So you want to own or operate your own business? Well, let us be the first to tell you it's no easy task. But if you're truly committed to the business and put in the work, then it will be worth it in the long run.

As the owner/operator, you'll need to make sure you have business plans drawn up before you do anything. Once that's done, then you can start hiring people and coming up with marketing strategies. You'll want to keep a close eye on the financials so you know how the business is coming along.

Like we said, it's no easy feat being an owner/operator. In the beginning, you'll probably work long hours but as the business grows, then you'll be able to relax a little and enjoy watching your idea bloom.

What Does an Owner/Operator Do

There are certain skills that many owner/operators 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, hearing ability and physical health.

Learn more about what an Owner/Operator does

How To Become an Owner/Operator

If you're interested in becoming an owner/operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 41.7% of owner/operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.4% of owner/operators have master's degrees. Even though some owner/operators 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 Owner/Operator

Owner/Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for an Owner/Operator

Owner/Operators in America make an average salary of $167,288 per year or $80 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $264,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $105,000 per year.
Average Owner/Operator Salary
$167,288 Yearly
$80.43 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

How To Become an Owner/Operator
How To Become an Owner/Operator Career Overview

States With The Most Owner/Operator Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Owner/Operator Jobs By State

Owner/Operator Education

Owner/Operator Majors

34.1 %

Owner/Operator Degrees


41.7 %


24.8 %

High School Diploma

18.1 %

Top Skills For an Owner/Operator

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, 56.7% of owner/operators listed cdl on their resume, but soft skills such as hand-eye coordination and hearing ability are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Owner/Operator Resume templates

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

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Owner/Operator Demographics

Owner/Operator Gender Distribution


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

  • Among owner/operators, 33.2% of them are women, while 66.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among owner/operators is White, which makes up 67.5% of all owner/operators.

  • The most common foreign language among owner/operators is Spanish at 56.5%.

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Best States For an Owner/Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an owner/operator. The best states for people in this position are Oregon, Alaska, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Owner/operators make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $188,607. Whereas in Alaska and Rhode Island, they would average $182,238 and $181,529, respectively. While owner/operators would only make an average of $181,411 in Connecticut, 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. North Dakota

Total Owner/Operator Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Wyoming

Total Owner/Operator Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Utah

Total Owner/Operator Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Owner/Operators

How Do Owner/Operator Rate Their Jobs?

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What do you like the most about working as Owner/Operator?

Meeting achieving and surpassing any goals needed to catipult a company that I can stand behind. Show More

What do you NOT like?

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Top Owner/Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For Owner/Operator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Clean Harbors$195,707$94.09125
3Celadon Group$180,328$86.7087
4Schneider National$177,562$85.3790
7Landstar System$169,848$81.66278
8Pilot Freight Services$164,364$79.02237

Owner/Operator Videos

Becoming an Owner/Operator FAQs

How Do I Become A Successful Owner-operator?

To become a successful owner-operator, you will need to set up a successful business plan that minimizes expenses and maximizes profits.

Coming up with a good business plan is the first step for any new business aiming for success. Creating a solid business plan for a trucking company means taking a detailed look at the financing and operational specifics of the business within the needs of the industry as a whole, and of course, the individual goals for that company.

How Do I Get Started As An Owner-operator?

Getting started as an owner-operator requires due diligence in researching the industry to prepare for various challenges, acquiring USDOT and MC numbers to operate legally, and obtaining the right equipment.

How Much Do Owner-operators Make Net?

Owner-operators make a net pay of $60,000 to $70,000 annually. However, many owner-operators will only take home $45,000 a year, with a much lower average for the first year of operation.

How Much Money Do You Need To Be An Owner-operator?

You will need a large amount of money to be an owner-operator. Being an owner-operator can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. These variables depend on how much you spend on your vehicle and the amount it costs to register and complete other formal documentation.

Is Being An Owner-operator Worth It?

Yes, being an owner-operator is worth it for individuals who love both driving and the business of trucking. This field is not easy to get started in, but it is very rewarding once you're set up.

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