10 Highest Paying Trucking Salaries of 2024

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Truck driver compensation is highly variable based on  multiple factors. More experience, difficult loads, maintaining a clean driving record, and a willingness to travel to remote locations or endure risk are some traits of a driver who earns a higher-than-average salary. 

The average truck driver salary in the United States is $83,158 per year. However, it may vary depending on the type of truck that you drive.

For example, a hazmat driver transporting dangerous, toxic materials must operate their commercial vehicle with greater care and alertness. A hazardous materials accident, even a minor one, could lead to the evacuation of entire towns. A material leak or, worse, an explosion could occur and possibly cause a mass casualty incident or environmental damage. 

When you compare the risks of transporting hazardous materials with the average dry van load of toilet paper, it’s easy to see why a hazmat driver must be more attentive to safety and why they receive higher-than-average compensation.  However, if transporting hazardous materials isn’t appealing, you have other options to increase your pay as a truck driver. 

How Much Is a Truck Driver’s Salary in 2024?

Salary: $54,502 to $189,320

Truck driver salaries vary widely depending on factors such as region, type of equipment, and experience level. According to recent data, the latest truck driver salary ranges from $54,502 to $189,320 annually. Earning potential is also dependent on employer, driving record, and the types of loads they move. Drivers who are willing to train for extra endorsements or work in remote areas are typically the ones who have the highest-paying trucking jobs. Truck drivers can get paid in a variety of ways, depending on their operating mode and route type. Solo drivers typically work alone and must take time to stop and sleep between shifts to comply with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. In a team driving situation, two drivers share the driving responsibilities and make runs together, allowing for more continuous operation of the truck.

Truck drivers also get paid based on their route type. For example, OTR (Over-the-Road) drivers typically spend weeks on the road, traveling long distances and making deliveries across the country. While OTR trucking can be demanding, it often commands the highest salary and offers the opportunity to see new places. Regional drivers stay within a specific geographic area, which generally means they can come home on the weekends.

Highest Paying Trucking Salaries per City

A table showing the highest paying trucking salaries in 2024

10 Highest Annual Salaries in the Trucking Industry

A custom bar chart showing the top paying trucking salaries in 2024

1. What is the Salary of an Owner-Operator?

Average annual salary: $190,140 - $541,624

Image by aleksandarlittlewolf on Freepik

Career site Indeed lists the salary range of an owner-operator driver between $190,140 and $541,624 as of November 2023. It’s a very large range because it takes a lot of factors into account. Also, an owner-operator cannot be classified as a regular trucking job for the purposes of a site, and rightfully so. These drivers are much more than your average salaried employee. They are business owners operating a trucking company, even if they only have one truck. 

An owner-operator’s responsibilities cover the full range of a trucking company's operations. From managing expenses to finding loads to paying employees insurance, benefits, and wages. The sky is the limit for owner-operators, and their take-home pay ultimately depends on the amount of work they are willing (or able) to take on. 

But an owner-operator doesn’t have to work alone. Owner-operators with 2 years or more experience are eligible to work with CloudTrucks. We give owner-operators complete freedom to run their business as they wish while we take care of the logistics. We provide back-end support to hundreds of truck drivers by giving them access to curated loads, business insights, insurance, and customer support.

For owner-operators who want to drive under our authority, we have a Virtual Carrier solution. Once a driver is approved, all they have to do is download the app, and they are ready to accept loads and start earning. Drivers who have signed on with CloudTrucks earn as much as $20,000 per month and get paid in minutes instead of months.

2. How Much Do Team Truck Drivers Make?

Average annual salary: $119,464

two men in front of a semi truck

Team truck drivers make between $11,000 and $239,000, with the national average salary of $119,464, according to ZipRecruiter. ‍Team drivers are the pinnacle of high-speed, long-range load delivery. Typically, a team consists of two drivers in the same truck, driving in shifts to keep their load moving up to twenty-two hours a day.

To give you an idea of how big a difference this makes, consider that it typically takes a solo driver six days to drive from coast to coast. A team can make the same trip in as little as three days. Companies that require such high-speed delivery pay more for the service, and the team of drivers, in turn, can earn a much higher compensation.

3. How Much Do Specialty Vehicle Haulers Make?

Average annual salary: $95,146 

Specialty vehicle haulers or “car haulers” make between $74,815 and $121,002 per year, according to Indeed. Car haulers often transport high-value or specialty vehicles such as race cars, luxury automobiles, collectibles, and other expensive items. They must exercise extreme caution to avoid damaging these high-value loads. Even when parked, these drivers must take additional precautions to ensure another driver's negligence doesn't damage the load and follow special procedures to protect against theft.

4. What is the Annual Salary for Oversized Load Drivers?

Average annual salary: $82,262

oversized load truck

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for oversized load truckers ranges from $34,000 to $152,000. Oversized loads, also known as over-dimension loads, exceed the standard legal dimensions set by federal regulations. As a result, oversized haulers must display extraordinary skills in maneuvering loads, which may include construction equipment, wind turbines, mobile homes, and industrial machinery.

