According to the U.S Department of Labor and other studies, a trucker can make as little as $12 per hour on some days. This is not only because they work long hours but also due to the nature of their job which requires them to be out on the road for extended periods of time.
However, there are many more factors that play into how much money truckers actually earn each year. One of these factors includes where you live. Some locations have higher cost of living than others, which means that even if your base pay rate is high, it may end up being lower once taxes and other expenses are taken into consideration.
The following list contains the highest average annual earnings for people who drive freight in various countries around the world. These figures were gathered from multiple sources including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the World Bank Group, and the International Federation of Freight Forwarding Associations (FIA).
The data was then compiled into an interactive map so that users could see exactly what kind of income different regions offer truckers based on their location.
1. United States of America
In terms of earning potential, no country offers better prospects for cargo truckers than the United States. According to both BLS and FIA estimates, drivers working for major companies in this country earned about $41.50 per hour in 2022. When you consider all truckers combined, the figure rises to just under $70 per hour. That’s nearly double the national average!
This huge gap between the two groups is partially explained by the fact that most truckers in the U.S. are self-employed or independent contractors rather than employees. But even when you factor in the differences in costs of living across states, the overall numbers still remain quite impressive. In particular, certain areas within the country tend to provide higher wages for carriers. For example, truckers in the state of North Dakota earned an estimated $79.30 per hour in 2022.
Canada has one of the lowest rates of employment among its citizens. It’s true that fewer Canadians work in manufacturing jobs compared to Americans, but it’s also true that Canada has a very low unemployment rate. Even with this positive outlook, Canadian truckers do face plenty of challenges. For instance, the cost of living is relatively high in comparison to other parts of the world. This makes it harder for Canadians to find affordable housing and food after they’ve paid for everything else.
Overall though, Canadian truckers enjoy decent wages. Average hourly earnings in 2022 came in at roughly $31.90 per hour. Like the rest of the country, however, this number varies widely depending on where you happen to live. Drivers in provinces like Ontario and Quebec tended to earn slightly less than those in other parts of the country.
Drivers working in Australia typically earned an average of $34.40 per hour in 2022. Again, this number does vary considerably depending on where you live. Truckers in Western Australia earned the highest average wage of any Australian region during this period. Their counterparts in South Australia had the second-highest rate.
Truckers in Queensland earned the third-highest annual income in the nation. Meanwhile, truckers in Victoria earned the fourth-lowest amount annually. As far as truckers go, these numbers aren’t too bad considering that Australians don’t face anywhere near the traffic issues that American drivers deal with. Still, it’s interesting to note that even in such a small country, Australia’s geography plays a big role in determining income levels.
4. New Zealand
New Zealand doesn’t have the same population density as the United States, but it’s home to a surprisingly large network of trucks. A report published by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research indicates that around half of all vehicles registered in the country are commercial freighter rigs.
Because of this, truckers in New Zealand earn an average of $36.60 per hour in 2022. There are regional variations here too, although they’re nowhere near as drastic as the ones seen in Australia. For instance, truckers in Auckland earned the highest yearly income of any part of the country. In contrast, truckers in Wellington earned the lowest.
Belgium isn’t the biggest economy in Europe, but it does boast one of the largest networks of freight truck routes. Most of these highways connect cities in the south with ports along the English Channel. Because of this, Belgian truckers often need to travel through France. In addition, many haulage businesses in the country use railroads instead of roads.
As a result, truckers in Belgium made an average of $37.20 per hour in 2022. Once again, this amount varied greatly according to area. Those who worked in Antwerp earned the highest average while truckers in Liège found themselves making the lowest amounts.
Norway has been ranked consistently as one of the best places to live in the entire world over the past decade. Unfortunately, the country doesn’t attract many immigrants. This means that there simply aren’t enough Norweigans working in truck driving jobs to keep the industry afloat. In 2022, Norwegian truckers earned an average of $38.80 per hour.
Like in many European countries, there were significant differences in truckers’ incomes depending on where they lived. Drivers in Oslo earned the highest average annual income, followed closely by truckers in Bergen. By contrast, those in Trondheim earned the lowest.
Germany is known for its engineering prowess, but it’s also well-known for producing great auto engineers. As a result, German car manufacturers produce some of the safest and most reliable cars in the world. At the same time, this means that Germans are able to get good insurance deals.
Freight truckers in Germany didn’t fare as well, however. They earned an average of $39.30 per hour in 2022. This seems like a fairly solid number until you remember that the price tag of living in Berlin is three times greater than that of Hamburg. In other words, a person who lives in Berlin will have to spend more money on groceries every month than someone who lives in the former city.
Sweden ranks pretty highly in numerous quality-of-life indexes. And yet, it’s surprising how poorly Swedish drivers seem to fare financially. While the GDP per capita in the country is above $45,000, truckers only earned an average of $42.00 per hour in 2022.
There are several reasons why Swedish truckers earn less than their peers elsewhere. First, the cost of living tends to be higher in Stockholm. Second, the government heavily regulates the prices of fuel throughout the country. Third, few people speak Swedish fluently, which means that finding customers willing to place orders online is difficult. Finally, truckers in the capital must adhere to strict rules regarding how long they can stay parked in one spot without moving.
Although Dutch residents tend to rank towards the bottom of polls designed to measure happiness, their truckers perform quite well. On average, truckers in Amsterdam earned $42.20 per hour in 2022. This number jumped to $44.40 per hour when you compare it to truckers in Rotterdam, the country’s largest port hub.
It’s clear that the Dutch trucking industry relies heavily on international trade. Many of the goods that come into the country pass through Amsterdam first. Therefore, truckers there earn more than their colleagues in smaller towns because they tend to pick up and drop off shipments closer to bigger hubs.
10. United Kingdom
British truckers earned an average of $43.40 per hour in 2022. Although this is below the global average, it’s worth noting that British truckers generally don’t face as many problems as their counterparts in other nations. Unlike truckers in Spain, for instance, UK drivers receive social security benefits upon retirement. Also, unlike drivers in India, UK truckers don’t have to worry about paying license fees.
One reason why truckers in Britain earn less than those in other countries is the way they’re classified. Most truckers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are considered “self employed.” Technically, this means that they operate as individual business owners. However, it’s important to realize that truckers in Great Britain are divided into two separate categories: private and public carriers. Public carriers represent about 20 percent of the total, whereas private carriers account for the remaining 80 percent.
Private carriers are considered employee/employee relationships. As a result, they can negotiate higher pay with employers. Public carriers, on the other hand, usually work for a company and cannot bargain over their wages. Despite this disadvantage, public carriers earn slightly more than private carriers. Overall, truckers in the UK earned $43.40 per hour in 2022.
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