Nevada ranked best state for trucker salaries

June 21, 2019

Tyson Fisher


Some states are more truck-friendly than others when it comes to pay. According to Seek Business Capital’s Best and Worst States for Truck Drivers list, Nevada is the best. Although not a state, Washington, D.C., ranks as the worst.

According to Seek Business Capital, demand for truck drivers is up, which means so are salaries. Pay for truckers in nearly every state has gone up, but some states have larger salaries than others. Although the report mentions the possibility of either a driver shortage or a driver retention problem, one solution to either one is raising pay for drivers.

Nevada leads states with largest average annual trucker driver wages relative to the average worker in that state, and by a rather wide margin:

  • Nevada – $50,920 (20.71% higher).
  • Mississippi – $41,900 (18.21% higher).
  • Kentucky – $45,550 (16.83% higher).
  • Utah – $45,600 (16.79% higher).
  • South Carolina – $44,270 (16.37% higher).
  • Arizona – $45,430 (16.31% higher).
  • New Mexico – $44,460 (15.61% higher).
  • Indiana – $46,210 (12.71% higher).
  • Idaho – $42,010 (12% higher).
  • Montana – $46,100 (11.68% higher).

On the flipside, the nation’s capital ranks at the bottom of the list, with the Northeast dominating the bottom 10:

  • Washington, D.C. – $52,760 (26.21% lower).
  • Connecticut – $49,880 (25.52% lower).
  • Virginia – $42,660 (18.18% lower).
  • New Jersey – $49,080 (17.90% lower).
  • New Hampshire – $45,030 (17.85% lower).
  • Massachusetts – $50,310 (17.57% lower).
  • Maryland – $47,940 (14.59% lower).
  • New York – $50,460 (12.56% lower).
  • California – $47,300 (10.16% lower).
  • Wyoming – $50,200 (9.23% lower).

Although some states in the bottom 10 have larger average salaries for truck drivers than some of the states in the top 10, compared to other workers in the same state, those truckers make significantly less.

The report states that the cost of living in a state plays a role in the rankings. For example, according to, the average trucker salary of $50,200 in Cheyenne, Wyo., has the same cost of living buying power as a salary of $41,818 in Jackson, Miss., which is almost exactly what the average annual salary of a trucker is in Mississippi. The report also notes that a lack of state income tax in Wyoming means more money in the pockets of truckers.

The report also mentions the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s claim that large carriers do not pay competitive salaries, stating that smaller trucking companies tend to pay more. The list of companies with highest average salaries is dominated by smaller carriers, the report points out. Walmart and food and restaurant supply distributor Sysco Corp. were specifically cited as two large carriers who made TDS’s list of companies with the highest average annual salaries for drivers.

Seek Business Capital also notes that several factors come into play when determining the true value of a trucker’s salary and how much an individual trucker can potentially earn. Hazmat certification, type of trailer, miles driven, type of pay and work record are among the many factors involved. Unlike many industries, a college degree holds very little weight in determining pay for truckers.

In addition to the various cost of living and tax rates across the country, other factors can lower the value of the base salary rate. For example, although owner-operators tend to earn more, they also have to pay for expenses that company drivers do not.

To check out the full report, including a breakdown of each state, click here.

According to its website, Seek Business Capital provides consulting services and funding procurement to small businesses across America. Its primary goal is to provide fast access to financing.


Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.