Truck drivers in the United States make $42,500 per year. In Canada, truck driver salary is C$44,866 ($34,294 USD) per year. Salaries in the United Kingdom run between £18,500 ($23,084 USD) and £35,000 ($43,675 USD) annually. Average earnings stand at AU$51,584 ($39,629 USD) for truck drivers in Australia, CHF74,998 ($74,759 USD) in Switzerland, and NOK 409,200 ($48,807 USD) in Norway.
Truck Driver Salary Influencers
The pay for truck drivers depends on the type of employer, whether the driver belongs to a union, the country of employment and the nature of the cargo. Although, to a lesser extent, the experience can shape the pay.
Generally, the truckers work in the private sector. Truck drivers generally work for freight companies. In the United States, “General Freight Trucking” companies employed the most truckers, at 602,940. While, companies in the “Specialized Freight Trucking” sector had 245,700 truckers.
The type of cargo hauled by truck drivers can influence salary. For instance, according to PayScale, truckers in the United States who transport hazardous materials make nine percent above average. In Canada, truckers who deal with “dangerous goods” earn 29 percent above average.
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Truck Driver Salary in the US
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers” made about $42,500, as of May 2015. The median salary stands at $40,260, with the top ten percent of earners making more than $62,010 per year.
Truck Driver Salary in Canada
According to PayScale, the median pay for a “Truck Driver, Heavy/Tractor-Trailer” is C$21.58 per hour or C$44,886 per year. So, total pay runs between C$36,557 and C$79,608 per year.
Truck Driver Salary in the UK
In the United Kingdom, “Large goods vehicle drivers” make between £18,500 and £35,000 annually.
Truck Driver Salary in Australia
PayScale reports that “Truck Driver, Heavy/Tractor-Trailer” pay is around AU$24.80 per hour. This translates to AU$51,584 per year. Truck drivers in Australia earn between AU$42,107 and AU$78,142 per year.
Truck Driver Salary in Switzerland
According to Salary Explorer, courier, delivery and transport drivers make about CHF6,249 per month. So, this translates to CHF74,998 per year.
Truck Driver Salary in Norway
Statistics Norway reports that, in 2016, “Heavy Truck and Lorry Drivers” earn a median monthly salary of NOK34,100 or NOK409,200 per year.
In certain countries, the length of the work history does not overall influence earnings in a significant manner.
According to PayScale, entry-level heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers make on average $17.40 per hour or $36,192 per year, in the US. While, experienced ones earn about $19.09 per hour, which equates to an annual full-time salary of $39,707.
PayScale reports that the median salary for entry-level truck drivers in Canada, is C$48,000, with the median reaching C$51,000 after five years of experience. Even after 20 years of experience, the median pay reaches just C$54,000.
For starting truck drivers in the United Kingdom, pay ranges between £18,500 and £22,000. While, for “Experienced” drivers, the salary runs from £23,000 to £28,000. “Highly Experienced” truck drivers make between £27,000 and £35,000 per year.
In Australia, the median salary of truck drivers runs from AU$52,000 at the entry-level stage to AU$55,000 after 20 years. Generally, median salary generally stays level with experience.
Truck driving is generally a full-time occupation.
Rules and regulations typically limit the amount of time truck drivers work at a particular time. For instance, in the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits drivers to fourteen hours of work at a particular time, with a limit of 11 hours of driving and three hours of loading, unloading and other duties. Drivers must take ten hours off between shifts and cannot work more than 60 hours within a seven-day period.
In Canada, driving caps include, but are not limited to, 13 hours of driving and 14 hours on-duty hours in a single day, unless the carrier grants eight hours off duty before driving again. Generally, truck drivers in Canada must spend at least ten hours off duty per day.
Drivers in Switzerland and Norway must have at least 11 consecutive hours of rest, or three straight hours then another nine hours of rest, per day. The United Kingdom limits the driving time to ten hours and on-duty time to 11 hours per day.
According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook, nine out of ten truck drivers work full-time and the average work week is 45.5 hours. Australia’s truck driver regulations limit, among other things, drivers to ten hours of driving in an 11-hour period and 12 hours during a 24-hour period.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
According to PayScale, experienced truck drivers in the United States fetch bonuses between $347.95 and $4,911. For truck drivers in Canada, bonuses range from C$487.22 to C$6,953, while bonuses in Australia go up to AU$505.
PayScale reports that truck drivers in the United Kingdom receive bonuses ranging from £499.48 to £5,750. Statistics Norway reports that truck drivers earn bonuses averaging NOK400 on a monthly basis, or NOK4,800 per year.
In Australia, Switzerland, and Norway, employees are generally entitled to paid annual leave. Employers in these countries are required to contribute to employee pensions. Switzerland’s three-tier retirement system affords benefits for truck drivers through Old Age and Survivors/Disability Insurance, mandatory employer contributions and voluntary employer contributions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a five-percent rise in employment of truck drivers through 2024. While demand for drivers is strong due to greater consumer spending for products, the long hours and days away from home have limited the numbers of those pursuing truck driving.
The aging of current truck drivers may also contribute to a shortage of truck drivers. For example, in Norway, the average age of truckers is approaching 50 years old. According to the Norway Road Haulers Association, Norway is experiencing a shortage of 3,000 truck drivers. Norway also does not gear its education system toward the training of truck drivers.
According to the Australian Government, the country had 173,000 truck drivers as of November 2015. By November 2019, the government projects above 50,000 openings for truck drivers.
Demand among employers for truckers should remain strong as customers and others purchase consumer goods, commodities, inventory, and supplies. Certain countries have experienced shortages in these positions because of factors such as the requirement of long periods away from home and the lack of emphasis placed on it by formal education systems. Normally, truck drivers are trained by professional truck driving schools.
Salaries will depend especially upon the type of freight, skills of the driver and the size of the employer.