services out to various trucking companies. While company drivers use a company truck to haul freight, owner/operators own their own truck and lease it onto a trucking company, which gives them readily available access to freight. While owner/operators have to pay their own expenses like fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, etc., some trucking companies will offer the owner/operator a fuel surcharge.

One benefit of being self-employed is that all work-related expenses can be written off at tax time. The bad news is that some of these expenses can cut into your weekly pay, like the volatile price of diesel fuel, for example. Whether diesel fuel is only $2.00 per gallon or $5.00 per gallon, a company-paid truck driver will still make the same amount of money either way since the trucking company is paying the expense but, an independent truck driver will almost always make less when fuel costs more.

Another great benefit of being an independent truck driver is that you can choose who to do business with and can even do business with more than one freight company. Plus, you’re not constrained to the same rules as an employee truck driver because you own the truck, you’re your own boss, and you choose when to work, where to work, and for how long.

Independent truck drivers can even get their own authority, which means they can start their own trucking business by acquiring the correct insurance, permits, equipment, business capital, and enrolling in a Drug and Alcohol Testing Program. Of course, having your own authority comes with its share of headaches, like having to pay Heavy Highway Tax, applying for state permits and bonds, applying for Intrastate authority, and having to build your own customer base. Plus, as a business owner you are required to keep records such as employee records, safety records, HOS records, and maintenance records, to name a few.

Some owner/operators sign onto an exclusive use agreement which states that the owner/operator agrees to only run freight for that trucking company and no one else.

While it’s possible to make much more as an owner/operator than you would as an employee, competition is tight and buying or financing your own truck can be very expensive.

What Kind of Truck Driving Job Do You Want?

Whether you already have your commercial driver’s license (CDL) or you’re just thinking about getting your CDL, before you even think about what kind of truck driving job you want to pursue, you should first ask yourself the following ten questions:

  1. How much money do I want to make as a truck driver?
  2. What kind of job benefits do I want?
  3. Do I want to work for a large company or a small company?
  4. Do I want a non-union OTR truck driving job or a union LTL/Delivery truck driving job?
  5. How long am I willing to be away from home?
  6. Do I want to get home every night, every week, or every couple of weeks?
  7. Do I want to drive for a trucking company whose nearest terminal is a long drive from home?
  8. Do I want to haul hazardous materials and deal with the extra stress/risk that comes with it?
  9. How much manual labor do I want to deal with as a truck driver?
  10. Do I want to work for someone else or be my own boss and deal with the added risk/stress?

Once you know the answer to these ten questions, you can then decide which truck driving job to pursue and which trucking companies to research if you already possess your CDL.

If you’re just thinking about obtaining your CDL and haven’t acquired any truck driver training yet, then answer the ten questions above and see whether you want to get the CDL training you need to obtain a Class A or Class B license.

If you plan on becoming an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver, LTL truck driver, or a regional/dedicated route driver then, you’ll need to learn how to operate a full-sized rig and obtain your Class A CDL. With a Class A CDL, you’ll qualify for trucking jobs that require a Class A, Class B, or Class C license.

If you’re more interested in driving a local route and being home every night then, you’ll need to obtain your Class B commercial driver’s license. With a Class B CDL, you’ll only qualify for truck driving jobs that require a Class B or Class C commercial driver’s license.

CDL Training

Before you can get a high-paying truck driving job, you first need to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL), but before you can get your commercial driver’s license, you need to get the proper CDL training.

You basically have three options to choose from when it comes to truck driver training. You can:

  1. Go to a private truck driving school in which you pay the tuition cost out of your own pocket, either through school loans, grant aid, cash, or credit cards.Trucking Companies with CDL Training for Truck Driving Jobs
  2. Go to a community college with a truck driver training program and pay the tuition cost out-of-pocket, either through school loans, grant aid, cash, or credit cards.
  3. Go to a company sponsored truck driving school in which a trucking company sponsors your CDL training by sending you to a school they have approved. The trucking company pays for your training with the expressed agreement that you’ll work for them for at least 1 year after you graduate (this is usually backed up by a signed contract but, not always).
  4. Get accepted into a company paid CDL training program in which the trucking company trains you at their own on-site facility for free with the expressed agreement that you’ll work for them for at least 1 year after you complete your truck driver training. Again, this is usually backed up by a signed agreement but, not always.

