WASHINGTON — Wages for American truckers rose significantly in 2021 as demand for drivers increased competition for talent, according to the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) most recent study.
“The data supports what industry sources have been saying for some time – the driver shortage has been great for drivers who saw their salaries rise last year,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “Pay increases were broad based across the industry, for example between salary increases and bonuses, the average truckload driver saw a wage increase of 10.9% last year.”
As part of the 2022 ATA Driver Compensation Study, fleets with more than 135,000 employee drivers, and nearly 20,000 independent contractors were queried about their compensation, including pay rates, bonuses and benefits.
Among the findings in this year’s survey:
- The median truckload driver earned more than $69,000 in 2021 – an 18% increase from the previous survey.
- More than 90% of truckload fleets raised pay in 2021, with the average increase hitting 10.9%. Ninety-six percent of fleets offered referral bonuses for new drivers, and 54% offered sign-on bonuses.
- Every less-than-truckload fleet surveyed raised pay in 2021, with the median wage hitting 73,000.
- The median salary for a driver at a private fleet was $85,000.
- Non-drayage owner-operators that responded to the survey saw estimated median gross revenues of $235,000 in 2021, while owner-operators in the drayage sector saw median gross revenues of $164,000.
“The driver shortage, coupled with increased demand for goods in the post-pandemic economy, really drove driver salaries,” Costello said. “These pay increases should put to lie the myths about the nature of this job – trucking is a path that can provide a well-paid career for Americans looking for one.”
The full 2022 ATA Driver Compensation Study is available for purchase at ATABusinessSolutions.com.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.