Oversized load drivers must follow additional regulations that specify the routes and times of day these loads are legally allowed to move. As a result, an escort crew is often required, and some companies require the driver to hire their own escort team. Because these large items are usually quite expensive, additional insurance and other precautions are also required. A higher compensation for the driver behind the wheel of these behemoth loads comes with the territory.

5. What is the Average Salary of Regional Truck Drivers?

Average annual salary: $75,877

According to the most recent reports from ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a regional truck driver in the United States is around $75,877. Nevertheless, this varies considerably, from $39,500 to $99,500 and beyond, based on expertise, region, and trucking firm type criteria.

Regional truck drivers often work in a specific geographic area, such as a few states or a portion of the country. This can provide more time at home and reasonable compensation. In addition, specific regional driving jobs may include additional perks such as signing bonuses or health insurance.

Regional truck drivers may be eligible for additional benefits such as paid time off, retirement plans, and health insurance. In addition, several trucking firms provide incentives and bonuses to drivers who reach performance goals or work in high-demand locations, which can enhance earning potential even more. 

6. How Much Do Ice Road Drivers Make?

Average annual salary: $66,422 

While an average annual salary of $62,422 (according to ZipRecruiter) may seem middle-of-the-road, you have to consider that ice road truckers make this amount of money within three to four months. That gives them time to pursue other opportunities during the off-season or enjoy their time off for a better work-life balance as a truck driver.

Ice road driving became a famous trucking industry niche when the History Channel launched the show: Ice Road Truckers. As depicted in the TV show, these drivers operate in wilderness areas, like the ones deep in the northern latitudes of Canada. They take on immense risk as they traverse challenging terrain and dangerous road conditions to deliver cargo to remote towns and mining operations. Optimal conditions for these loads exist for a few short months out of the year,which is why these drivers earn a full year's salary in that short period.

To become an ice road trucker, you need several years of experience and a history of safe operation with a broad range of equipment. It's considered one of the most challenging ways to drive a truck but also one of the most lucrative.

7. What is the Average Salary of a Tanker Driver?

Average annual salary: $62,166

A tanker truck driver makes between $24,500 and $90,500 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. Because of the physics involved with liquids in large containers, something as simple as turning sharply or slamming on the brakes too hard can cause an instant disaster. A mistake with hazmat liquid loads such as gasoline or liquid propane can result in giant fireballs and extreme heat - often referred to as a "Viking Funeral" by the drivers. Acids and deadly fumes are also a part of the risk package for liquids/tanker drivers, and other drivers on the road often give them a wide berth.

The compensation for liquids/tanker drivers reflects the hazardous loads they transport and the high level of skill they demonstrate in moving these materials safely.

8. How Much Do Hazmat Drivers Make?

Average annual salary: $61,068

ZipRecruiter reports that hazmat truck drivers make between $36,000 and $105,500 per year, with the national average at $61,068. As mentioned earlier, hazmat drivers have to be on high alert. Their loads consist of dangerous and highly toxic materials. Any accident has a high potential to spark a disaster, leading to loss of life, lengthy and expensive clean-up, and lost profits for the driver and company. Hazmat drivers must also pass a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) background investigation,  maintain additional endorsements, and follow additional state and federal regulations. 

Because of the need for specialized equipment and the additional risks and requirements associated with transporting hazardous materials, hazmat drivers typically earn a substantially higher salary than drivers operating a standard dry van, reefer, or flatbed unit.

9. How Much Do Mining Industry Truck Drivers Make?

Average annual salary: $40,655

Mine truck drivers make $40,655 per year on average according to ZipRecruiter, with the salary range falling between $28,500 and $70,000. These drivers operate massive dump trucks in mining and quarry operations. They must maintain a high level of productivity while on the clock, operating safely in an area where smaller commercial vehicles and company equipment are present. Outside the mining industry, you can find these trucks at specific industrial and port locations that handle raw materials and goods used at the base of our nation's industrial chain. 

10. What is the Annual Salary of Private Fleet Drivers?

Average annual salary: $29,992

Some major retailers and manufacturers maintain their fleet of drivers to transport goods from their distribution centers or factories to their stores or customers. ZipRecruiter lists the annual salary range of a fleet driver between $18,000 and $48,000, with the national average at $29,992. But pay will vary greatly depending on the retailer.

For example, one of the most well-known private fleets in America -Walmart- announced in 2022 that the salary for the company’s truck drivers would increase to between $95,000 to $110,000 a year. Their drivers enjoy higher-than-average pay, shorter work weeks, and industry-leading benefit packages. The caveat to private fleets is high standards for hiring drivers. Some private fleets require many years of experience and immaculate driving records. Private fleets see extremely low turnover compared to the rest of the trucking industry.


Drivers who want to earn more in the trucking industry go above and beyond the norm to acquire in-demand skills and endorsements that open new and lucrative doors for their careers. Even if you've recently acquired your CDL, these high-paying jobs will be within your reach once you've put in the time and maintained a safe, clean driving record.

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