All three CDL training options have their own pros and cons but, the fact of the matter is, whichever option you choose, you should have no problem acquiring a truck driving job if you are a hard-working student with the motivation to succeed as a professional truck driver. Especially, since there is currently a shortage of qualified truck drivers in the U.S.

Common Hiring Requirements

Most trucking companies require each applicant to meet the same general criteria in order to be considered for the truck driving job they’re applying for. While some trucking companies may have somewhat stricter requirements than others, most companies require that their applicants meet the following conditions to some degree or another:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age. Some trucking companies require you to be at least 22 years of age.
  • You must be able to prove that you currently reside at the address you list on your application. Some trucking companies require that you live in the same state as their headquarters or that you live in the same state as the company terminal located closest to you.
  • You must be a legal U.S. citizen or be legally allowed to work in the United States (Green Card).
  • You must show your Social Security card and/or legal Birth Certificate.
  • You must possess a Class A, B or C commercial driver’s license (CDL) depending on the position you’re applying for.
  • You must have a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL if you will be hauling materials deemed hazardous.
  • You must possess a valid U.S. Passport if you will be hauling freight to Mexico or Canada.
  • You must have a good employment record that is verifiable for the last 5 years.
  • You must undergo a full criminal history background check.
  • You must have a clean driving record. Most trucking companies put a limit on the number of at-fault accidents, moving violations, reckless driving violations, and license suspensions you’re allowed over a certain period of time, usually between 2 to 5 years.
  • You cannot have any DUIs in the last 7 years. Some trucking companies require no DUIs in the last 10 years. Other trucking companies allow 1 DUI in the last 10 years.
  • Any DUI/DWI that occurred inside a tractor-trailer will disqualify you immediately.
  • You must not have had any open container violations in the past 10 years.
  • Any felonies you have been convicted of must be 10 years of age or older. Most trucking companies will review felonies on a case-by-case basis.
  • Any misdemeanors you have been convicted of must be 3 years of age or older. Most trucking companies will review misdemeanors on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must not have had any violent felonies or major drug convictions in your lifetime.
  • You must be able to pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination and mandatory drug/alcohol test.

Health Requirements

 

Many trucking companies also require that applicants meet certain physical and/or health criteria. These may include the following, to some degree or another:

  • Your blood pressure must be 140-159/90-99 for the 1-year DOT certificate.
  • Your blood pressure must be 160-179/100-139 for the temporary 3-month DOT certificate.
  • You will be disqualified if your blood pressure is above 180/110.
  • If you have diabetes, you cannot use needle-injected insulin. Oral meds are allowed.
  • If you have diabetes, your blood sugar A1C test must be less than 10%. Oral meds are allowed.
  • You cannot have any current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency, collapse, congestive failure, or any other cardiac disease.
  • If you’ve had previous cardiac issues, you will be required have an annual stress test and a doctor’s release.
  • If you suffer from sleep apnea, you must demonstrate that you have it under control.
  • In order to demonstrate that your sleep apnea is under control, you must have an annual sleep study within the last 12 months and a doctor’s release.
  • You must have 20/40 vision or better in both eyes. Eyeglasses/contacts are allowed to correct your vision.
  • You must be able to hear a forced whisper from more than 5 feet away. Hearing aids are allowed.

Many of these health requirements fall in line with Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations regarding the health and safety of commercial truck drivers. 

Rookie truck driver sees his first paycheck and feels like he just got a colonoscopy from the trucking company.

Don’t worry. Your DOT medical exam does NOT include a colonoscopy. Yikes.

Truck Driving Job Salaries

How much money you want to make as a truck driver mainly depends on which type of truck driving job you choose, how much truck driving experience you have, how many miles you’re willing to drive, how clean your driving record is, whether you are an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver, regional truck driver, local truck driver, or an owner/operator, whether you have any additional endorsements on your CDL, and whether you’re a union or non-union truck driver.

