Salary of a Self Owned Tractor Trailer Truck Driver

Tractor-trailer truck owners can find freelance delivery work in several industries.
Tractor-trailer truck owners can find freelance delivery work in several industries. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that around 8 percent of all truck drivers are self-employed and own their own vehicles. Most of these self-employed drivers operate tractor-trailer trucks, which are more commonly used for long-distance deliveries. The salary of a self-owned tractor trailer truck driver depends on the type of goods he delivers.


The average salary of self-employed truck drivers was $33,000 as of 2011, according to Simply Hired. The BLS reports that the average salary for all tractor-trailer truck drivers, including those who own their own trucks, was $39,450 annually, with salaries ranging from less than $24,730 in the 10th percentile to over $57,480 in the 90th percentile.


Tractor-trailer truck drivers, including those who owned their own trucks, earned an average salary of $41,100 working in general freight trucking and $38,690 a year working in specialized freight trucking as of 2010, reports the bureau. Those delivering goods for grocery and related product merchant wholesalers earned an average of $43,530 a year, while those working for specialty trade contractors earned an average of $36,740. In the industry of cement and concrete product manufacturing, the average income of these truckers was $36,110 a year.


According to the bureau, Nebraska had the highest concentration of all tractor-trailer drivers, including those who were self-employed, as of 2010, offering an average salary of $40,600 a year. The highest paying state for these drivers was Alaska with a salary average of $48,250 annually, with Fairbanks as the highest paying metropolitan area in the nation at a salary average of $53,170 and southeast Alaska as the highest paying rural area in the nation at an average of $51,650.


The employment rate for tractor trailer truck drivers is predicted to increase by 13 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the bureau. Job opportunities are more favorable for these drivers, as the demand for long-haul deliveries is higher than for local deliveries, so drivers considering purchasing their own truck may want to consider long distance delivery jobs.

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