Best and Worst States for Truck Drivers in 2024

Published: Jun 11, 2024

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Are you curious about which states offer the best conditions for truck drivers in 2024? Our most recent study examines key factors such as salaries, job availability, and safety metrics to rank the best and worst states for truckers. In this article, we present our analysis of nationwide data to offer valuable insights for current and aspiring truck drivers.

You’ll learn about the top states offering lucrative opportunities, those presenting significant challenges, and the metro areas where truck drivers can find the highest salaries and most concentrated job markets. Our findings are based on extensive data analysis, ensuring a detailed and accurate overview of the trucking industry landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin are the best states to be a trucker.
  • Hawaii is the worst state to be a trucker.
  • Alaska pays truckers the highest, with an average annual salary of $65,870.
  • Arkansas (27.1) and North Dakota (26.8) have the highest rates of truckers per 1,000 jobs.
  • Wyoming and Arkansas have the most fatal semi-truck accidents per capita, and Hawaii has the least.  
  • Lincoln, NE, is the metro area with the highest average salary for truckers ($77,110).

Ranking the Best and Worst States for Truck Drivers

This section explores which states offer the most promising conditions for truck drivers and which fall short. By examining key factors like job availability, salary, and working conditions, we provide a clear picture of the best and worst states for truckers.

Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin emerged as the best states for truckers. These states offered robust employment opportunities, competitive salaries, and relatively favorable working conditions. Pennsylvania, known for its extensive network of highways and trucking routes, provides ample job openings and a supportive infrastructure for truck drivers.

Conversely, we identified Hawaii and New Mexico as the worst states to be a trucker. Hawaii’s geographic isolation and limited trucking routes may significantly impact employment opportunities and job growth for truck drivers. The state’s small size and reliance on sea transport can also reduce the demand for trucking services.

This analysis highlights how U.S. states differ when it comes to trucking opportunities, indicating where truck drivers can find the most supportive and lucrative environments and where they might encounter significant hurdles in their careers.

Detailed Trucking Metrics by State

Let’s now break down the specific metrics that highlight the best and worst states for truck drivers. You’ll learn about salary variations, employment rates, interest in trucking careers, and more, providing a detailed look at truck driver conditions across different states.

Infographic showing the top 3 and bottom 3 states for each metric.

Alaska stood out for offering the highest average annual salary for truckers at $65,870, making it a top choice for those seeking higher earnings. West Virginia offered the lowest average salary at $48,460, presenting a significant gap in earning potential across states. Wyoming showed the highest interest in trucking jobs, with about 24 searches per 100,000 residents in the past year, indicating a strong local interest in the profession.

Employment rates also varied significantly state by state. Arkansas and North Dakota had the highest rates of truckers per 1,000 jobs, at 27.1 and 26.8, respectively, showcasing a dense trucking workforce. As for traffic, Alaska and Wyoming had the fewest registered vehicles per interstate mile, while Hawaii and New Jersey reported the most, reflecting differing levels of congestion and infrastructure use.

Safety is a top concern for truckers. Since Wyoming and Arkansas experienced the most fatal semi-truck accidents per capita, this highlights the importance of addressing safety measures and regulations to protect truck drivers in these states.

Leading Metro Areas for Trucking Jobs

Our last chart points out the metro areas offering the best opportunities for truck drivers. You’ll discover which cities provide the highest salaries and which have the most truckers per capita, offering valuable insights for those in the trucking industry.


Top 5 Highest Paying Metro Areas for Truckers

  1. Lincoln, NE ($77,110)
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($67,560)
  3. Fairbanks, AK ($67,400)
  4. La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN ($66,630)
  5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($66,270)

Top 5 Metro Areas With the Most Truckers per 1,000 Jobs

  1. Laredo, TX (50)
  2. Sioux City, IA-NE-SD (46)
  3. Joplin, MO (45)
  4. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO (43)
  5. Midland, TX (41)

Lincoln, Nebraska, had the highest average salary for truckers, at $77,110, making it an attractive destination for drivers seeking top earnings. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California, and Fairbanks, Alaska, offered the next highest average salaries, at $67,560 and $67,400, respectively, meaning these cities could be lucrative options for truckers.

As for employment concentration, Laredo, Texas, stood out with the highest number of truckers per 1,000 jobs (50), followed by Sioux City, Iowa, indicating a robust trucking presence in these areas. These metrics identify the cities where truckers can find both high salaries and strong job availability, essential factors for career planning in the trucking industry.


To determine the best states to be a trucker, we gathered data from multiple sources to create a meta-ranking using the following variables:

About Lance Surety Bonds

Lance Surety Bonds is a trusted provider of surety bond solutions for businesses and individuals across various industries. We offer various bond types, including freight broker bonds, which are crucial for trucking professionals to meet regulatory requirements and ensure compliance. Our commitment to excellent customer service and our easy-to-navigate online platform makes it simple for truck drivers and logistics companies to secure the necessary bonds quickly.

Fair Use Statement

We allow the redistribution of these findings solely for noncommercial purposes, provided you include a hyperlink back to this page.


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