Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

CDL Truck Drivers

CDL Truck Drivers drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license. Includes tow truck drivers.

Becoming One
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers’ license.

  • Check vehicles to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
  • Follow appropriate safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods.
  • Inspect loads to ensure that cargo is secure.
  • Maintain logs of working hours or of vehicle service or repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations.
Read more about what does a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$45570 per year

Average hourly wage
$22 per hour

CDL Truck Drivers with little to no experience tend to make between $28160 and $35040 while the more experienced ones can earn over $54400 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
AK $28 $57,630
DC $25 $52,760
ND $25 $52,080
NV $24 $50,920
NY $24 $50,460

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver is to move to a higher paying state like AK. Right now, the highest paying states for CDL Truck Drivers are AK, DC, ND, NV and NY.

However, a higher pay at AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at AK might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other CDL Truck Drivers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by less than a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operator and Instructor
Read more about how to become a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

59% of CDL Truck Drivers said they were satisfied with their job and 52% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Anthony Eck
Prime Inc., the largest refrigerated trucking company in the nation

I’m a Team Driver.

My Typical Day

Work is like being paid to travel the country. My key responsibilities are making sure my equipment is in safe working order before and after driving, get the customers freight picked up and delivered on time and in a safe manner, communicating with the customer or dispatch if there are any delays, being aware of your surroundings.


Great pay, you get to see the country, knowing that you keep America moving,


You are away from home a lot and from that you miss out on a lot of family gatherings, and holidays, long hours of driving, never having a decent sleep schedule, you’re not paid by the hour if you are over the road driver.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about CDL Truck Drivers

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Related career information

CDL Truck Drivers job description, CDL Truck Drivers salary, CDL Truck Drivers information, what is the job of a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver like, pros and cons about Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, colleges and universities for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, is Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers the right career for me, careers in Transportation

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