As of September 2015, professional drivers without commercial drivers licenses made just under $14 per hour, according to GlassDoor.com. Yearly salaries of non-CDL drivers who drove for Lowe's Companies, Inc., were reported on average between $28,000 and $32,000 per year. A CDL-licensed driver can earn a median wage of $17 per hour, according to PayScale.com; in some cases, yearly salaries may start at $40,000 for new CDL drivers.
TruckDriverSalary.net explains that truck driver salaries depend on location, experience and the company the driver works for. Drivers for shipping companies or large distribution centers can earn up to $68,000 per year. New drivers who lack CDLs earn less money than CDL truckers who have been driving for a long time. Delivery drivers or tow truck drivers, for example, can expect to earn around $22,000 per year.
AllTrucking.com advises entry-level truckers who want to earn higher salaries attend a trucking school that offers job placement to its graduates. In this way, new drivers can gain the experience and qualifications that can lead to higher-paying jobs. Because experience is so highly valued among truck drivers, a non-CDL driver who has built up a good reputation for being professional and reliable can expect to make more than one with little experience.
Drivers who work as independent contractors must negotiate pay for each job. Independent contractors should take travel expenses into consideration when determining pay rates for long-distance hauling work. In some cases, independent drivers who own their own trucks can make more money than those who do not. An experienced independent trucker can make around 60 cents per mile. Drivers who wish to earn high salaries of $100,000 per year or more should work toward acquiring more trucks and operating a distribution company, according to TruckDriverSalary.com.