The trucking company you work for can also make a difference in how much you get paid. Generally, smaller trucking companies pay their drivers more than larger trucking companies but, this isn’t always the case.

Salaries Earned by OTR Truck Drivers

OTR truck driving jobs usually pay more than regional or local route jobs since you get paid by the mile and you’re usually driving thousands of miles with each load that you drop. Most over-the-road truck drivers possess a Class A CDL. While it was common for over-the-road truck drivers to be part of a union years ago, most OTR drivers are non-union today.

Truck Driving Jobs Salaries Paid by Trucking Companies

The average salary for an over-the-road truck driver differs from state to state but, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2015, truck drivers employed in the state of Florida made the least amount of money with an average salary of $37,830, while truck drivers employed in the state of North Dakota made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $53,400.

Salaries Earned by Hourly Truck Drivers

With regional and local route CDL jobs, the driver usually gets paid by the hour. Exactly how much is usually based on the driver’s experience, where the route is located, what class CDL they possess, and whether they’re a union or non-union truck driver.

Union truck drivers usually make more than non-union truck drivers but, must also pay union dues. City routes usually pay more than routes in suburban areas, since the driver has to put up with the stress of city traffic and fight against difficult time constraints.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers anyone who operates a truck or van with a capacity less than 26,000 lbs. of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) to be a light truck driver or delivery service driver. Since most regional and local route truck drivers fall under this category, we can use this information to calculate how much regional route and local route truck drivers make in each state.

The average salary for light truck drivers and delivery service drivers differs from state to state but, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2015, light truck drivers employed in the state of Arkansas made the least amount of money with an average salary of $29,260, while truck drivers employed in the state of Alaska made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $42,830.

CDL Classes

Another factor that will determine what kind of truck driver salary you can command is how much experience you have as a truck driver and what class your CDL is. Obviously, someone straight out of truck driving school is not going to get paid as much as someone with 5 to 10 years of experience under their belt, at least not for the same exact truck driving job.

While truck drivers that possess a Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) are restricted to trucking jobs that only require a Class B or Class C CDL, a truck driver that possesses a Class A CDL is qualified to operate any Class A, Class B, or Class C vehicle, except for a passenger bus or school bus, which require a Passenger Endorsement.

Truck drivers that have an endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) such as a HAZMAT, Air Brakes, Double and Triple Trailers, Combination Vehicles, or Tanker endorsement require extra training and testing and, therefore, generally make more money than truck drivers that don’t have any CDL endorsements.

Most Common Job Benefits Offered by Trucking Companies

Almost all trucking companies, both large and small, offer the same type of job benefits to some degree or another. The kinds of benefits you’ll receive depend entirely on how much experience you have as a truck driver and how long you have been with the company. Full-time truck drivers almost always receive more job benefits than part-time drivers.

It’s always a good idea to make sure the trucking company you plan to work for offers the kind of benefits you’re looking for as a truck driver. Most trucking companies will list the job benefits they offer on their website.

Below is a list of the most common job benefits offered by trucking companies:

  • Sign-on Bonus
  • Performance Bonus
  • Fuel Savings Bonus
  • Paid Orientation
  • Weekly Pay
  • Pay Raise Every Year
  • Layover Pay
  • Multiple Stop Pay
  • Detention Pay
  • NYC Pay
  • Major Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan
  • Paid Vacation
  • Guaranteed Home Time
  • Late-model Equipment
  • On-site Laundry Facilities
  • On-site Cafeteria

Some trucking companies offer paid training in addition to paid orientation.

Now, let’s see how many truck driving jobs are available in each state and how much you can expect to make, on average, as a truck driver in your own state.

Over-The-Road Truck Driver

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heavy and tractor trailer drivers is expected to grow 5% from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as average for all occupations. As of May 2015, Heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers in the state of Florida made the least amount of money with an average yearly salary of $37,830, while truck drivers employed in the state of North Dakota made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $53,400. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines heavy and tractor trailer drivers as truck drivers who operate a full-sized truck with a 53’ trailer attached to it that is equal to or exceeds a Gross Vehicle Weight of 26,000 lbs., which includes the combined weight of the truck, trailer, passengers, and cargo.

