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First year truck driver pay

First year truck driver pay

The truth about first year truck driver pay

Misinformation abounds about first year truck driver pay. Usually it boils down to comparing apples and oranges between different companies and pay structures, or “super truckers” boasting about their best-case scenario paychecks. We’re here to help you break through the noise, understand how driver pay really works and find you a driving job that meets your needs.

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  • Schneider pay during your first year

    Whatever type of pay package your driving job features, you have the potential to earn well above the industry average on your W-2 — plus the great benefits above and rapid growth:

    • $45,260 – average industry-wide driver wage for all experience levels (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics).
    • $46,524 – average first-year Schneider truck driver pay (figures throughout this page based on this example).
    • $96,000 – earning potential for Schneider driver, depending on type of driving job.

Full breakdown of first year truck driver pay


Pay starting off – the money you need to get the training you need

  • Paid CDL training options – driving school tuition reimbursement, up-front tuition payment or other funding sources available.
  • Paid orientation – your transportation, lodging and most meals are on us with a set daily pay rate and your first paycheck during your second week.

Pay your first 3-6 months on the job – embrace the learning (and earning) curve

  • 70-80 percent earnings capability – it takes a few months to adjust to the rhythms of the road, but stay the course: the efficiency and consistency you need will come! Never judge your career decision by your first couple paychecks (average $643/week first 3 months, $838/week next 3 months).
  • Keeping perspective – your patience will pay off — in about the time it takes your debt-ridden college friends to finish one semester, you’ll have passed the biggest hurdle of your career.

Pay the last half of your first year – it pays to be patient

  • Now that’s more like it – As you grow as a driver, your paychecks will grow with it, and typically by this stage, you’ll start approaching 100 percent capability. Accordingly, you can expect paychecks to be approaching of $1,100/week within this timeframe.
  • Experience is where the money is – a driver 10 months into the job won’t earn as much as a driver 10 years into the job, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you will climb the pay ladder — with automatic annual increases, regular pay package upgrades and expanding career paths.

Pay beyond your first year - it'll only get better from here!

Start your first year now, earn more sooner.