How Much Do Truck Drivers Make In Tucson, AZ?
Trucking companies need drivers who have the skills to consistently deliver freight safely, on time, and in compliance with government regulations.
According to the May 2020 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average earnings for heavy truck drivers in Tucson is $48,950.
That’s more than many other Tucson professionals make without a degree. Pest control workers, for example, average $38,460 per year. Building maintenance supervisors average $41,750.
Getting Started In a Truck Driving Career
The training you need to get a Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) can be quite affordable, no matter your financial situation.
- You may qualify for tuition assistance.
- Some trucking companies may offer to reimburse your training costs.
Unlike professions that require years of education and training, you can learn the skills to become a well-paid commercial truck driver in a few weeks.
Truck Driver Pay in Tucson, AZ
Tucson truck drivers can earn excellent base pay and also get great bonuses and benefits.
- Per-mile. This is the most common payment method for over-the-road (OTR) and regional drivers.
- OTR drivers may spend weeks or months on the road before taking time off at home. According to Indeed, truck drivers in the Tucson, AZ area make $0.44 to $0.49 per mile.
- Regional drivers serve a specific area of the country. Many regional drivers get home on weekends, or one weekend every 2 weeks. Regional drivers make $0.43 to $0.55 per mile.
- Hourly. This way of getting paid is usually for local and route drivers. According to the BLS, the median hourly wage in Arizona is $17.49 for light truck drivers and $21.48 for transit bus drivers.
- Local drivers operate in an area usually less than 100 miles from home base. Many local drivers get home every night.
- Route drivers typically run to the same destinations during their workweeks. A route driver may get home every night, or a few nights every week.
- Salary. It’s not a common method in the trucking industry, but some companies may offer a weekly or monthly pay rate.
- Percent of Revenue. This method is common for owner-operators. The shipping company pays the driver a portion of earnings from the load.
- Sign-On Bonus. Trucking companies need drivers that will stay with them for a while. If you’re willing to contract with a company to drive for them for 18 months or longer, you might get paid $500 to $1,000 or more right away.
- Performance and Safety Bonuses. Some trucking companies offer incentives for consistent on-time delivery, efficient route planning, fuel savings, safe operation, and more. The payouts typically come out every fiscal quarter.
- Referral Bonus. Trucking companies always need new and experienced drivers. Some companies offer $500 to $1,000 or more incentives for drivers for referrals.
- Holiday Pay. Driving through a holiday could result in additional pay.
- Medical/Dental Plan. Employer healthcare plans may cost you less than what you get on your own. Some include low-cost or no-cost prescription eyeglasses and prescription drugs.
- Stock Ownership.
Trucking stocks have their ups and downs just like stocks in any other industry. But in the long term, they increase in value. If you sign on with a growing company that offers stock participation, you could build up a decent nest egg.
- 401K Plan. A lot of trucking companies match contributions to drivers’ retirement funds.
Endorsements and Certifications Increase Truck Driver Earnings
Double and Triple Trailers
The growth of e-commerce has led to greater demand for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. LTL freight often rides on shorter trailers. A single tractor usually pulls these trailers in combinations of 2 or 3.
A Double/Triple endorsement on a CDL certifies that the driver understands the risks and challenges of hauling trailer combos.
With some companies, you can make a few cents more per mile with a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) endorsement. HAZMAT freight can pose a risk to health and safety if it’s not handled properly. The trucking industry needs drivers with special training to haul hazardous freight.
A few companies may pay HAZMAT drivers a higher rate even when they’re not hauling hazardous freight.
Hauling bulk liquids or gasses comes with a unique set of challenges. Companies need drivers who can handle the extra responsibility.
Tanker drivers are some of the highest-paid in the trucking industry. Many tanker jobs also require a HAZMAT endorsement.
Trucking Specialties Make More Money for Tucson Drivers
Two team drivers on a truck work in shifts, one driving while the other sleeps. Team driving makes the truck available for freight 24 hours a day. That makes driving teams valuable to companies.
For example, drivers who work for Quest Trucking, a company that specializes in team trucking, average $0.62 per mile.
Oversize loads require experience, specialized training, and a permit. The top 10% of oversize haulers make $73,000 to $120,00 per year.
Other high-paying specialized trucking jobs include:
- Fuel truck driver
- Car hauler
- Cattle/livestock carrier
Ready to get started? Begin your trucking career with training from our SWTDT campus in Tucson by requesting more information about our program.
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