What Determines Truck Driver Salary

Commercial drivers are essential for the American economy and the average truck driver salary continues to increase due to a driver shortage and the growing need for qualified haulers. After completing your commercial driver’s license (CDL) training, you will have a sense of pride that comes from being part of the trucking industry and you can earn more than $65,000 a year*.

Driver pay is determined in part by the number of miles driven, your experience, and the type of freight you haul. 


The majority of long-haul truck driving jobs pay by the mile rather than by the hour. This means that how much you earn is partially dependent on how far you drive. Taking on longer routes and driving efficiently can increase your pay. 

You may also want to consider team truck driving. For these jobs, two drivers will haul together so one drives while the other sleeps. This allows you to cover more miles and as a result, you can take home a larger paycheck. Many trucking companies offer team matching based on your personality and professional preferences. 

CDL Driver Experience

The amount you get paid per mile can vary depending on your work history. Experienced drivers are in high demand and truck driver salary tends to increase for those who have been in the industry for a longer period of time. 

Type of Freight

Hauling freight comes with a great deal of responsibility, as you are trusted to ensure that the cargo you transport arrives safely. Trucking companies often pay more per mile for types of freight that involve additional safety concerns. 

These include:

Flatbed Loads

Flatbed loads are often high-paying due to the complexity of securing oversized freight. In many cases, driving a flatbed also requires more expertise than driving a standard tractor-trailer. 

Hazardous Materials

Hauling hazardous materials (hazmat) requires a CDL endorsement and strict adherence to safety standards. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, you will earn your hazmat endorsement, giving you the ability to transport this higher-paying freight. 


Tanker trucks transport liquids or gases. Like hazmat, you will need an endorsement if you want to take these types of truck driving jobs. Sometimes, a combination of tanker and hazmat endorsements is required. You will earn both at our CDL School.

Start Earning a High Salary as a Truck Driver

If you are interested in starting a career as a truck driver, you should consider attending Phoenix Truck Driving School. Our programs help you earn your CDL as well as three endorsements: hazmat, tankers, and doubles/triples. We also offer job placement assistance for our students, making it easier for you to find a job with the pay, benefits, and home time that best matches your needs. 

Truck driver salaries are increasing as the demand for truckers continues to grow, so don’t wait to earn your CDL. Call us today to learn more about our programs.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $49,920. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $75,220 per year according to the 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Different Types of CDL Jobs

Earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is the first step toward a rewarding career. There are many different types of CDL jobs that you can consider. The pay scale, home time, and work involved vary, so you can pick the job that is best suited to your desired lifestyle and salary expectations. 

Some CDL jobs include: 

Truck Driving Jobs

When people think of jobs you can get with a CDL, they will most often think of trucking jobs first. These drivers transport goods and materials locally or cross-country. 68% of all consumer goods are transported by semi-trucks. This means that truck drivers are in high demand and many trucking companies are eager to hire new CDL drivers. Within the broad category of truck driving jobs, there are many options for different types of careers.

Types of truck driver jobs based on location:


Over-the-road (OTR) trucking is an umbrella term for jobs that require truck drivers to travel long distances. These routes are essential for interstate commerce and the need for experienced OTR drivers is growing. Although these drivers spend more time away from home, the pay is usually higher than local CDL jobs. 

Local or Regional Trucking

If you prefer to stay close to home, you may be interested in a local or regional driving route. This type of driving involves transporting goods within your city or state (local) or within a radius of a few states (regional). 

Different types of freight:

Dry Vans

This is a common choice for truckers just beginning their careers. A dry van is a tractor-trailer that is used to haul dry and easy-to-transport goods and materials. 


Refrigerated trucks, also called reefers, transport freight that must be kept at a low temperature. These jobs often pay more than dry van hauling as they require the extra responsibility of keeping the goods at a regulated temperature. 


Tankers are vehicles that transport liquids, dry bulk, or gaseous loads. Since safety is a larger concern for these types of trucks, you must have a tanker endorsement with your CDL. This type of job may also require a hazmat endorsement depending on the type of material in the tanker. 

Flatbed Trucks

Flatbed trucks do not have a traditional trailer and instead will require you to secure materials by tying them down. Those who drive these trucks can make more due to the additional skill it takes to properly secure freight.

CDL Jobs Besides Trucking

Although truck driving jobs are among the most common, there are many other types of CDL jobs. 

These include:

Highway Maintenance Technician

These individuals complete highway construction and repair projects which may require large vehicles such as dump trucks, concrete mixers, or paint trucks. 


Dispatchers communicate with truck drivers using a radio, track commercial vehicles, and act as the liaison between trucking companies and their drivers. This job is most commonly performed by those who have worked as CDL drivers in the past. 

Tractor-Trailer Technician

Although you do not usually need a CDL to service and repair semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, having your license can make you a more attractive candidate for this position. Knowing what the drivers deal with can help when repairing a vehicle. 

Interested in CDL Jobs?

If you are interested in a high-paying CDL driver job, you should consider attending Phoenix Truck Driving School. We will help you earn your CDL and we provide job placement assistance for our students, many of whom receive job offers before graduation. 

Contact us today to learn more about how earning your license with us can be an important step on the path to a CDL job.