How Much Money Do Truck Drivers Make in Phoenix, AZ?
Truckers in Phoenix, Arizona, keep the city and nation moving. These drivers travel from one location to another, across inner-city highways and desert roads, day and night, 365 days a year. Truck drivers are a vital cog in the city's economy. But how much money do truck drivers make in Phoenix?
The average earnings for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the Phoenix metropolitan area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Statistical Area) are $49,780 a year, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That's more money than many other trained professionals in Phoenix make. Ambulance drivers, for example, earn $37,210; aircraft service attendants earn $45,220. There are 20,830 heavy truck drivers in the Phoenix metro area, according to the BLS.
How to Become a Truck Driver in Phoenix, AZ
To become a truck driver in Phoenix, you need to:
- Be over the age of 21 (if driving a truck into another state) or over the age of 18 (if you only drive a truck in Arizona)
- Attend a driving school like Southwest Truck Driver Training
- Earn your Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
You can enroll in a driving school and earn your CDL in as little as a few weeks. So there's no waiting for months (or years) to become a Phoenix-based trucker earning good money. Though CDL training programs aren't necessarily inexpensive, becoming a truck driver can be affordable for many people like you. Learn more about financial aid options for truck driving school.
How Do Companies Pay Truck Drivers in Phoenix?
Your compensation structure as a Phoenix truck driver can vary based on your employer, but a common way to think about your earnings as a trucker is to consider:
- Your base salary, which is the minimum amount you will earn before bonuses and benefits.
- Additional compensation, which includes sign-on bonuses, performance bonuses, healthcare benefits, 401Ks, and more.
Most trucking companies in Phoenix and elsewhere pay base salaries in one of four ways:
- Per-mile, when the trucking company pays you for every mile driven.
- Per-hour, when the trucking company pays you for every hour worked.
- A regular salary, when the trucking company pays you a weekly/monthly rate.
- Percent of revenue, when the trucking company pays you a percentage of the revenue from a load.
For over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers, the per-mile pay structure is most common. When you search for jobs, find out from the company when you can earn money. Is it only when the truck is moving? What happens during the times when your truck is being loaded or unloaded?
As a company truck driver, you may also be eligible for:
- Sign-on bonuses, where truckers receive a one-off payment if they agree to drive for a trucking company for a specified amount of time.
- Performance bonuses, where truckers receive incentives for effective route planning, fuel savings, safe driving, on-time deliveries, and other achievements. Companies typically pay these bonuses every quarter.
- Referral bonuses, where truckers receive an incentive for recommending new and experienced drivers to a trucking company.
- Holiday pay, where drivers receive extra money for working on a holiday.
- Healthcare benefits
- Stock ownership
- 401K plan
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make in Phoenix for Every Mile?
- Over-the-Road (OTR) drivers— Phoenix-based truckers that specialize in transporting freight over long distances over weeks at a time earn an average of $0.44 to $0.49 per mile, according to Indeed.
- Regional drivers— truckers in Phoenix that transport freight regionally earn an average of $0.43 to $0.55 per mile.
- Local drivers— truckers that transport freight locally in Phoenix earn an average of $0.42 to $0.71 per mile -- a wide range, but which may reflect a greater variety of types of jobs in this market for local drivers.
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make in Phoenix Per Hour?
How Do Endorsements and Certifications Increase a Truck Driver's Earnings in Phoenix?
Double and Triple Trailers
Truck drivers who transport less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments could earn more money in Phoenix. That's because these loads carry many of the products people purchase online, so there's an enormous demand for drivers to deliver these goods. LTL shipments typically require trailers that come in combinations of two or three, and truckers will need a Double/Triple endorsement on their CDL certificate to drive these trailers.
You could earn more cents per mile with a hazardous material (HAZMAT) endorsement on your CDL. That's because HAZMAT loads pose a health and safety risk if not handled correctly, so drivers who have the skill and care to haul HAZMAT are paid accordingly.
Transporting bulk gasses and liquids also presents health and safety challenges. That's why tanker drivers, who move these dangerous loads from one location to another, are among the highest-paid truckers in Phoenix.
How Do Trucking Specialties Increase a Truck Driver's Earnings in Phoenix?
Team driving involves two drivers on the same truck who take turns to drive the vehicle. (One trucker drives the vehicle while the other trucker sleeps, and vice versa.) These drivers are valuable to trucking companies because they speed up delivery times. A team driver in Phoenix can earn $0.54 to 0.74 per mile.
Truckers who transport oversized loads have specialist training and lots of experience, making them valuable to trucking companies. A trucker specializing in oversized loads could earn significantly more money a year than the average heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver in Phoenix.
A trucker specializing in transporting cattle and livestock typically earns more money than the average heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver in Phoenix.
Are you ready to kick-start your career as a truck driver in Phoenix? Enroll at the SWTDT campus in Phoenix, receive world-class driving lessons, and have the chance to earn your CDL in weeks. Learn more about our Phoenix CDL programs here.
Why Choose Southwest Truck Driver Training?
Several Programs Available
- Class A CDL
- Class B CDL
- Refresher Course
- RV Training
- Military & Veteran Programs
Family Owned & Operated
- Local and Independent
- Modern industry standard equipment
- Military Veterans on staff
Lifetime Job Placement
- Local driving position
- Dedicated route position
- Overt the road postion
- Short-haul job placement assistance
- State-of-the-art Instructional Driving Range
- 4-5 weeks hands-on training
- Tankers, temperature-controlled, and oversized loads