Over-the-road drivers are truckers that drive long-distance routes, as opposed to drivers that make short deliveries in their area. OTR drivers can transport any kind of material, from raw supplies to finished goods. Some OTR drivers have special certifications that allow them to transport Hazmat material. Obviously, the most important skill for an OTR driver is the ability to drive long distances while maintaining road safety standards. OTR drivers also need to load cargo onto the trailer while knowing weight distribution regulations and safety guidelines. They also need to handle the administrative aspect of transporting cargo, such as obtaining the proper signatures and maintaining cargo logs.

To become an Over Road driver, most people only need a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and some driving experience. Many driving schools offer classes to help people earn their CDLs.

OTR drivers earn an average annual salary of $60,909, but that salary comes with a lot of hardship. Many drivers are on the road for days without seeing their families. Sometimes, they drive up to eight hours before they can take a break.

What Does an Over The Road Driver Do

There are certain skills that many over the road drivers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed hand-eye coordination, physical health and visual ability.

Learn more about what an Over The Road Driver does

How To Become an Over The Road Driver

If you're interested in becoming an over the road driver, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 13.0% of over the road drivers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.3% of over the road drivers have master's degrees. Even though some over the road drivers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become an Over The Road Driver

Over The Road Driver Job Description

Over-the-road drivers are licensed professionals who operate trucks that they drive for long periods, over long distances, and often across different states or national borders. They are expected to have the discipline and the energy to do such tasks safely to ensure that their cargo reaches its destination.

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Over The Road Driver Career Paths

Average Salary for an Over The Road Driver

Over The Road Drivers in America make an average salary of $62,119 per year or $30 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $88,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $43,000 per year.
Average Over The Road Driver Salary
$62,119 Yearly
$29.86 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Over The Road Driver

The role of an over the road driver includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general over the road driver responsibilities:

  • 1. Operate tractor-trailer combination, including doubles
  • 1. Maintain customer relations by transporting crews safely
  • Operates tractor-tralier combination in a safe

There are several types of over the road driver, including:



Almost anyone can drive a car, but not everyone gets paid for it. Drivers are responsible for everything from driving customers from point A to point B, to delivering packages to clients, you have a range of what exactly you want to be driving. If you're going to be delivering packages, you'll want to build up your upper body strength in case you have to lift heavy objects.

As far as driving people around, you might want to brush up on your communication skills, either that or blast your music during the ride. Some drivers are especially helpful to tourists who are curious about the area. In these instances, your favorite restaurant or activity might come in useful.

The hours you'll work as a driver can range dramatically. Your work schedule will depend on who you're working for and if you're able to set your own hours. There are some companies where you'll work 60 hours in 7 days, but other companies will only require 40 hours. If there's anything to take away from being a driver, it's that the job is nothing less than interesting.

  • Average Salary: $34,771
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Truck Driver


Remember when you were a little kid and you would move your arm in a pulling down motion every time you passed a large semi-truck? You know that excitement when the drive actually honked? That's actually one of the responsibilites of being a truck driver.

While we're totally kidding, honking at kids (and let's face it, some adults) does make the long road trips a little more fun. After you take a professional truck driving school and obtain your commercial driver's license, then you'll be able to see the country. Imagine all of the cities and towns you'll get to drive through.

  • Average Salary: $60,326
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Route Driver


Route drivers work primarily independently, but they report to the dispatcher, and they work closely with them. As a route driver, you are to pick up and deliver products to diverse local customers. Choosing this career path requires constant travel because you will be involved in transporting materials and supplies. Being a route driver entails you to review route sheets daily to know the locations of pickups and deliveries.

Also, you are to maintain logs by filling out delivery and picking up logs accurately and with detailed information. In addition, you are expected to perform vehicle maintenance and communicate with customers. There is no formal training required for this role. You must, however, be able to drive comfortably. To be a successful route driver, you must possess exceptional organizational skills and customer service. Averagely, you will make $15.95 per hour.

  • Average Salary: $45,492
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Over The Road Driver Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active over the road driver jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where over the road drivers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Over The Road Driver Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
9New York12,212$67,214
10North Carolina9,953$66,380
13South Carolina7,706$61,098
28West Virginia4,387$63,857
30New Jersey3,899$72,092
36New Mexico2,102$57,142
40South Dakota1,457$63,095
42North Dakota1,295$67,871
44New Hampshire783$68,654
46Rhode Island685$64,105

Over The Road Driver Education

Over The Road Driver Majors

23.7 %

Over The Road Driver Degrees

High School Diploma

37.1 %


18.6 %


14.3 %

Top Skills For an Over The Road Driver

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 34.3% of over the road drivers listed cdl on their resume, but soft skills such as hand-eye coordination and physical health are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Over The Road Driver Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Over The Road Driver templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Over The Road Driver resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Over The Road Driver diversity

Over The Road Driver Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among over the road drivers, 11.1% of them are women, while 88.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among over the road drivers is White, which makes up 60.1% of all over the road drivers.

  • The most common foreign language among over the road drivers is Spanish at 58.7%.

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Best States For an Over The Road Driver

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an over the road driver. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Over the road drivers make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $72,092. Whereas in Connecticut and Georgia, they would average $70,966 and $70,447, respectively. While over the road drivers would only make an average of $70,097 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Georgia

Total Over The Road Driver Jobs: 23,249
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Kansas

Total Over The Road Driver Jobs: 5,378
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Ohio

Total Over The Road Driver Jobs: 20,817
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Over The Road Drivers

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Top Over The Road Driver Employers

Most Common Employers For Over The Road Driver

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Schneider National$70,052$33.68550
3Celadon Group$69,207$33.27139
4Werner Enterprises$69,010$33.18564
5K&B Transportation$63,725$30.64155
6Crete Carrier$62,991$30.28189
7J.B. Hunt Transport Services$61,756$29.69411
8Stevens Transport$61,720$29.67288
9C.R. England$61,520$29.58613
10Western Express$61,405$29.52284

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