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Trucker work in the USA: how long do you need to study, how to find your company and where they pay more

Trucking is very popular among Russian-speaking immigrants in America. This is because it does not require long training and at the same time is well paid. In addition, the field of cargo transportation is constantly expanding, so there is always enough work for truckers.

Photo: Shutterstock

However, it will not work just to come from the street, show your license issued at home and immediately get behind the wheel. To become a trucker in America, you need to undergo training and pass a large and difficult test. In addition, the salary is highly dependent on the choice of the company and the category of transportation, and here an inexperienced immigrant can easily make a mistake. We asked representatives of the trucking companies TruckStaff Solutions и EnergyTrucking put everything on the shelves so that our readers understand where to start their journey in cargo transportation, where to go and how to choose a suitable employer.

How to get a truck driver's license in the USA

In order to work as a trucker in America, you need to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).

The process for obtaining a CDL consists of three parts:

  • Passing a medical examination (it can be completed in one day)
  • Surrender theory
  • Delivery of driving (practical part)

On the subject: Truck business in the USA: where to start, what to do and where to go

The theoretical part for track drivers includes 3 tests:

  • General Knowledge (general knowledge) - the most extensive test, consisting of 300 questions;
  • Air Brakes (pneumatic brakes) - a narrowly special test (about 80 questions);
  • Combination Vehicles - aimed at practicing the coupling between the trailer and the tractor (about 80 questions).

After passing the theoretical part, a Temporary Driving Permit is issued, it is valid for 180 days, during which you can learn to drive, including on the road in the presence of a driver of the required category.

The practical part also consists of 3 stages: analysis of the technical condition of the vehicle (inspection before departure), theoretical foundations of management and driving itself.

In some states, before passing the practical part, it is required to complete training in a specialized school of truck drivers, and there are regions in which this is not necessary, and the driver can study on his own or resort to the help of a friend.

Preparation for tests (both at school and on your own) is an individual process and progresses at the speed with which you are able to assimilate new information.

As for the duration of the CDL exam itself, you can keep within two months.

Company specialists TruckStaff Solutions will help you decide on the choice of school, tell you which state is best to take exams and answer all your questions. Call + 1-888-598-4707 or get advice on the website (

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

How to find a job that is right for you as a tracker in America

After receiving the CDL, drivers start looking for work and very quickly realize that they need another school to teach them how to understand confusing terms in ads. They can advise on incomprehensible words in TruckStaff Solutions... The company's specialists helped us compile a list of the most common concepts.

When looking for a job, it is important to know the categories of truck drivers in the United States and understand what the drivers are doing in each of them.

  • Auto Haulers - transport cars, motorcycles, agricultural vehicles and other large equipment
  • Dry Van Driver - products with a long shelf life, transported to large wholesale depots in closed wagons
  • Flat Bed Drivers - transportation of bulky goods of the same type (for example, logs or pipes)
  • Less than Truck Load - light cargo, most often transported within the state, without leaving the country
  • Reefer - trucks of this type are equipped with refrigeration equipment, transport frozen and chilled products
  • Tanker drivers - carry gasoline and other liquids in special tanks

Which transportations do truck drivers earn more on?

Many factors affect the wage of a trucker. It depends on the type of cargo transportation, the distance traveled, the company chosen, the driver's experience and even the workforce.

For example, in TruckStaff Solutions и EnergyTrucking you are guaranteed $ 4000 per week if you work as a team and drive more than 5 miles per week. These are some of the highest salaries on the market.

If we talk about the type of cargo, then most of all pay for the transportation of "refrigerated" goods (food and medicine), dangerous, oversized and heavy cargo. A separate category in payment is occupied by international road transportation, which also bring good money, but sometimes it will take weeks on the road. The International Foodservice Distributors Association published a study in July 2021 that found that catering truck drivers earn orders of magnitude more than other carriers.

Tracker salary also depends on the state of work or company registration.

Average salary of truck drivers in different states

Currently, according to Indeed, the average salary for a truck driver in the United States is $ 66 per year.

The most common form of payment is with miles. Thus, the average amount varies from $ 0,40 to $ 1,79 per mile, depending on the type of truck driver's work: in a company or for oneself; in a team or solo.

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In terms of the average annual salary for truck drivers by state, it is highest in the following five regions of the United States:

  1. Washington DC - $ 58 (very high cost of living in the county)
  2. Alaska - $ 57 (+ tax-free drivers)
  3. North Dakota - $ 53
  4. Massachusetts - $ 50 (high living expenses)
  5. Nevada - $ 50

This is the official government data for 2018, there are no more recent official statistics yet.

But the average salary is a very relative indicator of the earnings of a particular trucker.

Owner EnergyTrucking Timur Mirzaev says that Russian-speaking immigrants in the United States manage to earn really impressive sums a month on a truck, sacrificing normal sleep and communication with their family for this. But these are usually not enough for a long time.

“This cannot last long. Usually people work in this mode for half a year or a year, maximum two, and then they complain about their health, get better, they start having problems with the spine, and they stop working, ”Mirzaev said.

Timur advises to work in a comfortable mode, sleep well, spend time with his family and invest in his experience. And in the end, with the right choice of the company, you can earn a lot (up to 100 thousand dollars a year), receiving bonuses for experience and adherence to the rules without sacrificing your health. The main thing is to choose a company that offers high pay and good bonuses. EnergyTrucking Is one of those.

For more interesting information about getting CDL, how our immigrants substitute themselves in search of easy ways, as well as other nuances of working as a trucker, see the video below.

Material prepared in partnership with

Energy Trucking LLC

Address: 6100 Lake Ellenor Dr # 261 Orlando, FL 32809
Tel. (740) 240-2204

Read also on ForumDaily:

Truck business in the USA: where to start, what to do and where to go

Both in winter and in summer ...: how seasonality affects the work and salary of a trucker in the USA

Do's and Don'ts when starting a business in the USA: advice from a seasoned entrepreneur

Opinion of an immigrant businessman: is it possible to succeed in the USA without English

Why the US is so attracted to immigrants and 8 ways to move to America

Miscellaneous Work Timur Mirzaev EnergyTrucking
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