Truck Driver Pay Scale

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Tractor-trailer truck drivers haul items long distance.
Tractor-trailer truck drivers haul items long distance. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Truck drivers usually deliver goods or packages to consumers or businesses. Tractor-trailer or semi truck, delivery truck and route sales drivers are the three main types. Tractor-trailer truck drivers transport products to retail and wholesale stores. Many of these drivers travel overnight on the interstate. Delivery truck drivers bring packages or freight to individuals and businesses. Route sales drivers deliver food or other products directly to customers.

Median Wages

Tractor-trailer truck drivers earned median wages of $18.16 per hour or $37,770 a year in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent earned salaries between $14.55 and $22.56 per hour or $30,270 and $46,920 annually. Delivery truck drivers earned median hourly rates of $13.77 or $28,630 per year. The middle half earned median hourly wages of $10.37 to $18.79 or $21,570 to $39,080. Route sales drivers earned median wages of $10.84 per hour or $22,540 per year. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.53 and $16.33 per hour or $17,740 and $33,960 per year.

Wages by Industry

Truck driver salaries can vary considerably by industry. For example, tractor-trailer truck drivers earned their highest average wages working in the postal service industry at $25.98 per hour or $54,040 per year, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earned significantly lower salaries transporting products for cement and concrete workers at $17.36 per hour or $36,110 per year. Delivery truck drivers also earned the highest hourly rates in the postal services industry at $24.75 or $51.470 annually. These workers earned considerably lower average wages working for furniture stores at $12.07 per hour or $25,110 per year. Route sales drivers earned highest average wages transporting consumer chemicals at $20.50 per hour or $42,640 per year. They earned considerably less working for vending machine operators at $14.33 per hour or $29,810 per year.

Salary by State

Truck drivers' pay can vary by state. For example, tractor-trailer truck drivers earned some of the highest wages in Nevada at $22.34 per hour or $46,470 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earned somewhat less in Ohio at $19.18 per hour or $39,890 per year. Delivery truck drivers earned some of their highest hourly rates in Maryland at $17.39 or $36,170 per year. They earned somewhat lower wages in Texas at $14.93 per hour or $31,060 annually. Route sales drivers earned some of the highest wages in Washington state at $15.46 per hour or $32,150 per year. They earned lower hourly rates in Tennessee at $11.67 or $24,280 per year.

Metropolitan Area

Tractor-trailer truck drivers earned the highest wages in the Danville, Illinois area at $25.15 per hour or $52,320 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earned considerably less in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas area at $18.22 per hour or $37,890 per year. Delivery truck drivers earned high wages in the Dover, Delaware metropolitan area at $19.95 per hour or $41,490 annually. Those in the Rockford, Illinois area earned lower average wages at $14.05 per hour or $29,230 per year. And route sales drivers earned high hourly rates in the Taunton-Norton-Raynham, Massachusetts metropolitan area at $21.77 or $45,290 per year. Those in the Springfield, Ohio area earned significantly lower average wages at $11.83 per hour or $24,600 per year.

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