The Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) opens up opportunities for great money in trucking! Without one, you’re not eligible for the awesome pay, bonuses, and benefits truck driving has to offer. The industry and the country are in need of CDL drivers, and companies are paying well for them!

How much money are we talking?

There are a lot of ways to earn once you have your CDL and have signed on with a carrier. The amount really depends on the reputation you make for yourself and the company that hires you.

Starting Pay

CDL truck drivers can begin their jobs with a great starting pay. When they’re ready to move up, the trucking industry offers other CDL positions that could pay even more money.

Solo Truck Driver – Driving a truck cross-country on your own could earn you $40,000 – $45,0001 your first year on the road!

Team Driver – When there are two CDL drivers, the truck can move greater distances in a shorter amount of time. Team drivers can make $100,000 – $150,0001 between them!

Dedicated Driver – A dedicated driver makes runs for one specific company. Dedicated drivers can make $45,000 to $65,0001 in a year.

Trainer – After a CDL driver has spent a few years driving a truck, they can apply to train new drivers. Truck driver trainers can make $60,000 to $80,0001 a year!


Each carrier company will have its own set of benefits for CDL drivers. Since truck drivers need to be healthy and happy, they could be offered industry benefits like

  • Paid vacation
  • Paid sick time
  • Medical and dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Job security
  • Flexible schedules
  • 401k retirement plans and more


Each carrier company is different but could offer bonuses such as:

Monthly mileage – Some carriers pay their drivers extra when they reach a certain amount of miles. You could be able to earn money for driving longer distances and extra pay just because you drove them with your company!

Sign-on bonus – Competing carriers sometimes offer sign-on bonuses for drivers who choose to work for their company. That’s something you can find out beforehand to ask a carrier representative.

Fuel efficiency – By saving fuel as you drive, you prove to your carrier that you are a cost-conscience truck driver. Carriers really appreciate that, and many reward their drivers for cutting down on fuel.

Safety pay – Proving that you can safely drive a tractor-trailer means more than good business, it means saving lives! Carriers strive for safe driving and may offer bonuses for proven safety out on the highways.

Layover pay – Drivers might be delayed by things that are completely out of their control. Some carriers offer layover pay as a way of compensating truck drivers for lost time when that happens.

Clean DOT Inspections – Clean Department of Transportation inspections are good for both the driver and the company. Carriers know this, and many pay bonuses to their truck drivers for clean inspections.

Referral bonus – Having a friend sign up for your carrier company could lead to even more money!

How does it work?

When someone wants to work as a truck driver, moving trailers and cargo that weigh many tons across the country, they need to prove that they can do it responsibly. The CDL test requires takers to answer essential truck driving questions and prove driving skill. The test covers topics like driving, backing, knowledge of the road, and safe practices among others.

After you’ve earned your CDL, you can then apply to trucking jobs. Top carriers look for things like experience and driving record, or at the truck driving school the applicant went to. If you haven’t already driven on the road for years, then truck driving school is a great place to start!

Roadmaster Truck Driving School

Trainees at Roadmaster Truck Driving School learn essential skills to drive a truck and how to be a safe and reliable addition to the truck driving industry! Roadmaster courses go over the material covered on the CDL test and allow trainees to drive real trucks. What’s more, visits from carrier representatives and our Job Placement assistance program teach trainees what to expect and how to apply to trucking jobs once they’ve graduated.

1Wage info supplied by Werner Enterprises

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*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises