The median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $40,260 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $62,010.
In May 2015, the median annual wages for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
General freight trucking
Specialized freight trucking
Drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers usually are paid by how many miles they have driven, plus bonuses. The per-mile rate varies from employer to employer and may depend on the type of cargo and the experience of the driver. Some long-distance drivers, especially owner–operators, are paid a share of the revenue from shipping.
Most heavy tractor-trailer drivers work full time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the hours that a long-haul truck driver may work. Drivers may not work more than 14 straight hours, comprising up to 11 hours spent driving and the remaining time spent doing other work, such as unloading cargo. Between working periods, drivers must have at least 10 hours off duty. Drivers also are limited to driving no more than 60 hours within 7 days or 70 hours within 8 days; then drivers must take 34 hours off before starting another 7- or 8-day run. Drivers must record their hours in a logbook. Truck drivers often work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers
Median annual wages, May 2015
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
Total, all occupations
Motor vehicle operators
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics