How much money you can make as a Class A CDL trained truck driver is an important question to ask! If you’re willing to commit to the lifestyle that a truck driving job demands, you should probably understand how much money you can make. Unlike certain careers with a set salary, truck drivers have many advantages that let them earn varying amounts of money. Driver pay varies from things like company, location, the type of driving you do, the number of miles you drive and the experience you have under your belt. The best news is that new truck drivers will find competitive wages and great incentives due to the current high demand. As you’ll see below, there are many opportunities to earn money as a Class A CDL truck driver! Driver Pay Truck driver pay is usually determined by a rate per mile instead of a rate per hour. However, specific training and certain carriers may pay their truck drivers an hourly, daily, or weekly rate. Orientation/training pay – Typically when you begin with a carrier, you’ll undergo specialized training with a company driver. Some carriers set a standard pay rate while you train. For example, Covenant pays $450-$525 a week for the first 35 days for their new Hazmat drivers.* After that, their rate is calculated per mile. Types of Driving Solo OTR Driver – Solo truck drivers make up a large percentage of the workforce. Their earnings vary depending on the available bonuses offered by their carrier. That’s why having the option to choose your carrier is such a great benefit! First year drivers average $40,000-$45,000 their first year.** Team OTR Driver – Working in a pair means you can clock longer distances. When there are two truck drivers, the work can be switched off while the other driver rests or relaxes. Because both drivers are compensated for the combined mileage, there’s typically more money to be had. Teams can average up to $100,000-$150,000 a year!** Trainer – After you’ve spent a few years on the road, you can apply to positions to train new drivers. You could then earn truck driver trainer pay and can average $60,000-$80,000 a year.** Gaining enough knowledge and experience to train new drivers can really make a difference in pay! Owner-Operator – If you like the idea of running your own business instead of working for an employer, consider becoming an owner-operator once you have gotten adequate experience working for a carrier. Owner-operators can earn a greater rate-per-mile by cutting out the middleman and signing contracts directly with companies. As an owner-operator, you could eventually have your own fleet of drivers! Bonuses Monthly mileage – Some carriers pay extra to drivers who hit company thresholds for miles. Earn money for driving the longer distances and earn extra pay just because you drove them with your company! Sign-on bonus – In order to attract new truck drivers, competing carriers will sometimes offer sign-on bonuses for drivers selecting their company. The amount differs from carrier-to-carrier and can be a whole sum or gradual payments. Fuel efficiency – By using various fuel-saving practices, you prove to your carrier that you are a cost-conscience truck driver. Carriers appreciate that and many reward their drivers for cutting down on fuel. Safety pay – Carriers strive for safe driving and may even offer bonuses for proven safety out on the highways. Proving that you can safely drive a tractor-trailer means more than good business, it means saving lives! Layover pay – If you are inconvenienced or stalled in the delivery process, some carriers offer layover pay as a way of compensating truck drivers for the time lost. Benefits While benefits are not direct money, they can be of great value to drivers. Before deciding on a carrier, you can determine if their benefits fit your preferred type of lifestyle. Benefits in trucking can include – Paid vacation – Paid sick time – Medical and dental insurance – Life insurance – Job security – 401k retirement plans and more CDL Training at Roadmaster In order to become a CDL truck driver, you first need to get your truck driver training and pass your CDL exam. We can help you there! Roadmaster’s industry experts will work with you behind-the-wheel and in the classroom to make sure you have the skills needed to successfully obtain your Class A CDL. Where can you start? Chat now with a Roadmaster representative or fill in the information below to get a conversation started. See options for CDL training and find a course schedule that fits your life! Discover what opportunities you have to make money as a CDL truck driver today! *Covenant info supplied by 2016 Covenant Transport Student Program brochure **wage info supplied by Werner Enterprises
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