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FreightWaves Ratings introduces first-ever truck driver pay guide

Have you ever wondered how much you could make as a truck driver? Or if you’re already a driver, have you wondered how much you could make driving for another company?

In our newly unveiled FreightWaves Ratings Driver Pay Guide, we have an answer for you.

Representatives from nearly 100 fleets provided FreightWaves with compensation and incentive data, and Tuesday that list is live on FreightWaves Ratings, completely free of charge. We were surprised by what we learned.

First of all, $58,000 is the median yearly pay for brand-new CDL holders (drivers with less than one year of experience). And those same drivers might very well receive a sign-on bonus too.

The median sign-on bonus for rookie drivers came in at $3,000. Some familiar names like KLLM and Saia reported up to $10,000 and $7,500 for bonuses, respectively. Others, like A.N. Webber, Decker Truck Line, Howell’s Motor Freight, NFI and Tranco Logistics, offer $5,000.

Note that you’re not tied to looking at the data on a purely national level. You can also sort by specific U.S. region to see which companies near you have the most competitive compensation packages.

We hope this guide provides some much-needed context about how far trucking companies are willing to go to find talent right now. We also hope that with future iterations we’ll be able to start better tracking labor market trends. If the last two years have taught the industry anything, it’s that data is king.

We’re grateful to all the companies that participated in this first edition. It does take some boldness to offer pay figures to the public voluntarily.

If you took part in the first survey round but want to update your submission to reflect more current numbers, send me an email. Alternatively, you can complete a survey at this Google Form link.

To see what else we’ve published recently, check out our Top 500 Largest For-Hire Carriers publication or our directories on EV, AV and public freight transportation companies.

Click here for the full 2022 Driver Pay Guide.