Let’s face it, people go to school for years to learn professions that pay less and offer fewer benefits than diesel truck driving.
As a new OTR driver, you can expect to earn somewhere in the range of $35,000 in your first year on the job. In your second year as an OTR driver you can expect to earn $40,000 annually. Local truck drivers are generally paid by the hour and usually get overtime after 40 hours. Earnings of long-haul drivers depend on miles driven or hours worked, as well as seniority and the type of truck operated. Wage scales differ from region to region and may depend on the kind of freight carried.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, the median salary for tractor trailer drivers was $37,770. Experienced, specialized drivers have the potential to make $60,000 a year or more.
Truck driving offers some of the best benefits you can get without a high school diploma, including:
- Medical/Dental/Vision coverage for you and family members
- 401-(k) Retirement Plan
- Sick Pay
- Paid Vacation
Benefits will vary by employer.