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How Much Money Do Truckers Make?

Earning Potential for a CDL Driver

There is really no quick answer to how much a truck driver can make. The amount of money a trucker can make depends on their experience, level of licensing, and type of load being hauled. Entry-level, Over-The-Road (OTR) drivers make on average $45,000 to $60,000 per year to start.

Licenses and Endorsements: 

There are three levels of CDLs: Class A, B, and C. Class A drivers are able to operate all three levels of vehicles, while Class B drivers can operate Class B and C vehicles. At US Truck, we offer both Class A and B CDL training.

Class A CDL:

Starting pay from $45,000 to $60,000

A Class A CDL shows that you are a certified and licensed professional truck driver. Having your Class A CDL means you can drive the following vehicles:

  • Tractor-trailers
  • Truck and trailer combinations
  • Tanker trucks
  • Livestock carriers
  • Double and triple trailers
  • Flatbeds

Class B CDL

Starting pay from $25,000 to $40,000

A Class B CDL shows you are certified to drive vehicles not hitched to a trailer. Class B drivers drive smaller vehicles than Class A. These include:

  • Buses
  • Segmented buses
  • Box trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Cement production

Special Endorsements

CDL drivers often improve their skills and earning potential by leveling up their license, and by getting endorsements. Endorsements are special tests that allow you to haul more dangerous material. For instance, a Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Tanker driver will earn a lot more than a truck driver without endorsements. There is great potential for high increased wages for commercial drivers. The more years they drive, the more money they make.

Types of Endorsements

  • P is for Passengers
  • T is for Tankers
  • H is for Hazmat
  • S is for School bus

Who Can Get a CDL?

You must be 21 years old to apply for a CDL. Some states–including Colorado–allow 18-year-olds to get a single-state license allowing them to drive only in their home state. The single state restriction is automatically removed when a driver turns 21.

Even very experienced drivers go back to school to pick up new endorsements to make more money. At United States Truck Driving School, we have tuition assistance programs to help you get your training without the financial stress. Contact us to earn your CDL or a add a new endorsement, and start making more money today!