It should come as no surprise that over-the-road truck drivers (heavy and tractor trailer divers) make more money, on average, than regional or local truck drivers. They drive more miles, transport heavier loads, and are forced to spend more time away from home. Most OTR truck drivers are paid by a set mileage rate.

While the mileage rate will vary from trucking company to trucking company, most trucking companies will pay an entry-level truck driver at a starting rate of 28 to 32 cents per mile with a 2-cent raise every year until the maximum rate has been reached. The average yearly salary of an entry-level truck driver usually falls somewhere between $25,000 and $45,000 depending on the starting mileage rate, how many miles were accumulated, and whether the driver received any bonuses that year, like a sign-on bonus, safety bonus, or fuel bonus.

More experienced truck drivers can expect to make 40 to 42 cents per mile with a 2-cent raise every year until the maximum rate has been reached. Depending on the trucking company, the maximum pay rate is usually 46 to 50 cents per mile. This means that the average salary for an experienced truck driver can fall anywhere between $45,000 and $75,000.

It should also be noted that flatbed drivers and refrigerated freight transporters almost always make more money, on average, than dry van haulers, due to the nature of the job.

Of course, specialized truck drivers, like heavy haulers, bull haulers, and auto haulers who possess a specialized skillset or CDL endorsement, like a HAZMAT or Double and Triple Trailers endorsement, can command a greater salary, since they are required to take more risks than the average truck driver.

Keep in mind that, becoming an over-the-road truck driver is a major lifestyle choice, because you are required to spend days or even weeks on the road away from your spouse or family, and not everyone is equipped to do that, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.

2017 Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Driving Job Wages

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Below, we’ve created a table to show you how much heavy and tractor trailer drivers make in each state to give you an idea of how much you could make as an over-the-road truck driver in your state. “ALW” stands for Average Living Wage.

As you’ll see by studying the table below, one way to maximize your earning potential as a heavy and tractor trailer truck driver is to live in a state with a high truck driving salary and plenty of job openings. Probably the best example of this is the state of North Dakota where the average over-the-road truck driver pulls in over $53,000 a year according to May 2017 wage statistics taken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Driver Job Statistics

State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
Alabama35,35037,550+6%4,060$40,080
Alaska2,9202,950+1%310$56,250
Arizona25,77029,190+13%3,230$44,640
Arkansas36,41039,960+10%4,370$40,620
California147,500165,000+12%18,200$45,560
Colorado25,38029,830+18%3,350$46,960
Connecticut14,98016,110+8%1,750$48,530
Delaware4,3804,280-2%450$42,550
Florida86,070100,200+16%11,210$41,150
Georgia59,74068,220+14%7,580$42,510
Hawaii3,9304,170+6%450$49,050
Idaho12,28014,750+20%1,670$44,250
Illinois70,31075,460+7%8,180$47,730
Indiana56,76060,510+7%6,540$46,270
Iowa43,67049,260+13%5,450$42,570
Kansas21,65022,690+5%2,440$44,300
Kentucky29,39031,130+6%3,360$43,430
Louisiana25,00027,240+9%2,970$41,800
Maine9,5509,410-1%980$40,670
Maryland23,10024,470+6%2,440$47,230
Massachusetts23,28024,630+6%2,660$50,580
Michigan57,17062,740+10%6,870$42,180
Minnesota38,40040,860+6%4,420$46,570
Mississippi22,36023,510+5%2,530$40,780
Missouri45,61047,100+3%5,030$43,480
Montana6,6706,940+4%740$44,700
Nebraska28,99031,530+9%3,440$43,590
Nevada11,46012,700+11%1,400$50,440
New Hampshire6,9407,510+8%820$44,370
New Jersey49,85055,340+11%6,080$48,290
New Mexico10,63011,190+5%1,200$44,860
New York65,59070,050+7%7,580$48,460
North Carolina59,31063,870+8%6,940$42,490
North Dakota12,39015,770+27%1,820$53,020
Ohio76,08079,090+4%8,470$43,990
Oklahoma24,89026,850+8%2,920$43,130
Oregon23,61026,220+11%2,880$45,600
Pennsylvania84,61091,910+19%10,020$46,150
Rhode Island3,6703,920+7%420$46,600
South Carolina29,31033,390+14%3,710$42,260
South Dakota8,6009,260+8%1,010$40,850
Tennessee63,99069,050+8%7,510$41,510
Texas185,220217,490+17%24,410$44,260
Utah24,18032,510+35%3,810$45,500
Vermont4,3504,300-1%450$44,190
Virginia44,66048,160+8%5,240$42,780
Washington38,03040,660+7%4,420$46,990
West Virginia11,24011,840+5%1,270$38,580
Wisconsin52,11056,560+9%6,160$44,330
Wyoming6,3907,640+20%860$49,420
The table above shows you how many heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers were employed in each state as of May 2016 and the projected employment numbers for truck drivers in the year 2026.

