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Trucking Wages Are on the Rise

It should be hardly surprising that truck driver wages have been rising in the face of a continuing shortage of qualified drivers need to move the nation’s freight.

According to American Trucking Associations’ most recent survey of driver compensation, truckload drivers (the most common type) were paid an estimated median annual amount of $69,687 in 2021, covering salaries and bonuses, but not including benefits.

This salary figure reflects an 18% increase in annual compensation from that was registered by ATA’s 2019 study and emphasizes the increase in demand for drivers in this sector. Independent contractors at truckload carriers performing nondrayage activities also received estimated median annual pay of $235,000 in 2021.

Over 90% of TL respondents raised driver pay in 2021, offering an average increase of 10.9%. Also, 96% of TL carriers offered a referral bonus to employee drivers with a median value of $1,150 –which is $150 higher than the last survey indicated.

“This was in conjunction with an even more impressive $750 increase in the median sign-on bonus offered by 54% of TL carriers,” ATA said.

Less-than-truckload drivers who hauled freight over-the-road were paid an estimated median amount of $73,000 in 2021. LTL employee drivers on local routes were paid an estimated median amount of $55,000 last year.

In fact, 100% of LTL respondents raised driver pay in 2021, offering an average increase of 2.6%. In addition, 82% of LTL carriers offered a referral bonus to employee drivers with a median amount of $875, which is $80 higher than ATA’s last survey indicated. This was in conjunction with an even greater $1,500 increase in the median sign-on bonus offered by 53% of LTL carriers.

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