How Much Do CDL Truck Drivers Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

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.

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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$48710 per year
Hourly wage
$23 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$30,660 to $37,850 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$15 to $18 per hour

Entry-level Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $30,660 to $37,850 per year or $15 to $18 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $33 $69,480
Senior (Top 25%) $28 $58,010
Middle (Mid 50%) $23 $47,130
Junior (Bottom 25%) $18 $37,850
No experience (Bottom 10%) $15 $30,660

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
AK $29 $59,700
DC $27 $55,360
NY $27 $55,280
WY $26 $54,990
ND $26 $54,550
WA $26 $54,320
HI $26 $53,130
MA $25 $52,750
CO $25 $52,730
NJ $25 $52,490

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at AK might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid CDL Truck Drivers are in the states of AK, DC, NY, WY and ND.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Motion Picture and Video Industries $65670 $31.57
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $65640 $31.56
Other Pipeline Transportation $64730 $31.12
Spectator Sports $63240 $30.40
Couriers and Express Delivery Services $61800 $29.71
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $61280 $29.46
Natural Gas Distribution $58600 $28.17
Scientific Research and Development Services $57530 $27.66
Coal Mining $57030 $27.42
Metal Ore Mining $56610 $27.22
Postal Service (Federal Government) $56310 $27.07
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas $55730 $26.79
Motor Vehicle Manufacturing $55580 $26.72
Taxi and Limousine Service $55350 $26.61
Office Administrative Services $53890 $25.91
Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores $53820 $25.88
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation $53750 $25.84
Special Food Services $53170 $25.56
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers $52920 $25.44
Rail Transportation $52600 $25.29
Support Activities for Water Transportation $52000 $25.00
Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing $51850 $24.93
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills $51760 $24.89
Ship and Boat Building $51610 $24.81
Chemical Manufacturing $51560 $24.79
Facilities Support Services $51480 $24.75
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $51420 $24.72
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $51350 $24.69
Specialized Design Services $50960 $24.50
State Government $50360 $24.21

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