The “Percent Change” is the number of heavy and tractor-trailer trucking jobs estimated to increase or decrease in that state by the year 2026.

The “Projected Open Jobs” is the number of heavy and tractor-trailer CDL jobs that are projected to be available by the year 2026. This gives you a good indication of how easy or difficult it may be to get a full-time over-the-road (OTR) truck driving job in that state in the future.

The annual mean wage is calculated by adding up all the heavy and tractor trailer drivers’ wages in that state from the lowest annual wage to the highest annual wage, and then dividing the total by the number of annual wages that were added up. This shows you what the middle annual wage is between the lowest and highest wages for heavy and tractor trailer drivers. Fifty-percent of drivers make more than this wage and fifty-percent of drivers make less than this wage.

Light Truck or Delivery Service Driver

Light truck drivers and delivery service drivers are anyone who drives a truck or van with a capacity less than 26,000 lbs. of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). Most regional and local route truck drivers fall into this category since they usually operate a truck that is smaller and lighter than a full-sized tractor trailer.

On average, truck drivers that operate light trucks and delivery vans make less than heavy and tractor trailer drivers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for light truck drivers and delivery service drivers was $34,080 and the mean hourly wage was $16.38, as of May 2015.

For general freight trucking, the mean annual salary was $38,880 and the mean hourly wage was $18.69. Courier and express delivery drivers make the most in this industry with a mean annual wage of $50,840 and a mean hourly wage of $24.44. Light truck and delivery service drivers in the state of Arkansas made the least amount of money with an average yearly salary of $29,260, while light truck and delivery service drivers employed in the state of Alaska made the most amount of money with an average yearly salary of $42,830. 

While over-the-road truck drivers are paid by the mile, regional and local route truck drivers are almost always paid by the hour. Hourly salaries can vary and are usually calculated by how much experience the driver has, how clean their driving record is, what class CDL they possess, whether the driver is union or non-union, and the location of the route.

Truck drivers that possess a Class B CDL can choose to apply for truck driving jobs where a Class B or Class C CDL is required, giving them more employment options than a truck driver who only possesses a Class C commercial driver’s license (CDL).

City routes usually pay more than routes in suburban areas since the driver has to put up with the stress of city traffic and fight against difficult time constraints. New York City is a great example of this. 

While OTR drivers are usually away from home for days or weeks at a time, light truck drivers and delivery service drivers are almost always able to get home at the end of the day.

2017 Light Truck Driving Job Wages

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Below, we’ve created a table to show you how much light truck and delivery service drivers make in each state to give you an idea of how much you could make as a regional or local route light truck driver in your state. “ALW” stands for Average Living Wage.

