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 USCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$18.50C$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$50,227C$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.

how much is the truck driver salary

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 USPer YearPer 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 CanadaPer YearPer 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 UKPer YearPer 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 AustraliaPer YearPer 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 ZealandPer YearPer 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 IndiaPer YearPer 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 AfricaPer YearPer 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.

CountryUnited StatesCanadaUnited KingdomAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa

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.

One Response

  1. Tori April 27, 2017

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