Truck Driver Salary Guide and Career Outlook

The truck driver salary in the United States is $50,227 while in Canada and New Zealand the salary is similar at C$59,526 and NZ$59,520. Even though they complete a similar responsibility in all countries, the pay varies significantly. In India, the salary is Rs 216,000 ($3,305), and in South Africa, it is R118,658 ($9,381).

A truck driver career involves a lot of time on the road. They receive a middle income in some countries and a lower income in others. This truck driver salary guide will cover salary ranges in 7 different countries. The impact of experience and industry on their pay is explored. Finally, the working schedule, benefits, and career outlook for these professionals is covered.

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make per Year by Country?

Truck Driver Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $18.50 C$21.87 ($16.38) E9.92 ($10.65) AU$24.99 ($19.32) NZ$21.52 ($15.18) Rs 103.84* ($1.59) R41.74 ($3.30)
Annual Pay $50,227 C$59,526 ($44,590) E26,240 ($28,177) AU$57,719 ($44,616) NZ$59,520 ($41,991) Rs 216,000 ($3,305) R118,658 ($9,381)

*These figures are estimated based on the other pay information given. This assumes a 40 hour work week.

Truck Driver Salary Influencing Factors

There are different types of truck drivers. All of the truck driver salary information described below captures the snapshot of tractor-trailer truck drivers. This data comes from Payscale. Discrepancies will occur between various salary reporting sites depending on who is entering their salary information.

1. Location

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make in the US?

Truck Driver Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  $32,026  $14.27
Maximum  $75,576  $24.53
Bonus  $36,950  $258.69 – $4,957
Overtime  No additional pay  $20.24 – $35.76
Total Pay  $31,217 – $68,081

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make in Canada?

Truck Driver Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  C$37,397  C$17.59
Maximum  C$90,379  C$30.46
Bonus  C$482.88 – C$8,579  No additional pay
Overtime  C$1,750  C$24.73 – C$49.25
Total Pay  C$37,030 – C$80,284

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make in the UK?

Truck Driver Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  E19,280  E7.98
Maximum  E34,156  E12.73
Bonus  E499.48 – E5,500  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  E9.21 – E17.41
Total Pay  E18,316 – E33,408

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make in Australia?

Truck Driver Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  AU$38,739  AU$20.30
Maximum  AU$94,738  AU$31.14
Bonus  AU$1,000  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  AU$25.18 – AU$49.44
Total Pay  AU$42,427 – AU$77,961

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make in New Zealand?

Truck Driver Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  NZ$48,523  NZ$17.86
Maximum  NZ$89,396  NZ$25.43
Bonus  No additional pay  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  NZ$11.07 – NZ$39.73
Total Pay  NZ$37,983 – NZ$70,640

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make in India?

Truck Driver Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  Rs 150,000  Rs 72.11
Maximum  Rs 510,000  Rs 245.19
Bonus  No additional pay  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  No additional pay
Total Pay  Rs 150,000 – Rs 510,000

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make in South Africa?

Truck Driver Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  R69,796  R25.58
Maximum  R199,340  R58.88
Bonus  R24,255 – R430.00  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  R152.01
Total Pay  R67,251 – R205,605

2. Experience

The pay for truck drivers in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand sees marginal growth between entry-level and late-career drivers. Those working in South Africa see an approximate R10,000 increase from entry-level to experienced drivers. In the United States, truck drivers see moderate growth from beginning to end of their careers.

There is an even split in Australia, Canada, and the United States in terms of most common years of experience of truck drivers who submitted pay information. 28, 29, and 29 percent of the respondents have 1 to 4 years of experience while 26, 27, and 27 percent have 20 or more years of experience. In New Zealand, South Africa, the most common entrant is those with 1 to 4 years of experience. Finally, in the United Kingdom, the majority of truck drivers had 10-19 years of experience.

3. Industry

The most common employers in the truck driving industry in the United States are J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., FedEx, YRC Worldwide Inc., Ruan Transport Corporation and Swift Transportation Corporation.

The most common pay strategy is to engage in paid miles. This involves drawing a straight line between two distances and calculating this rate. An interesting part of the industry is that the driver does not know their salary until the end of the year.

A few truck drivers will own their own semi, but most of them work for a company. They are all required to have their commercial driving license. There are laws set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that drivers can work for a maximum of 14 hours in a day. The goal of this is to reduce accidents and maximize safety.

Schedule & Working Hours

The vast majority of truck drivers work full-time. Long hours and many days on the road are the norm for this occupation. There are different schedules depending on the company you work for and the routes you take. The most common schedule involves being on the road for 1 to 3 weeks at a time.

Truck drivers have flexibility in when they drive. Some drivers prefer to leave early in the morning while others will drive through the night. They have limits in how long they can drive at one time. Some drivers have sleeper cabs in which they can spend their required rest periods in their truck. Other drivers work for companies that pay for their lodging when they are traveling.

Bonuses & Benefits

As with all jobs, a benefit to one person could be a negative to somebody else. People who are truck drivers would state that one of their biggest benefits is the ability to travel and save their money at the same time. They will be gone for extended periods of time. During this time, the company provides a subsidy for their meals and lodging. Therefore, they have minimal opportunity to spend money.

Another benefit of being a truck driver is the low education required to enter the field. Training is necessary to learn how to operate the equipment, but extensive schooling is not.

The table below shows healthcare coverage by country. There is a clear divide in coverage between the United States and Canada and the rest of the countries covered. For example, healthcare coverage in the United States is provided for 71 percent of truck drivers, while in New Zealand only 20 percent receive coverage.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 71 69 10 5 20 30
Dental 58 61 5 2 0 2
Vision 50 50 5 2 0 3
None 27 28 87 95 80 70

Career Outlook

Truck drivers in the United States have a 5 percent growth projected until 2024. This is similar to the average for all fields. Their employment is heavily tied to the economy. When the economy is good, truck drivers are needed to transport goods. Another factor that will impact their job is technology. Companies such as Google are researching self-driving trucks.

Employers have a hard time finding long-term truck drivers as it is a very demanding lifestyle. The most linear career trajectory is to progress from a deck worker to a truck driver to an operations manager. Females can expect to be a sever minority in this job. In New Zealand, 94 percent of truck drivers are male while in Australia that number reaching 99 percent. New Zealand has the highest amount of women truck drivers.


A truck driver career is a lifestyle choice as much as a career choice. You will be gone from home for long periods of time. In addition, you will get to travel and see all parts of the United States. The truck driver salary is high, but there are a lot of sacrifices that come with this salary. Much like a flight attendant, travel is a major part of the job. If you enjoy being on the road and driving, then this could be the perfect fit for you.

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