Truck drivers usually get paid for each mile driven instead of the hours worked, unlike other jobs with fixed salaries. A truck driver salary can vary based on experience, the region they drive in, and the company they work for. Due to a truck driver shortage, some companies might offer higher pay to attract Class A drivers.

A truck driver salary per mile can change based on performance and industry needs. When paid by the mile, they can easily track their earnings as they drive more. Drivers paid by the mile often earn more than those with hourly or salaried pay.

Truck drivers can also earn bonuses in addition to their regular pay. Due to the high demand, new truck drivers can expect good pay and benefits.

Top 10 best-paying cities for truck driver jobs

We investigated the 10 cities where truck drivers earn more than the national average salary. These cities offer better wages and great chances for economic improvement if truck drivers move there.


Annual Salary

Monthly Pay

Weekly Pay

Hourly Wage

Soledad, CA





West Los Angeles, CA





Salisbury, MA





Nantucket, MA





San Jose, CA





Castaic, CA





Vallejo, CA





Oakland, CA





Hayward, CA





Fbi Academy, VA






What type of job earns the maximum truck driver salary?

Knowing which types of truck driving jobs pay the highest salaries is helpful if you're thinking about becoming a truck driver and want to make the most money. Different factors, like the cargo you haul, how far you drive, and what certifications you need, can affect how much you earn. 

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Let's look at which specific kinds of truck driving jobs can help you get the highest truck driver salary.

  1. Salary of private fleet drivers

Big retailers and manufacturers often employ their own team of drivers to transport goods from their warehouses or production facilities to their stores or customers. According to ZipRecruiter, the yearly earnings of fleet drivers can range between $18,000 and $48,000, with the national average truck driver salary at $29,992. However, the pay can significantly differ depending on the company.

For instance, at Walmart, one of the most renowned private fleets in the United States, drivers receive salaries above the average, work shorter shifts, and enjoy excellent benefits. Despite this, private fleets maintain strict hiring standards. Some require extensive experience and impeccable driving records. As a result, private fleets experience minimal turnover compared to other trucking positions.

  1. ‍Salary of an owner-operator

Indeed reports that the salary for owner-operator is $190,140 to $541,624. This wide range reflects various factors. An owner-operator role differs significantly from a typical trucking job and is rightfully categorized separately. These individuals are not merely employees but rather entrepreneurs running their own trucking businesses, even if they operate only one truck.

The responsibilities of an owner-operator include all aspects of a trucking company's operations, including managing expenses, finding loads, and handling employee compensation, insurance, and benefits. The earning potential for owner-operators is limitless, depending on how much work they are willing and able to undertake.

  1. Salary of a specialty vehicle hauler

According to Indeed, specialty vehicle haulers, also known as "car haulers," earn between $74,815 and $121,002 annually. These drivers primarily transport high-value or specialized vehicles, such as race cars, luxury automobiles, and collectibles. Transporting such valuable items requires extreme caution to prevent damage during transit. 

Even when the vehicles are parked, these drivers must take extra measures to safeguard them from potential harm caused by other drivers' negligence. They also follow specific procedures to minimize the risk of theft.

  1. Salary of a team truck drivers make

Team truck drivers earn between $11,000 and $239,000 annually, averaging $119,464 nationwide. They specialize in fast and long-distance hauling. Usually, a team consists of two drivers who take turns driving the same truck, keeping the cargo moving for up to twenty-two hours a day.

To explain how big of a difference this makes, consider that a solo driver usually takes six days to drive across the country. But a team can do it in just three days. Companies that need super-fast deliveries pay more, so the team of drivers can earn a lot more money.

  1. Salary for an Oversized Load Driver

An oversized-load trucker earns between $34,000 and $152,000 per year on average. Oversized loads, also known as over-dimension loads, are bigger than the usual size the law allows. This means drivers handling these large loads need to be very skilled at maneuvering them. These loads include construction equipment, wind turbines, mobile homes, and industrial machinery. Oversized load drivers have to follow extra rules regarding the routes, and times they can legally move these loads. 

Often, they need an escort crew, and sometimes the driver has to hire their own escort team. Since these big items are usually very expensive, the driver needs extra insurance and takes more safety precautions. Getting paid more for driving these huge loads is just part of the job.

  1. Salary of an Ice Road Driver

Even though the average yearly salary of $62,422 might seem ordinary, ice road truckers earn this in three to four months. This gives them the rest of the year to explore other opportunities or simply relax and enjoy their time off for a better work-life balance as a truck driver. Ice road driving gained popularity as a unique niche in the trucking industry after the History Channel introduced the show "Ice Road Truckers." As depicted in the series, these drivers navigate through remote wilderness areas, such as the northern parts of Canada. They face significant risks as they drive through challenging terrains and hazardous road conditions to deliver cargo to isolated towns and mining sites. These drivers earn a full year's salary quickly because the ideal conditions for these trips only exist for a few months each year.

