Trucking is a good field for those who love being on the road. However, very few people choose a profession without the goal of earning money. What is the income of a CDL driver? The amount of a CDL driver salary is determined by a variety of criteria. Let’s take a look at how the CDL driver salary is calculated to give you an idea of what to expect.


cdl sriver salary
How much does a CDL driver make?


1. Average salary for CDL drivers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for truck drivers is $43,680. However, this does not account for drivers who may not work full-time, nor does it evaluate the discrepancies between independent and business drivers. As a result, according to the BLS, yearly income can range from as low as $28,160 to as high as $65,260.


2. Factors that affect CDL truck driver salary

2.1. Experience

The most essential criterion in deciding on a wage is the amount of experience. Naturally, the more years of experience you have, the more money you will earn. 

According to trusted statistics, a truck driver with less than two years of experience may expect to earn around $18,100 per year. CDL truck drivers with two to five years of experience can get $22,200 per year, which is 23% more than drivers with less than two years. Furthermore, five and ten years drivers can get $31,400 per year. Additionally, CDL Truck Drivers with ten to fifteen years of experience earn $36,700 a year, which is 17% more than someone with five to ten years of experience. If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is $40,400 per year, 10% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience. Finally, individuals with more than twenty years of professional experience earn $42,700 per year, which is 6% higher than those with fifteen to twenty years of experience.


Experience Salary
Less than 2 years $18,100
2-5 years $22,200
5-10 years $31,400
10-15 years $36,700
15-20 years $40,400
More than 20 years $42,700


2.2.  Education

We all know that better education leads to a greater wage, but how much more money can you earn with a degree? 

A CDL truck driver salary average annual pay is $22,200 when they have completed high school. With a Certificate or Diploma, a CDL driver earns $31,000 /year, which is 40% more than someone with a High School diploma. A Bachelor’s Degree holder has an average annual income of $43,900, which is 42 percent higher than a Certificate or Diploma.


Certificate Salary
High school graduate certificate $22,000
Certificate or Diploma $31,000 
Bachelor’s Degree $43,900


2.3. Gender

Despite the fact that gender should have no bearing on salary, it does. So, who makes more money, men or women? On average, male CDL truck drivers in the United States make 6% more than their female colleagues. According to, male truck drivers earn approximately $30,400/year while the female rate is only $28,800. 


3. Top 3 highest truck drivers’ jobs salary


3.1. Ice Road Drivers

Salary: $60,000 to $78,000/season (3-4months)

Ice road truck drivers work in the Canadian wilderness, deep in the country’s northern latitudes. They take on a great deal of risk as they carry merchandise to isolated communities and mining sites over difficult terrain and perilous road conditions. Optimal circumstances for these cargoes only occur for a few months out of the year, and during that time, these drivers make a full year’s wage, allowing them to explore other options or enjoy their time off during the offseason.

To become an ice road trucker, you’ll need many years of experience and a track record of safe operation, as well as knowledge of a wide range of equipment, including flatbed, large loads, hazmat, dry van, reefer, and more. It’s one of the most difficult, but also one of the most lucrative, ways to drive a truck.


cdl drivers salary
Ice road truck is the highest salary for CDL


3.2. Liquids / Tanker drivers

Salary: $75,000

These are the people that deliver things like water, gas, and gasoline. Because of the mechanics of liquids in huge containers, even a simple quick turn or slamming on the brakes too hard might result in an instant tragedy. A hazardous liquid load problem, such as gasoline or liquid propane, can result in massive fireballs and severe heat. Acids and toxic gases are also part of the danger mix for liquids/tanker drivers, and other drivers on the road typically give them a wide distance. Liquids/tanker drivers are compensated for the exceedingly risky cargoes they transport and the great degree of competence they display in properly transporting these chemicals. To ensure that you can drive a tanker, you must own a CDL Tanker Endorsement. Thus, reading the CDL Tanker Endorsement Study Guide is a good idea.


3.3. Hazmat Drivers

Salary: $55,000 to 73,000 or more

CDL Hazmat drivers must maintain a high level of alertness at all times. Their cargoes are hazardous and extremely poisonous, and any mishap has the potential to cause a disaster, resulting in death, a lengthy and expensive clean-up, and lost earnings for the driver and firm. To operate a Hazmat vehicle, drivers must maintain their CDL Hazmat Endorsement. You can’t miss our CDL Hazmat Endorsement Study Guide to achieve the Hazmat Endorsement easily. 

Hazmat drivers often make significantly more than drivers driving a regular dry van, reefer, or flatbed unit due to the necessity for specialist equipment in many cases, as well as the added dangers and obligations connected with delivering hazardous goods.


4. What are the FAQs about CDL driver salary?


4.1. How much do CDL driver salary make in Washington State?

In Washington, the average CDL driver salary is $54,000 per year. CDL driver wages in Washington may range from $23,500 to $93,500, depending on a variety of criteria such as abilities, experience, employer, incentives, tips, and more.


4.2. What is the lowest CDL driver salary in the US?

The lowest salary for a CDL Driver in the United States is $34,308 per year.


cdl truck driver salary
CDL truck driver is quiet good earn job


4.3. What is the highest CDL driver salary in the US?

The highest salary for a CDL Driver in the United States is $76,642 per year.


4.4. What is the best state for CDL driver salary in the US?

Here is the list of the top 5 highest states for CDL driver salary:

  • Alaska – $59.700
  • District of Columbia – $55.400
  • New York – $55.300
  • Wyoming – $55.000
  • North Dakota – $54.600


In short, we already provided you with the key information on the CDL driver salary, which are the factors that can impact the wage rate, as well as the type of CDL job that can get the highest salary for you to consider. In addition, after reading this article, if you are interested in becoming a CDL truck driver, start now by doing our CDL practice test, which provides learners the opportunity to practice and score high on the actual exam!