Trucking in the United States is one of the biggest and most important industries in the country. According to the United States Department of Labor, over 1.7 million people in the United States work as tractor-trailer drivers. The average hourly wage for truckers in that year was just under $21, with an average salary of $43.5 thousand. Newer truckers often make less, while more experienced veteran truck drivers tend to make more. Not all states are created equal when it comes to the trucking industry, however. Some states and metropolitan areas have far more truck drivers than others. In this article, we will see which areas have the most truckers.
States That Have the Most Truck Drivers
The states in the following list have the highest amount of employed truck drivers. This does not mean that these states have the highest average salaries for truck drivers, however. This is simply a list of the size of the nation’s top trucking hubs.
- Texas comes in at the top of the list with over 172,000 people employed as truck drivers. 15 of every 1000 jobs in Texas belongs to truckers. Texas has a reputation for being a major trucking industry epicenter and continues to increase its portion of the industry each year.
- California is second on the list with over 130,000 truck drivers. Eight of every 1,000 jobs in California belong to a trucker.
- Pennsylvania is a state that may surprise some people, but it comes in third for the most truckers in the country. Almost 80,000 truck drivers call Pennsylvania home, and 13 of every 1,000 jobs belong to truckers.
- Florida is fourth on the list with about 77,500 truckers. Nine of every 1,000 jobs in the state belong to truckers.
- Ohio is another name that may surprise some, but about 71,000 truck drivers call this state home. Out of every 1,000 jobs, 13 belong to truck drivers.
Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Number of Truckers
Below are the nation’s top metropolitan areas for truckers.
- New York-Jersey City-White Plains metropolitan area has almost 40,000 truck drivers.
- Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area in Texas has the second most resident truckers. Most are located in and around Houston, but the whole area boasts about 39,000.
- The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metropolitan area in Illinois comes in third with about 37.5 thousand resident truck drivers.
- Dallas-Plano-Irving shows that once again Texas is inundated with truck drivers. The metropolitan area has over 34,000 trucking jobs.
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell in Georgia has over 32,000 resident truckers, placing it fifth on the list.
What Is the Best State for Truck Drivers?
North Dakota lays claim to the title of the best state for truck drivers based on their average salary. The average tractor-trailer truck driver makes almost $54,000 per year. Bismarck has the highest average wages for truckers at about $56,000 per year. The top two paying non-metro areas in the country are far west and west-central North Dakota. While North Dakota does not make it into the top five states for most truckers, it does rank highly with about 32,000 resident truck drivers. It also has a significantly high proportion of truckers relative to the population, with one of every nine jobs being a trucking job.
Alaska pays the second-best average wage for truckers at about $53.5 thousand. Massachusetts comes in third with just under $50,000 per year, and Nevada’s average trucking salary is $49.5 thousand. The fifth best-paying state is not a state at all: Washington, D.C. pays, on average, just over $49,000 per year for trucking jobs.