BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — When compared to other jobs that do not require a high school diploma, truck drivers are paid rather well — their median income across the U.S. is $23.23 an hour, which is much more than the $18.42 average for other positions requiring similar education.

According to a statement from the American Trucking Associations, this is due in part to the 2020 COVID pandemic making them in much higher demand — leading to trucking fleets offering much larger pay and sign-on incentives. Weekly earnings, they say, have risen to five times their historical average, and since 2019, have been up by more than 25%. However, truck drivers in some states are seeing even more gain from this boom than others.

In order to gather an understanding of just how much truckers make throughout the year — and discover what this data means for the future of their industry — analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Services concerning the median hourly pay for both heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in each state. When these wages were weighed against one another, it was determined that North Dakota is one of the states that pays its truck drivers the most.

RankState/TerritoryHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
1District of Columbia$28.86$60,020
4New Jersey$26.80$55,750
6Rhode Island$24.01$49,950
11North Dakota$23.80$49,510

Although it just barely falls short of the top ten studied areas with the highest wages (only five cents behind Oregon in the #10 position), the salary for a ND trucker is far higher than the national median. An ND truck driver makes a relative income of $23.80 per hour, which amounts to a total median salary of $49,510 annually. In a similar manner, places like Washington D.C. and Alaska report far higher salaries than most — though it should be noted that these areas also have a lower-than-average number of drivers to begin with.

In contrast to these numbers, states like Florida, Virginia, Alabama and Texas report the lowest pay for truckers in the country. The state that pays its drivers the least, according to the study, is West Virginia — where truckers earn a median of $19.05 an hour for a yearly salary of $39,620.

RankStateHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
41North Carolina$22.61$47,020
46South Carolina$22.42$46,640
50West Virginia$19.05$39,620

Despite the surprisingly high pay and benefits, it is noted by the study that there is a serious shortage of truck drivers in certain areas — not only due to increased demand, but also a shrinking labor market, and the physical and emotional weight that can come with the job. With how important freighting services can be in our country, it’s good to know that the industry is still rewarding, and that it will hopefully boom further in the future.

In order to view the full study — including an interactive map showing trucker salaries in every state — visit this page on Truckinfo.