As you’ll see by studying the table below, one way to maximize your earning potential as a light truck driver is to live in a state with a high truck driving salary and plenty of job openings. Probably the best example of this is the state of Alaska where the average light truck driver pulls in over $42,000 a year according to May 2017 wage statistics taken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Light Truck and Delivery Service Driver Job Statistics

State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
State2016 Employment2026 EmploymentPercent ChangeProjected Open Jobs2017 Annual Wage
Alabama12,99013,660+5%1,470$29,780
Alaska1,5301,570+3%170$43,160
Arizona15,64018,570+19%2,090$37,900
Arkansas7,0007,660+9%840$31,630
California111,900125,400+12%13,840$38,760
Colorado18,71022,520+20%2,550$38,160
Connecticut11,43012,330+8%1,340$38,480
Delaware2,9503,090+5%330$36,430
Florida55,72065,590+18%7,370$33,670
Georgia28,88033,550+16%3,750$36,280
Hawaii5,1805,520+7%600$37,120
Idaho2,2002,500+13%280$32,480
Illinois48,63053,170+9%5,810$36,890
Indiana19,09020,320+7%2,200$32,950
Iowa11,05011,930+8%1,300$33,910
Kansas9,1009,530+5%1,020$34,910
Kentucky13,64014,960+10%1,640$35,220
Louisiana15,82017,340+10%1,900$32,810
Maine5,0905,140+1%540$32,030
Maryland23,59025,070+6%2,500$37,710
Massachusetts20,99022,110+5%2,380$39,180
Michigan29,93031,630+6%3,410$35,150
Minnesota16,50017,420+6%1,880$39,010
Mississippi7,4207,840+6%850$31,750
Missouri16,81018,410+10%2,010$35,060
Montana3,2203,620+12%400$33,740
Nebraska5,5206,030+9%660$34,150
Nevada7,8108,690+11%960$35,680
New Hampshire4,9105,290+98%570$33,180
New Jersey31,77035,550+12%3,920$37,390
New Mexico5,0305,230+4%560$34,880
New York48,25052,320+8%5,700$36,950
North Carolina27,63029,910+8%3,260$32,610
North Dakota2,8803,250+13%360$40,050
Ohio37,95039,500+4%4,230$33,500
Oklahoma9,65010,170+5%1,090$34,820
Oregon10,13011,880+17%1,330$37,130
Pennsylvania37,64039,410+5%4,230$33,430
Rhode Island4,3204,690+9%510$34,390
South Carolina14,92017,040+14%1,890$31,670
South Dakota2,8203,070+9%340$31,810
Tennessee20,69021,530+4%2,310$35,370
Texas70,57082,660+17%9,270$34,510
Utah9,57012,760+33%1,490$33,930
Vermont2,6602,680+1%280$36,800
Virginia23,45025,140+7%2,730$34,240
Washington21,47023,640+10%2,610$39,580
West Virginia6,6306,830+3%730$31,680
Wisconsin18,98020,670+9%2,260$32,930
Wyoming1,6001,790+12%200$36,640
The table above shows you how many light truck and delivery service drivers were employed in each state as of May 2016 and the projected employment numbers for light truck and delivery service drivers in the year 2026.

The “Percent Change” is the number of light truck and delivery service jobs estimated to increase or decrease in that state by the year 2026.

The “Projected Open Jobs” is the number of light truck and delivery service truck driver jobs that are projected to be available by the year 2026. This gives you a good indication of how easy or difficult it may be to get a full-time light truck or delivery service job in that state in the future.

The annual mean wage is calculated by adding up all the light truck drivers’ and delivery service drivers’ wages in that state from the lowest annual wage to the highest annual wage, and then dividing the total by the number of annual wages that were added up. This shows you what the middle annual wage is between the lowest and highest wages for light truck drivers and delivery service drivers. Fifty-percent of drivers make more than this wage and fifty-percent of drivers make less than this wage.

Owner/Operator or Independent Truck Driver

It should come as no surprise that owner/operators and independent truck drivers have more occupational freedom and the chance to make more money than company truck drivers since they’re not constrained to the wage and work policies that a company employee is and can even get their own authority.

While it is true that owner/operators and independent truck drivers have the potential to make between $100,000 and $150,000 annually, that’s the gross amount, before taxes and expenses have been paid. The average net salary of an owner/operator, after taxes and expenses have been paid, is usually anywhere from $35,000 to $75,000.

But, let’s face it, some truck drivers prefer occupational freedom over a cushy paycheck that comes with a boss attached to it.


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