CDL Truck Driver Pay Continues to Rise

We are seeing aggressive increases in driver pay. In fact we have been watching the trends in CDL Driver pay for a long time, and can’t remember anything quite like it.

Here’s what we know so far.

Freight Waves recently wrote in an article (where they go on to cite numerous specific wage increases at carriers across the country) –

“Demand for truck capacity remains high but the lack of qualified drivers to meet the need is even greater. Elevated consumer spending has resulted in a peaklike freight market for more than a year now, and the reasons why driver employment has been lagging are well known.

Many of the drivers who left the industry at the pandemic’s onset over fears of contracting the virus have yet to return. Low driver school enrollments due to COVID protocols and some 85,000 operators with failed drug tests (according to Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse data) are just some of the obstacles the fleets face.

The result has been a race to raise pay in efforts to recruit and retain drivers even as the driver market may be loosening somewhat.” – FULL ARTICLE

According to BulkTransport Kim Beck vice president of benefits consulting at Cottingham & Butler said –

“average pay increased 10% year-over-year in the tank/bulk segment. “We’ve seen this driver-pay average increase every year now since we’ve been doing this survey, and this year was the most significant increase we’ve seen,” she said.

Average per-mile pay was 55 cents for tank/bulk drivers with less than three years of tenure, 58 cents for three to six years, and 61 cents for more than six years. Those numbers are lower in other segments, Beck said. Forty-five percent of per-mile drivers made $60,000 to $69,999—and no carriers that pay by the mile had drivers averaging more than $100,000 per year.

Compensation by revenue or load increased the most. “We saw a 10-15% increase over the last 18 months in the amount of average pay for the drivers they’re paying by percentage of revenue or load,” Beck said. “On the tank side they were slightly higher, at $74,700 average annual pay, and bulk was $68,300.” As with mileage, 45% averaged $60,000 to $69,999 per year, but 4% of carriers paying by percentage reported drivers averaging more than $100,000 per year.

Hourly tank/bulk drivers averaged $63,400 annually, up 3.4% from 2020, and salaried, or per diem drivers averaged $55,700. “In over-the-road trucking—dry van, refrigerated, and the other segments of trucking—per diem is a little more popular and a little higher pay because they’re out longer,” Beck said. “There’s more of a justified reason for paying per diem.”… FULL ARTICLE

According to Matt Cole writing for CCJ company drivers are looking for more than just immediate pay –

“A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute into truck drivers’ motivations for choosing a particular employment status – either company driver or independent contractor/owner-operator – found that fleets should consider bolstering healthcare and retirement savings options when looking to recruit and retain company drivers. The full survey report can be downloaded on ATRI’s website

A total of 2,097 truck drivers responded to ATRI’s survey, which was open from Aug. 18 through Sept. 17. The majority of respondents (66.2%) where either owner-operators leased to a carrier or owner-operators with their own authority. The remaining 33.8% of respondents were company drivers.

The study found that the top motivations for drivers choosing to be company drivers were: Job Security/Stability, Income, and Healthcare/Retirement Savings.” – FULL ARTICLE

To bring it a little closer to home, here at we have seen steady increases across all segments of CDL truck driver pay. In fact our CDL drivers are averaging 50% more than just a few years ago, and we have literally dozens of jobs most local or regional with $1,600 – $1,800, and even $2000+ weekly guarantees. We have local delivery routes and shuttle runs with 40 – 5- hour weeks paying in excess of $1,600. These positions simply did not exist a few years ago.

When will driver pay stop growing, we estimate no time soon. We do foresee a tight job market for some time to come, and carriers will continue to respond with wage increases. In the short term this means CDL drivers and being shuffled from carrier to carrier, but with the cdl truck driver pay increasing regularly, it should attract new talent to the market, but if it will be enough, and soon enough is anybody’s guess.

Want to see any of the CDL Driver jobs we have? – VISIT OUR CDL TRUCK DRIVER JOBS.