What Factors Can Cause My CDL Pay To Be Higher or Lower?

Becoming a CDL truck driver can be a very lucrative career. Truck drivers carry over 70% of our nation’s freight, which accounts for over $600 billion worth of goods.

Truck drivers also usually have access to great health benefits. Depending on which path someone decides to take when becoming a truck driver, they can earn a very sizable paycheck. Some things that can increase a truck driver’s pay are:

  • Location: Getting a truck driving job in a remote location where there may be high demand for freight, but not enough drivers, can raise the wages for the driver. Some states also pay higher than others. Pay can vary by major city also!
  • Experience: It is no secret that more experienced drivers earn more money. A driver’s earnings can significantly increase just by having a year of experience under their belt.
  • Clean driving record: This is something employers prefer to see, and they will pay more for it!
  • CDL Endorsements: A driver can add different endorsements to their license by taking a knowledge and/or skills test. Double/triple trailers, passenger vehicles, tank vehicles, hazardous materials, tank and hazardous materials combination, and school bus can be added as endorsements.
  • Position: Over the road long haul drivers make the most. OTR specialty drivers can make even more.

To become an over the road long haul truck driver, a commercial driver’s license is needed. In addition, they will need to meet the required DOT standards (such as medical clearance by a physical), pass a drug and alcohol test, and have a clean background check and motor vehicle record.