To become an ice road trucker, you need several years of experience with various types of equipment. It's considered one of the toughest ways to drive a truck but also one of the most rewarding in terms of pay.

  1. Salary of Regional Truck Drivers

The average annual truck driver salary for regional truck drivers in the United States is approximately $75,877. However, this figure can vary significantly, ranging from $39,500 to $99,500 or more, depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of trucking company.

Regional truck drivers typically operate within a specific geographic area, covering a few states or a portion of the country. This setup often allows for more time spent at home and reasonable pay. Certain regional driving positions may offer extra benefits like signing bonuses or health insurance coverage, which can enhance the overall truck driver salary package.

In addition to the base truck driver salary, regional truck drivers may also be eligible for supplementary perks such as paid time off, retirement plans, and health insurance benefits. Some trucking companies provide incentives and bonuses to drivers who meet performance targets or operate in high-demand areas, further increasing their potential earnings.

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  1. Salary of a Tanker Driver

A tanker truck driver earn between $24,500 and $90,500 annually. Driving and handling large containers filled with liquids involves physics, where even minor actions such as sharp turns or sudden braking can trigger catastrophic outcomes. Errors with hazardous materials like gasoline or liquid propane can result in massive fireballs and extreme heat, often called a "Viking Funeral" by drivers. Dealing with acids and deadly fumes adds to the risk package for liquids/tanker drivers, prompting other drivers on the road to maintain a safe distance.

The truck driver salary for liquids/tanker drivers reflects the perilous nature of the loads they transport and the advanced level of skill required to handle these materials safely.

  1. Salary of a mining industry Truck Driver

Mine truck drivers earn an average salary of $40,655 per year, ranging from $28,500 to $70,000. These drivers handle large dump trucks in mining and quarry sites. They are required to maintain high productivity levels while ensuring safety in areas where smaller commercial vehicles and company equipment are active. 

Beyond the mining sector, these trucks can also be found at designated industrial and port sites, where they handle raw materials and goods crucial to our nation's industrial operations.

  1. Salary of a Hazmat Driver

Hazmat truck drivers earn truck driver salaries ranging from $36,000 to $105,500 annually, with the national average standing at $61,068. Hazardous and extremely toxic materials are included in the cargo of hazmat drivers. Any mishap can trigger a disaster, resulting in loss of life, extensive and costly clean-up efforts, and financial losses for both the driver and the company. 

Hazmat drivers must also undergo a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) background check, maintain additional endorsements, and adhere to additional state and federal regulations. Due to the specialized equipment required and the heightened risks and regulations associated with transporting hazardous materials, hazmat drivers typically command significantly higher truck driver salaries than drivers operating standard dry vans, reefer, or flatbed units.

Bonuses beyond truck driver salary

In addition to the regular truck driver salary, Class A CDL-trained truck drivers can earn additional money through various bonuses. Each trucking carrier has its own policies, but many offer bonuses such as:

  • Safety pay: Carriers prioritize safe driving and may offer bonuses for maintaining a safe driving record. Demonstrating safe driving habits promotes good business, saves lives, and can improve your basic truck driver salary.

  • Sign-on bonus: Some carriers offer sign-on bonuses to attract new drivers. The amount varies by carrier and can be paid in a lump sum or in installments.

  • Clean DOT inspections: Clean Department of Transportation inspections benefit the driver and the company. Many carriers reward drivers for passing these inspections without issues.

  • Layover pay: If you experience delays during the delivery process, some companies offer layover pay to compensate for lost time, increasing your truck driver salary.

  • Monthly mileage: Some carriers pay extra when drivers meet company mileage thresholds. This means you can increase your truck driver salary by driving longer distances with your company.

  • Fuel efficiency: By practicing fuel-saving techniques, you demonstrate cost-consciousness to your carrier. Many carriers reward drivers for reducing fuel consumption.

  • Referrals: Referring a friend to your company can result in substantial bonuses. Since CDL-trained truck drivers are in high demand, carriers are willing to pay for successful referrals.

Contact us for the best CDL jobs 

Truck driver salaries offer many ways to earn more money, especially with the various bonuses available. You can increase your pay by driving more miles, getting sign-on bonuses, saving fuel, driving safely, and passing clean DOT inspections. There are also extra earnings from layover pay and referring friends to your company.

In this industry, skills, safety, and efficiency are highly valued. Truck drivers who take advantage of these bonus opportunities can earn more money and have a more rewarding career. With the growing demand for qualified drivers, the potential for higher pay is significant.

Contact us today for those looking to maximize their earnings and find better job opportunities. We can help you find the best positions and take your trucking career to the next level.

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