Long-haul tractor trailer or truck drivers make an average of $38,200 per year or around $18.37 per hour, notes the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The highest-paid 10 percent of workers in this field make more than $58,910 as of 2015, while the lowest-paid make less than $25,110. General freight truckers fair fairly better, bringing in $40,360, while specialized freight truckers make slightly less, with the median wage being $37,7120.
The BLS anticipates a fast-as-average growth in the field for truck drivers by 2022, with an anticipated increase of 11 percent adding 192,600 new jobs to the current 1,701,500 jobs in the industry.
Becoming a truck driver requires a high school diploma or GED, explains the BLS. Some companies also require truck drivers attend a truck driving school to learn how to better drive a large truck. A certificate of completion is given when the driver finishes the school. In addition, all long-haul drivers must have commercial driver's licenses. Requirements for obtaining a commercial driver's license vary from state to state, but usually involves both a written and driving test. Drivers usually must also submit to a physical and take a drug test. If hauling hazardous materials, a Haz-Mat course and certification may also be required. Most companies run a background check on an applicant prior to hiring.